SERBIA 2020

Challenging a Culture of Impunity for Past Atrocities

Humanitarian Law Center

$50,000

To raise awareness about war crimes committed during the 1990s by high ranking public officials, journalists, and military leaders from Serbia, and contribute to the process of holding the perpetrators accountable. The organization will gather available information and evidence about individuals who have committed war crimes and use a variety of media – including reports, an interactive website, and documentary films – to pressure relevant state and international institutions to initiate criminal proceedings against them.

Dealing with the Past in Vojvodina

Vojvodina Civic Center

$43,000

To raise awareness about human rights abuses committed in Vojvodina and advance public debate on dealing with the past. The organization will expand its multimedia project that documents and shares stories of human rights abuses during the wars in the 1990s. It will build upon its arts and literature program to stimulate broader youth engagement in reconciliation initiatives, and will increase its outreach through public memorialization exhibits, workshops, and human rights events.

Encouraging Critical Thinking and Open Debate

Dan Graf ltd

$40,000

To foster public debate on important political, social, and economic issues facing Serbia. The media outlet will produce videos, audio programming, and articles for the country’s leading online news portal providing objective information and a forum for public discussion by prominent civic and political leaders, journalists, and academic experts. The portal will engage audiences, as well as solicit feedback and content suggestions.

Encouraging Critical Thinking and Open Debate

Njuz.org

$51,000

To encourage critical thinking and open debate on key obstacles facing Serbia’s democratic transition. The media organization will expand its popular multimedia portal that provides a forum for open discussion in an increasingly restricted media environment. The portal’s nonpartisan videos and news pieces on political developments use humor and satire to reach a mass audience. To encourage offline engagement with readers, the organization will hold a series of debates on the rule of law and other democracy-related topics.

Encouraging Professional Media Reporting

Novi Sad School of Journalism

$50,000

To encourage professional media reporting. The media organization will monitor prominent print, online, and televised media outlets. The nonpartisan project’s related website will publish articles and analytical reports on false reporting and disinformation in the media to generate public discussion regarding media standards. The NGO’s media team will also train young journalists in fact-checking, media literacy, and ethical reporting.

Fostering a Culture of Remembrance and Accountability

Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia

$59,000

To raise awareness about human rights abuses committed in the 1990s and advance public debate on dealing with the past. The group will organize a series of activities to foster a stronger culture of remembrance and accountability around the anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide. The organization will collaborate with a renowned playwright to inform Serbian citizens about human rights abuses committed in Srebrenica and to bring arts and peacebuilding workshops to youth in local communities.

Fostering Local Participation in Political Processes

Group for Conceptual Politics

$37,000

To foster civic engagement in political processes and promote the accountability of local government institutions in Vojvodina. The group will organize community forums and public debates to encourage public participation in local government and engage citizens in the oversight of public institutions. It will increase the impact of its activities through a monitoring and public outreach campaign, and will disseminate multimedia content promoting the role of civic activism in demanding accountability from public institutions.

Fostering Objective and Professional Reporting

Bureau for Social Research

$120,000

To raise awareness about the integrity of key media outlets. The media watchdog will upgrade its media monitoring methodology and conduct a comprehensive monitoring program to document media bias. The project team will analyze public opinion, create a database of public events, and monitor six broadcast outlets with national coverage to produce a report that raises awareness of the quality of media reporting in Serbia.

Fostering Public Dialogue on Transitional Justice

Center for Public History

$40,700

To strengthen a culture of remembrance at the local level and foster public dialogue regarding the recent past. Transitional justice experts, historians, and photojournalists will guide participants from nine local communities in field research to document sites of remembrance in Serbia related to the wars of the 1990s. The network will inform the public of its research through public tours, cataloguing a digital archive, and building an interactive map of war-related monuments as well as sites of conscientious and antiwar resistance in the country.

Fostering Quality Reporting on Public Spending

Business Info Group

$49,000

To foster improved reporting on public spending and promote fiscal transparency and accountability. The independent media group will produce in-depth investigations and analyses of accountability issues related to public financing and the economy. The group will feature the findings in articles written for its monthly print and online magazine, infographics produced for its web and social media platforms, and public debates with experts and decision-makers.

Fostering the Accountability of Public Officials

Proactive

$86,400

To foster greater public demand for the accountability of elected officials in south Serbia. Utilizing its interactive online platform, the organization will improve communication between parliamentarians and citizens, and strengthen the public’s role in decision-making processes. The multifaceted project will include an upgrade of the platform, a media campaign, video production, social media outreach, an awareness-raising campaign, and civic engagement activities.

Fostering Youth Engagement in Promoting Tolerance and Diversity

Group 484

$49,000

To foster active youth citizenship and enable young leaders to play a greater role in promoting tolerance and pluralism. The program will develop civic and leadership skills of high school students, and create an educational network of university students, educators, and cultural workers. Through a series of action-oriented educational activities in six cities and towns, participants will  design and implement advocacy activities that promote activism, tolerance, and diversity in their local communities.

Fostering Youth Engagement in Vojvodina

Youth Center CK13

$101,000

To promote civic education and youth engagement in fostering the accountability of public officials in the Vojvodina province. The youth group will provide a forum for public dialogue on sensitive issues facing young people in Vojvodina, and organize workshops, lectures, events, public debates, and other activities introducing youth to democratic ideas and values. The group will provide young people with the skills to engage constructively with the public officials in their local community.

Promoting Civic Oversight of the Security Sector

Belgrade Center for Security Policy

$40,400

To promote civic oversight of the security sector and raise awareness about democratic backsliding as it relates to the country’s rule of law reform process. The think tank will monitor Serbia’s security reform process and document the ways in which political interference impedes the country’s democratic transition. The organization will engage journalists, security sector professionals, and democracy defenders to present a multimedia campaign that encourages debate around accountability and institutional capture within the security sector.

Promoting Independent Journalism in Southern Serbia

Simplicity Ltd.

$40,000

To promote independent reporting and foster greater interaction between citizens, their elected officials, and political party representatives in southern Serbia. The organization will continue to complement the news and investigative reports of its popular online portal with nonpartisan multimedia content, including a video interview program, live debates with local and national officials, and a database featuring the profiles of local political figures.

Promoting Institutional Accountability

Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Serbia

$42,000

To promote government transparency and accountability through investigative reporting. In addition to updating its flagship web platform, which currently hosts over a dozen databases related to monitoring corruption and misuse of official positions, the media organization will develop two new databases tracking the work of the government office responsible for public reconstruction projects in Serbia. It will use the information gathered to produce in-depth investigative pieces and illustrative multimedia programs.

Promoting Professional Digital Journalism

Slavko Curuvija Foundation

$41,000

To promote professional reporting by enhancing the skills of promising young journalists and building the capacity of local media. The foundation will oversee a digital journalism school for local journalists that will equip them with knowledge and skills needed to produce quality reporting and analysis. The school will include an e-learning platform, in-person workshops, and ongoing mentorships. In addition, the foundation will further develop its web platform that builds the capacity of local outlets.

Promoting Public Debate on Decentralization

Independent Journalists’ Association of Vojvodina

$39,000

To foster public dialogue on key challenges facing Serbia’s democratic transition, with particular emphasis on the northern province of Vojvodina. The association will organize public discussions and maintain its web portal that serves as a rare forum for open discussion and a key source of independent news on topics such as political accountability, elections, decentralization, constitutional reform, minority rights, and other issues important to citizens in Vojvodina and Serbia.

Promoting the Accountability of Elected Officials

National Coalition for Decentralization

$34,300

To promote electoral reform and the accountability of elected officials. Through a multifaceted campaign, the coalition will raise awareness about the need for changes in the country’s electoral system among citizens and decision-makers, and encourage them to support such reforms more actively. The nonpartisan campaign will include debates with parliamentarians and political party leaders, a series of videos, and a countrywide awareness raising initiative to promote public demand for political accountability ahead of the 2020 parliamentary and local elections.

Raising Awareness of State Corruption and Organized Crime

Crime and Corruption Reporting Network KRIK

$40,000

To raise awareness about links between government corruption and organized crime. The group will conduct investigations into new cases of alleged corruption as well as monitor and produce follow-up articles on previously investigated or ongoing legal cases. The project will trace the connections between corruption in public institutions and organized criminal activity, and partner with other media and watchdog organizations to promote a culture of accountability.

Strengthening Independent Media Under Deteriorating Conditions of Press Freedom

Press Freedom Foundation

$80,000

To foster interethnic dialogue on challenges facing Serbia’s democratic transition, with particular emphasis on its northern province of Vojvodina. The media outlet will maintain its web portals, podcasts, and print magazine that serve as a rare nonpartisan and bilingual forum for open discussion, and as leading sources of independent news on key social and political topics. The organization will enhance its online and printed media outlets through investigative reporting and content exchange  with other independent media outlets.

Strengthening the Capacity of Local Media Outlets

Association of Local Independent Media “Local Press”

$75,000

To improve the impact and sustainability of independent local and regional media outlets. Over two years, the media association will provide free legal aid to member media organizations and journalists, organize in-house legal trainings for editorial boards, and provide legal consultations. In addition to organizing two editions of its annual assembly, the association will launch a virtual platform for its member organizations, host specialized media sustainability webinars, and conduct media monitoring of new members.

Supporting Youth Engagement in Eastern Serbia

Zajecar Initiative

$70,000

To promote youth civic engagement in eastern Serbia. The organization will assist high school student parliaments and youth NGOs in advocating for local youth issues. It will facilitate local youth advocacy campaigns, organize a civic education program for student parliaments, and award small grants to youth organizations in the Timok region that will assist young people from local municipalities to become more engaged in their communities, and help them to better understand democratic values and the principles of good governance