In a notice issued by the British High Commission in Colombo today (28), the High Commission has alerted potential civil society implementing partners to an opportunity to bid for grant funding to deliver project activity promoting human rights and democratic values in Sri Lanka.
Accordingly, activities will focus on a set of priority themes. The High Commission has encouraged suppliers to identify target areas within and across these themes, and justify their focus.
The themes are listed below:
Reinforcing media freedom and protecting freedom of expression
Supporting journalistic practice in identified ‘needs’ areas in Sri Lanka (such as digital and physical safety, high-quality and inclusive content, or data-driven and investigative journalism) – e.g. through direct capacity building to journalists, or initiatives to support the spread of journalistic best practice and learning
Initiatives to boost civic literacy and tackle disinformation, especially where potential scalability, cross-cutting themes, or sustainability can be demonstrated
Promoting freedom of religion or belief and tackling inter-communal tensions
Raising understanding and awareness including on triggers of religious and ethno-religious tensions and conflict (inter and intra-communities), through effective research and documentation.
Promoting conflict management through education of and engagement with local and national authorities.
Supporting human rights defenders and strengthening civil society
Supporting civil society engagement through identified ‘needs’ areas in Sri Lanka (such as digital and physical safety, data-gathering and documentation, access to legal or operational support, linkages between CSOs and other key stakeholders i.e. government and media)
Initiatives to boost collaborative and coordinated advocacy, including between and within grassroots, regional and Colombo-based organisations, especially where potential scalability, cross-cutting themes, or sustainability can be demonstrated
In terms of delivery mechanisms, the High Commission has stated that suppliers may want to consider capacity building (direct, or through ‘train the trainer’ models) alongside more creative mechanisms such as support to peer to peer networks or sector initiatives, and creating relevant products/resources (eg: technical ‘tool kits’). It also states that activities will need to take into account Covid-19 risk mitigation and planning.