EOI: 2019 Aswat Horra Project | Institute for War and Peace Reporting


Expression of Interest

2019 Aswat Horra (Free Voices) Project

From: The Institute of War & Peace Reporting (IWPR) Consortium

Part of: IWPR Middle East and North Africa

The Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR) in consortium with Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI) will deliver the co-creation phase of the Aswat Horra (Free Voices) project with funding from the UK Government’s UK Aid Connect programme over  nine months from May 2019 to January 2020. Aswat Horra will work in fragile countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), including Lebanon and Libya, to promote freedom of expression.

Priorities of the Co-Creation Phase of the Aswat Horra Project

The IWPR consortium will partner with 30 CSOs to undertake scoping, individual capacity appraisals and research/production of a workplan to strengthen freedom of expression. The resulting public report will be the focus of a day-long conference including the CSO partners, followed by a training for partners. It is anticipated participants will take away an increased understanding of their own potential, through in-depth organisational capacity assessments, the broader support network and available support for upgrading key skills in this area.

CSOs will be called on to participate in a series of context mapping, analysis, and capacity assessment interviews, in addition to a final conference, the date and location of which are still to be determined.

In order to comprehensively analyse the context, state and capacity of the CSOs representing freedom of expression in the region, the project will:

  • Conduct interviews, in-country face-to-face or through teleconference as the security situation permits, with CSOs working on freedom of expression;
  • Assess and evaluate 30 CSOs working on freedom of expression on their organisational strength and health, their strategic planning and operational ability and their networks, coalition, and advocacy capacity to protect, empower, connect and amplify democratic voices in the region by building local capacities and resilience to freedom of expression threats. This will include both established and emerging CSOs working on a range of freedom of expression-related issues;
  • Identify where support could be targeted to enable them to increase their impact in their respective country and regionally.

Local organisations operating in Lebanon and Libya will be invited to submit simple Expressions of Interest (EOIs) to the consortium’s steering Committee for review against the selection criteria. To ensure an open process, we will also advertise the EOI application more broadly to provide opportunities for emerging actors who may have been overlooked to express their interest in collaborating with the programme.

This call for participation is part of the co-creation phase of Aswat Horra through which the consortium will select CSO candidates based on the EOI submission. Only successful candidates will be contacted and invited to join the project as local partners.

Please note that there is no guarantee of future funding and/or sub-grants.

The aim of the co-creation phase is to develop evidence and learning for effective approaches to expanding freedom of expression in challenging contexts. The programme will directly benefit local CSOs, civic activists, infomediaries, media professionals, lawyers and legal defence groups in the target countries through action research, trialling innovations and scaling effective approaches to building free and open societies.

Instructions for Submitting Your Expression of Interest

Organisations interested in submitting an EOI must fill out the form.

Submissions not including all the above stated documents will not be considered.

Selection Process

EOIs will be reviewed by the steering committee comprised of representatives from each consortium member. A total of 30 organisations will be selected to participate in the co-creation phase of the project based on the following assessment criteria:

  1. Demonstrable commitment to freedom of expression and track record of implementing FOE-related activities and/or innovations.
  2. Practical ability to navigate local security and political conditions strategically and safely.
  3. Openness to capacity-building support to enhance institutional capacities.
  4. Demonstrated gender sensitivity and commitment to women’s empowerment.
  5. Demonstrated conflict sensitivity, adherence to ‘do no harm’ principles, and inclusion of multiple perspectives.
  6. A history of collaboration with like-minded organisations locally, regionally and/or internationally.


Please email any queries to adminna@iwpr.net.

Deadline for Submission

The deadline for submission of the EOI is 5:00 PM London, UK time on Friday, September 20th. Any submissions received after the deadline will NOT be taken into consideration.

The IWPR Consortium

Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR)

IWPR is a non-governmental organization that gives voice to people at the frontlines of conflict and transition to help them drive change.

IWPR supports activists, human and women's rights defenders, reporters, and citizen journalists in many countries in conflict, crisis, and transition around the world. We contribute to peace and good governance by strengthening the ability of media and civil society to speak out. We do this by training, mentoring and providing platforms; building up the institutional capacity of media and civic groups; and working with independent and official partners to remove barriers to free expression, robust public debate and citizen engagement.

IWPR in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), IWPR – MENA has worked to build a vibrant and independent media, active civic and community groups, and democratic institutions across the region since 2003. Initiatives in the region have strengthened journalist and civil society institutions in a variety of ways, from supporting legal and structural reform around policies including freedom of information and expression, human rights, women’s rights and political participation to real time management and program implementation support to build sustainable organizations. Long-established offices in countries around the region, as well as on-the-ground coordinators in others support programming and networks of journalists, activists, and civil society organizations, demonstrate IWPR's long-term commitment to working in MENA.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

Known internationally as Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) - is a non-profit organisation working to promote and protect press freedom around the world. Drawing on more than 30 years of experience, RSF alternates public interventions and effective behind-the-scenes actions. RSF works globally through its Paris headquarters and 13 country offices, its wide network of correspondents in more than 130 countries, and its consultative status at the United Nations, UNESCO, and the Council of Europe.

Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI)

MLDI provides and facilitates high quality legal defence for independent media, bloggers and journalists under threat for their reporting and advances legal standards on freedom of expression and freedom of the press. We provide legal defence directly and we support and grow partners and individual lawyers to do the same.

Working in over 50 countries, we provide grants to pay for local lawyers to defend journalists; undertake strategic litigation to promote a legal and regulatory framework in which journalists and bloggers can report freely on issues of public interest; support NGOs through grants and expertise to provide media defence at the national level; and run training and networking programmes for lawyers in the fields of media law and human rights.

MLDI was established in 2008 because no other international organization was providing legal support to journalists under threat and we remain the only organisation globally to focus on providing specialist legal defence to independent media.