US to fund combatting polls related disinformation in Sri Lanka

The United States is to fund combatting polls related disinformation in Sri Lanka.

The US is offering between $600,000 to $661,725 for the project with the application deadline set for May 24, 2019.

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) announced an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for projects that support combatting disinformation targeting electoral processes and hate speech.

DRL’s goal is to strengthen democratic processes and support elections that meet international standards.

With parliamentary and presidential elections on the horizon, DRL’s objective in Sri Lanka is to understand, expose, and counter elections-related disinformation that could hinder voter participation, undermine public confidence in democratic processes, and incite hate speech.

The Department of State’s Global Engagement Center is currently implementing a study to understand the nature of propaganda online, including TV, radio, and social media and to understand the effectiveness of violent extremist groups’ outreach and to identify counter messaging opportunities.

The results of this assessment will serve as the foundation for activities to address the program objective.

Competitive proposals will need to demonstrate an understanding of and sensitivity to the current political, ethnic, and religious environment in Sri Lanka, illustrate the organization’s experience in countering elections-related disinformation at the national and sub-national level, and provide examples of activities that could be undertaken to ensure that upcoming elections are not subject to interference.

Competitive proposals will also need to demonstrate the ability to translate recommendations into measureable action.

The Us Department of State said that for all programs, projects should aim to have impact that leads to reforms and should have the potential for sustainability beyond DRL resources.

DRL’s preference is to avoid duplicating past efforts by supporting new and creative approaches. This does not exclude from consideration projects that improve upon or expand existing successful projects in a new and complementary way. Programs should seek to include groups that can bring perspectives based on their religion, gender, disability, race, ethnicity, and/or sexual orientation and gender identity. Programs should demand-driven and locally led to the extent possible.

DRL also requires all of its programming to be non-discriminatory and expects implementers to include strategies for integration of individuals/organizations regardless of religion, gender, disability, race, ethnicity, and/or sexual orientation and gender identity.

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