Ukrainian Media Outlets Benefit From New Grant Funding

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Development Transformations awards grants to Hromadske Odessa and the Committee of Voters of Ukraine in Donetsk to support independent media in eastern and southern Ukraine.

“DT’s process for identifying promising media and civil society organizations in Donbass and Odessa and then providing tailored assistance to help these grantees expand access to credible and reliable media outlets is already exceeding our expectations.”

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Development Transformations (DT) recently awarded its first round of grants to media and civil society organizations to support and strengthen independent media in eastern and southern Ukraine. The Committee of Voters of Ukraine’s Donetsk branch (CVU Donetsk) and Hromadske Odessa, the first recipients of DT’s 12 month grants program, were each awarded grant funding to implement programs that will improve the quantity and quality of local news and information – including on TV, online, and in print - in the Donetsk and Odessa regions, respectively. DT’s third grant was awarded to an independent news website operating in occupied territory controlled by combined Russian-separatist forces.

With DT’s assistance, CVU Donetsk is expanding the content and publication of the new newspaper “Donbass Speaks,” a re-branding of the previous “Donetsk Speaks” that was forced to shut down in 2014 due to a lack of funding. Donbass Speaks is a Russian-language non-partisan publication designed to develop content and share local and national news with citizens and activists alike. With DT’s support, Donbass Speaks is reaching readers throughout Donetsk oblast and the wider Donbass region. CVU Donetsk plans to develop a dedicated subscriber base and obtain private donations to maintain and expand the newspaper’s circulation.

Hromadske Odessa is working with DT’s support to develop a series of live television broadcasts that will allow for political debates, commentary, dissemination of news and information, and political dialogue among independent journalists, politicians, civil society organizations, youth leaders, and other engaged citizens of Odessa. The TV broadcasts will also serve as a forum for citizens to discuss and debate current key issues impacting the people of Odessa and southern Ukraine. Hromadske Odessa’s programs will be broadcast broadly throughout Odessa via the Hromadske TV channel. Hromadske Odessa intends to expand its programming to reach cable and satellite TV viewers.

DT is pleased with the initial quick success during this first round of the grants program and looks forward to expanding its support to other media and civil society organizations in Ukraine over the coming months. “DT’s process for identifying promising media and civil society organizations in Donbass and Odessa and then providing tailored assistance to help these grantees expand access to credible and reliable media outlets is already exceeding our expectations.” said Alex Grigorievs, DT’s Director for Eurasia and former Latvian Member of Parliament.

This 12-month grants program to support independent media in Ukraine is co-funded by the GPD Charitable Trust. John DeBlasio, Founder and Executive Director of the GDP Charitable Trust, stated “these grants have already proven great potential to positively impact a tenuous situation where access to independent and credible media is essential.” DeBlasio went on to say “this grants program is in-line with the GPD Charitable Trust’s goal to promote stable and peaceful democracy around the world.” Other similar initiatives supported by the foundation include Syria Direct and Dialogue 2.0 BiH.

About Development Transformations
Development Transformations works with donor agencies, host governments, civil society, and other stakeholders to design, implement, and evaluate programs focused on promoting independent media, assisting political transitions, enhancing host nation capacity to provide stable and effective governance, civil society development, monitoring & evaluation, providing technical training and assistance, and political reporting.

Since its founding in 2008, DT has worked in countries throughout Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia on behalf of the USAID, international organizations, private foundations, and Fortune 500 companies. DT currently has offices and multi-year programs in Afghanistan, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, and Yemen.

For further information about DT’s work in Ukraine please contact Tim Fairbank at +12027583617 (Washington, DC) or Alex Grigorievs at +3808484867 (Ukraine) and +37128886629 (Latvia).

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Tim Fairbank
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