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Call for Proposals: The health impacts of climate change in the Bay of Bengal

Deadline: 29 August 2021, 11:59 PM, IST

Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) is offering grants to journalists to report on the impacts of climate change on human health along the Bay of Bengal coast in Bangladesh and India.


The Bay of Bengal is widely recognized as one of the most vulnerable regions to the impacts of climate change. This vulnerability stems from both the wide variety of climate risks as well as the density and diversity of the roughly 400 million people who call it home. 

For the past three years, Internews’ Earth Journalism Network has been carrying out a media development project along the Bay of Bengal coast in Bangladesh and India to bring to the attention of policymakers and residents the impacts of climate change in this region. During these three years, we have found that one of the most serious and underreported impacts is on human health.

With the help of story grants to finance their fieldwork, journalists partnering on this project have prepared several reports highlighting the seriousness of this issue. We now plan to take this forward by offering story grants to journalists who wish to explore this impact further and in previously unexplored areas.

We have also found that gender, ethnicity, class and age all affect an individual’s ability to respond to shocks and a community’s overall capacity to adapt. We are looking for in-depth stories that highlight these additional vulnerabilities in the field of health impacts and healthcare.

We encourage stories that report on potential solutions and address how vulnerable communities are responding to challenges. We are also highly interested in stories that utilize relevant data to illustrate the issue in a compelling and easy-to-understand way.

Finally, we are looking for stories with the potential to inform policy decisions.

The story grants are provided as part of EJN’s Bay of Bengal project, implemented by Internews with generous funding from the Climate Justice Resilience Fund.

For the purposes of this grant call, we are accepting applications for reporting from coastal areas of Bangladesh and coastal areas of four Indian states—Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal.


Journalists (online, print, television, radio) with a track record of reporting on health, climate change and similar issues. We encourage applications from freelancers and staff from all types of media—international, national, local and community-based.

Grantees are expected to publish or broadcast their stories in their affiliated media. EJN, its partners and the Climate Justice Resilience Fund shall have the right to edit, publish, broadcast and distribute these stories freely, once they have been published/broadcast in the original media outlet. Freelance reporters should demonstrate a plan for publication and provide a letter of interest from an editor.

Story approach & format 

EJN expects to award five grants averaging $1,000, depending on the proposal and reporting format. We will consider larger awards for in-depth stories using innovative or investigative approaches.

We plan to issue grants in early September, with the expectation that all stories will be published no later than mid-November 2021. Applicants should consider this timeline when developing their work plan; no extensions will be granted.

Applicants should provide a detailed budget with justification for the amount requested using the template provided here. We expect that stories will be produced with equipment the applicant already has access to (including cameras, lighting, tripods, laptops etc.) and will not consider budgets that heavily focus on procuring new supplies. If the purchase of technical equipment is essential to the story, applicants should clearly state how the equipment can contribute to the expected outcomes and outputs.

We also encourage the use of multimedia and new or unique media platforms to present and share the stories. Applicants with ideas for long-form and multimedia narratives should include plans and budget for accompanying multimedia elements (i.e. video, photos) and distribution channels in their pitch.

Stories can be produced in English or local languages, or both. We ask that applicants who intend to write or produce stories in local languages also include an English translation. Please include the cost for translation in the budget, if necessary. Please also note on your budget form if you are receiving funding from other donors.

Stories may be produced in any of the following formats:

  • Text-based stories: 1,000 to 3,000 words
  • Photo stories: 10-20 images with descriptive captions and a short 200-400 word introduction
  • Multimedia package: Text between 600 to 1,500 words with 2-4 minute video and/or graphics, photos and maps
  • Broadcast: Video piece around 4-6 minutes in length with a short, roughly 200-word introduction
  • Audio report/podcast: Feature of up to 20 minutes in length with short text to summarize the audio.

Judging criteria

Applicants should consider the following points when devising their story proposals:

  • Timing: We expect the proposed story or stories to be published by November 15, 2021.
  • Relevance: Does the proposal meet the criteria and objectives? Why does this story matter and to whom? Is the main idea, context and overall value to the target audience clearly defined?
  • Angle: If the story has been covered by other media outlets, does your proposal bring new insights into the topic or offer a fresh angle? 
  • Impact: Does the proposal have a compelling narrative or investigative element that will inform and engage, draw attention, trigger debate and urge action? 
  • Innovative storytelling: The use of creative approaches and data visualization will be considered a plus.
  • Feasibility. Can the story be realistically completed within the given time frame? Is the budget realistic?
  • Diversity: We will take gender and geographical distribution into account when selecting the grantees in addition to the criteria above.

Application process 

  1. Click the ‘Apply now’ button at the top of the page. 
  2. If you have an existing account, you’ll need to log in. If not, you must register for an account by clicking “Join the Network” on the top right of the page. 
  3. If you start the application and want to come back and complete it later, you can click ‘Save Draft.’ To return to the draft, you’ll need to go back to the opportunity and click ‘Apply now’ again to finalize the application. 
  4. Applications should provide a detailed budget with justification for the amount requested. Download the budget template here. We expect that proposals will largely rely on the use of equipment the applicant already has access to (including cameras, drones, lighting, tripods, etc.) and will not consider budgets that heavily focus on procuring new supplies. We will consider some costs for the reporters’ salary, particularly if the applicant is a freelancer, but this should be a small portion of the total budget. Please include the cost for translation, if necessary. Please also note on your budget form if you are receiving funding from any other donors for the story. 
  5. You must submit two samples of stories or links to relevant work. You’ll be asked to upload these as part of the application process.


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