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IDR Grant Programme announces twelve new winners and the first 2015 deadline

October 29, 2014

The European Journalism Centre (EJC) is thrilled to announce the winners of the fourth round of the Innovation in Development Reporting (IDR) Grant Programme.

Twelve remarkable projects will be awarded a combined total of more than 200.000 Euros in funding to innovate global development narratives and bring to the public new journalistic storytelling around the Millennium Development Goals. An advisory council of senior journalists oversaw the final decisions of the awards. The projects that have been identified to be eligible for funding will be greenlighted upon signature of a legal contract.

The awarded projects have received endorsement from significant media outlets located in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Funded topics will focus on issues such as: the fishing industry in Senegal, electronic waste in Ghana, access to sanitation in India and Democratic Republic of Congo, the Queen Mothers in Ghana, small and medium sized companies in west Africa, GMOs to fight hunger and poverty, drugs and vaccines prices, former child soldiers, African charcoal trade, the resilience of African megacities, menstrual taboos in developing countries.

The winners will employ multi-platform approaches, engage in cross-country media collaboration and make use of interactive applications, as well as investigative, data-driven and photo journalism.

"We are very much looking forward to the results of the projects and have the conviction that they will show the European citizens the real face of development", says EJC Director Wilfried Rütten.

The fourth round of the grant programme ran from 21 May until 23 July 2014. Over 250 applications were received.

Journalists and media organisations interested in breaking away from development journalism stereotypes are encouraged to pitch us their creative ideas in the fifth round of applications. The deadline to apply is 25 February 2015 (22:00 CET). The online application form will be opened on the 14th of January 2015. For questions, check the FAQ guide or send an email to [email protected].

Project name: Fish for cheap

Description: How subsidized foreign vessels plunder West African waters
Project locations: Spain (Canary islands, Madrid), Senegal
Media outlet: Internazionale, Courrier International, Al Jazeera english, Le Monde diplomatique – Germany, El Pais

Project name: Life, death and miracles of electronic waste

Description: The project will expose the multifaceted nature of e-waste and highlight constructive initiatives to counteract it.
Project locations: Ghana, UK, the world
Media outlets: Internazionale, Al Jazeera International, El País

Project name: Toilet for All

Description: Investigating barriers to universal access to sanitation in India and DRC
Project locations: Mumbai, India; Lubumbashi, DRC
Media outlets: Wired Italia, El Pais Planeta Futuro, Zoomin.TV

Project name: African Queen Mothers Fight for Africa

Description: Traditional Queen Mothers unleash a formidable transforming force in Africa.
Project locations: Ghana's Southern and Northern regions
Media outlet: BBC World Service and purpose-built website

Project name: Small is Powerful

Description: Study of the underrated impact local SMEs have on Africa's development
Project locations: Mauritania (renewable energy); Benin (eggs production); Madagascar (sea farming); Senegal (health centres); Nigeria (recycling)
Media outlet: Internazionale (Italy) / Le Monde (France) / AFD (France) / I&P (France) / Proparco (France)

Project name: GMO's to the rescue

Description: This project will try to show the potential of GMO's in alleviating hunger and poverty
Project locations: Netherlands, Philippines, Bangladesh, United States
Media outlets: De Volkskrant, The Brave festival

Project name: Third World Treatments, First World Prices?

Description: Researching and comparing the prices of drugs and vaccines for the most common diseases.
Project locations: Europe, Brazil and Mali
Media outlets: 20 Minutos (Spain), Corriere de la Sera (Italy) and Cadena SER (Spain)

Project name: Graphic Memories

Description: A multimedia photo/graphic novel centred around 4 female former child soldiers.
Project locations: Urban and rural centres in northern Uganda (Gulu; Lira, Namakoro, and Patongo).
Media outlet: The Times and Die Zeit

Project name: On the Charcoal Trail

Description: A multimedia investigation into the billion dollar African charcoal trade
Project locations: Uganda, Kenya, UAE
Media outlet: The Guardian (online), Al Jazeera (online), New Internationalist (online)

Project name: Building Urban Resilience (Når bølgerne angriber)

Description: African megacities use contrasting development strategies to build resilience
Project locations: Lagos (Nigeria), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Copenhagen (Denmark)
Media outlet: Politiken (, Danish Broadcasting Corporation (, Dagsavisen (Norway,, Al Jazeera (, Mail & Guardian (

Project name: Breaking Menstrual Taboos

Description: Breaking taboos regarding the monthly risks women in developing countries face.
Project locations: India, Nepal, Kenya, Uganda
Media outlets: WDR, ZDF/3Sat

Project name: Ndirande slum. Engine behind the Millennium Development Goals

Description: The project uncovers how slums can be an engine for poverty eradication.
Project locations: Ndirande slum, Malawi
Media outlets: Der Standard; Mediahuis; Neue Zurchter Zeitung; OneWorld; Luxemburger Wort; Trouw; Wereldpodium

The Innovation for Development Reporting Grant Programme was launched in January 2013 by the EJC with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The project aims to reward quality journalism and advance a new and distinctive agenda for development coverage through awarding funding to a selection of state-of-the-art reporting projects of great impact and high visibility.

The European Journalism Centre (EJC) is a non-profit international foundation with the remit to improve, strengthen, and underpin journalism and the news media. This mission has two main aspects: On the one hand, it is about safeguarding, enhancing, and future-proofing quality journalism in Europe and on the other hand, it is about supporting initiatives towards press freedom in emerging and developing countries. This often includes creating the framework conditions for independent and self-determined journalism in the first place. To these ends, the EJC provides thematic training, professional capacity development, and a wide range of support activities for journalists.


Email: [email protected]

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