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The European Journalism Centre announces 13 development reporting grant winners

Press release
The European Journalism Centre
Maastricht, 17 November 2016

The European Journalism Centre (EJC) is proud to announce the winners of the eighth round of the Innovation in Development Reporting (IDR) Grant Programme. A combined total of more than €245,000 will be awarded to thirteen journalistic projects that advance development reporting and bring innovative storytelling on global development to a wider public.

The final winners were selected during a meeting of the IDR Grant Programme Advisory Council, consisting of senior international journalists. The projects that are eligible for funding will be greenlighted upon signature of a legal contract.

The awarded projects have received endorsement from significant media outlets located in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom and many other countries. The winning projects touch upon multiple development issues, such as challenges faced by children in Central African Republic; European development funds spent on migration programmes in Africa; the impact of “low-fee” schools in Africa; the large-scale use of drones in Africa; the role of women garment workers in the economic and social stability of Bangladesh.

The winners were chosen because of their solid story ideas and innovative multi-platform approaches, operating on the crossroads between investigative, data-driven and visual journalism. To convey complex development stories in engaging ways, the winning projects will make use of web-documentaries, graphic journalism, 360 degrees videos, virtual reality, etc. In addition, the Advisory Council applauded the synergy between the proposed formats of many applicants, as this strengthens the impact of their stories on the audience.

The winners will join a boot camp training on 11-13 December, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where they will meet fellow grantees and learn from top-level media practitioners. They will work on the development of their stories, learn about leveraging multimedia storytelling techniques and develop publication strategies aimed at achieving the best possible public impact. As part of the programme, the winners will also attend the News Impact Summit “Emotions and Digital Storytelling” organised by the European Journalism Centre in cooperation with the Google News Lab.

The eighth call for applications ran between 3 March 2016 and 7 September 2016. In total, 166 applications were received.

These are the winning projects:

Project name: Drawing Lines
Team: Marc Ellison (Project lead), Didier Kassai
Description: "Drawing Lines" is a participatory graphic novel, and 360 video, reporting the challenges faced by children in the under-developed Central African Republic.
Project locations: Central African Republic
Media outlets: BBC (UK), RFI (FR), Radio Ndeke Luka (Central African Republic)
Budget: €19.100

Project name: Bananapocalypse
Team: Mara Simperler (Project lead), Lukas Wagner
Description: This project investigates the disease management in the banana production and the impact of these diseases on consumers and on farmers in Ecuador and Philippines.
Project locations: Ecuador, Philippines
Media outlets: Berliner Morgenpost (DE), La Stampa (IT), Fria Tidningar (Sweden), Neue Zürcher Zeitung - NZZ (Switzerland), Terra Mater (Austria), GkillCity (Ecuador)
Budget: €16.810

Project name: Africa’s Great Lakes In The Balance
Team: Benedict Moran (Project lead)
Description: This multimedia project examines the problems and the solutions of the regional management of Africa’s Great Lakes basin.
Project locations: Kenya, Tanzania
Media outlets: France24 (FR), RFI (FR), IRIN (Kenya)
Budget: €20.000

Project name: The World’s Penicillin Problem
Team: Keila Guimaraes (Project lead), Ashley Kirk
Description: This project reveals the causes and consequences of a worldwide penicillin shortage and examines the future for those who need this life-saving drug.
Project locations: India, Brazil, South Africa, UK
Media outlets: El Mundo (Spain), The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (UK), Al Jazeera English (International), Quartz (International), Folha de S. Paulo (Brazil)
Budget: €20.000

Project name: Shared Horizons
Team: Jacopo Pasotti (Project lead), Ross Ziegelmeier, Alessandro D'Alfonso
Description: Shared horizons shows the similar ability of the Mongolian cattle herders communities and the fishermen local groups in Madagascar to adapt to environmental and socio-economic changes.
Project locations: Mongolia, Madagascar
Media outlets: La Repubblica (IT), Deutsche Welle (DE), EFE Verde (Spain), Krautreporter (DE), National Geographic (Global), Radiotelevisione svizzera - RSI (Switzerland)
Budget: €19.850

Project name: Diverted Aid
Team: Ludovica Jona Lasinio (Project lead), Andrea De Georgio, Mario Poeta, Sara Prestianni, Razak Idrissa, Joshua Massarenti, Mariangela Paone, Alessio Fabrizi. With a contribution of Linda Polman.
Description: This multimedia web documentary reports on how a part of European development funds is being spent for programmes aimed at managing migration flows in Africa.
Project locations: Niger, Mali
Media outlets: La Stampa (IT), El Diario (Spain), Mediapart (FR), De Groene Amsterdammer (NL)
Budget: €20.000

Project name: East African Trucker – A Bumpy Road To Progress
Team: Sune Gudmundsson (Project lead), Sven Johannesen, Lasse Wamsler
Description: This project sheds light on the struggle for and the promise of East African prosperity seen through the eyes of a trucker.
Project locations: Uganda, Kenya
Media outlets: Politiken (DK), Al Jazeera English (International), MO* (BE)
Budget: €20.000

Project name: Schools For Profit
Team: Benoit Cros (Project lead)
Description: Schools for profit investigates on the business of “low-fee” schools in Africa and its impacts on the right to education.
Project locations: Liberia, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda
Media outlets: Le Monde Afrique (FR), Der Spiegel (DE), Internazionale (IT), (Spain), De Correspondent (NL), El Diari de l’Educació (Spain), VICE (UK)
Budget: €19.950

Project name: On The Front Line In The Fight For Women's Rights
Team: Rossalyn Warren (Project lead)
Description: This project explores how women in three remote corners of the world are pushing forward a global call for gender equality.
Project locations: Burundi, Tanzania, Mexico, El Salvador, Pakistan
Media outlets: Channel 4 News (UK), Public Radio International (PRI) (UK), The Independent (UK)
Budget: € 20.000

Project name: Missing Food
Team: Laura Aragó Navarro (Project lead), Carles Villalonga, Xavier Aldekoa, Daniela Quirós
Description: “Missing Food” carries on a data and cross-border investigation about the nutrition and food loss in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Project locations: Nigeria, Malawi, Mozambique
Media outlets: La Vanguardia (Spain), Le Monde Afrique (FR), Bayerischer Rundfunk (DE), Libération (FR)
Budget: € 20.000

Project name: The Next Big Thing?
Team: Dirk Gilson (Project lead)
Description: This documentary investigates if large-scale use of drones could save lives and environment in Africa.
Project locations: Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania
Media outlets: WDR TV/Online (DE), WDR Radio (DE), Al Jazeera English (International)
Budget: € 19.220

Project name: Sewing Societies – The Garment Workers Of Bangladesh
Team: Paul Myles (Project lead), Davide Morandini
Description: Through the stories of female garment industry workers in Bangladesh, this project looks into the fundamental role these women play in the economic and social stability of the country.
Project locations: Bangladesh
Media outlets: Channel 4 News (UK), Le Parisien (FR), Internazionale (IT), De Correspondent (NL)
Budget: € 19.760

Project name: Task Shifting, An Innovative Approach To Save Lives
Team: Sara Assarsson (Project lead)
Description: This project highlights various initiatives to tackle gender inequality, improve women’s health and reduce maternal mortality in three African countries.
Project locations: Mozambique, Malawi, Uganda
Media outlets: Dagens Nyheter (Sweden)
Budget: € 12.340

In 2017-2018, the EJC will award over €1.6 million in funding for innovative development journalism projects. To this end, the EJC will run another special funding round for media outlets as well as four calls for applications centred on specific international development topics.

Journalists and media organisations interested in breaking away from development journalism stereotypes are encouraged to pitch us their creative ideas in the upcoming ninth round of applications.

The deadline to apply is 15 February 2017 (22:00 CET). Applications are accepted on issues related to gender equality (SDG5).

Interested journalists can pitch story ideas free of charge at this online application form.

Funding will be up to €20.000 per grant and will cover direct expenses for journalistic research and study trips, possible technical costs for crews and equipment, data acquisition and analysis, visualisation, etc. Interested candidates may apply for full or partial grants, excluding, however, salaries of permanent staff. More detailed information on the application procedure, deadlines, and the aims of the project can be found at

For a showcase of previously awarded grants, see our portfolio. For any questions, check our FAQs or contact us at [email protected].


Note to editors:

The Innovation in 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. Since 2013 the programme granted funding to 100 projects.

In 2015 the EJC launched a special edition of the IDR grant programme aimed at supporting long term global development coverage. Four major European news organisations (Spiegel Online, Welt/N24, Dagens Nyheter, De Correspondent) were each awarded grants worth €150.000.

In 2016 the EJC launched another special edition: the “Global Health Journalism Grant Programme for Germany”. This edition aims to advance a better coverage of international health, health policy and development related issues by supporting the production of stories that have a strong impact on media audiences in Germany.

The IDR Grant Programme has received $1,848,000 for the period of 2017 and 2018 that will be awarded to innovative journalistic projects centred on global development topics. In 2017 the programme will run two rounds of applications and organise two boot camp style trainings tailor-made for the winners of each round.

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.


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