As part of our commitment to supporting and cultivating secure and inclusive digital spaces, we are excited to announce a call for proposals targeting initiatives led by women and/or youth that are focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This initiative aims to open doors and support small formal and informal initiatives, grassroots organizations, and individuals/activists advocating for SRHR policies and practices, online. 

Background

The subject of SRHR in the West Asia and North Africa (WANA) region has always been deprecated due to social control and intervention by government and religious authorities. This ongoing situation exposes young people (YP), married and unmarried women, and marginalized groups to a multitude of risks, including exclusion, discrimination, and violence that directly impact their ability to exercise their SRHR. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing political and economic crises in the region continue to challenge the advancement of SRHR for these communities.

Additionally, limited education and awareness about SRHR, cultural and societal norms, gender inequalities, and social media platforms’ policies often perpetuate negative attitudes and discriminatory treatment toward SRHR in our region. It leaves individuals without sufficient resources and, at times, without life-saving information. Women and marginalized groups, in particular, bear the disproportionate burden of this gap. 

Purpose of the MasarTech Fund

The MasarTech Fund aims to foster and strengthen the development of innovative strategies and approaches in the field of SRHR. In this call, we invite civil actors to engage with SRHR knowledge and activities through different tools that advance the dialogue of SRHR and other relevant practices. 

The MasarTech Fund will mainly focus on supporting projects related to advocacy as a whole, in addition to campaigning, influencing, and capacity strengthening. 

Owing to the sensitive nature of SRHR projects, the platform will implement stringent security measures to safeguard the data of everyone involved. 

The call also welcomes applications from individuals/activists.

Details of the MasarTech Fund

SMEX is offering two Fund channels: 

Applicants shall choose one of the two channels, depending on the type of project they are interested in implementing. 

1- Capacity Strengthening Channel

  • Open for individuals, activists, organizations (formal and informal), initiatives
  • Projects related to capacity strengthening in the scope of SRHR online
  • The budget allocated for this sub-granting is up to 15,000 USD. 
  • Fund duration: up to 6 months
  • Region: West Asia and North Africa

2- Project Channel 

  • Open for grassroots organizations (formal and informal), initiatives
  • Partnerships between different organizations are also welcome
  • Projects related to SRHR advocacy, influencing and campaigning or other innovative strategies
  • The budget allocated for this sub-granting is up to 50,000 USD. 
  • Fund Duration: 6 to 12 months
  • Region: West Asia and North Africa

Call opening date: May 13, 2024
Deadline for application: June 30, 2024

Areas of Interest 
SRHR
Digital rights and SRHR
SRHR, Intersectionality and Digital Rights 
Intersection between feminism and SRHR

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants that are individuals/activists or organizations (formal or informal, registered or not registered) led by women and/or youth in all their diversities. 
  • Applicants that are individuals/activists or organizations (formal or informal, registered or not registered) that adopt a proven feminist approach in their work.
  • Applicants are individuals/activists or organizations (formal or informal, registered or not registered) that target women, youth, and other marginalized groups, including the LGBTQIA+ community, people living with disabilities, migrant workers, or refugees in local communities or at a regional level in the WANA region.
  • Applicants that are established, working, or supporting communities in Egypt, Tunisia, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, or Iraq.
  • Applicants that are individuals/activists or organizations (formal or informal, registered or not registered) and not part of Masarouna, are eligible to apply.

Proposal Criteria

  • Applicants must comply with the online application form and format
  • Ensure that the proposal utilizes appropriate terminology, inclusive of diverse perspectives and experiences related to SRHR. 
  • Applicants must clearly define how the proposal addresses specific challenges and gaps related to SRHR.

Expected Deliverables

General expected deliverables will be as follows: 

  • Applicants shall fill and submit the MasarTech fund application along with a budget plan and logical framework.
  • Applicants shall implement their project according to the timeframe and budget plan.
  • Applicants are responsible for preparing, managing, and reporting on the project. SMEX will support the reporting.
  • Applicants shall adhere to SMEX policies in the event that their organizations/initiatives do not possess their own policies. If the organizations/initiatives have their own policies, they shall be shared with SMEX.
  • Applicants such as individuals/ activists shall adhere to SMEX policies. 

Additional deliverables will be outlined in the contract if proposal is granted. 

Selection Process 

  • Shortlisting: The submitted proposals are evaluated by the review panel. They assess the proposals based on feasibility, innovation, impact, alignment with grant objectives, and potential for success. 
  • Virtual Interview (First Step): The shortlisted candidates are contacted and invited for a virtual interview. This interview will further assess the candidates’ understanding of their project, capabilities, and potential for effectively implementing the proposed initiative.
  • Second Interview: If necessary, candidates might be contacted for a second interview, which may delve deeper into their proposals, address any outstanding questions or concerns, and assess their readiness for receiving the grant.
  • Selection of the Proposal: The selection committee carefully evaluates proposals and considers various factors, including the quality of the proposal, the interview performance, and the overall fit with the grant’s objectives. Based on this evaluation, the committee selects the proposals that best aligns with their criteria and supports it with the grant.
  • Digital Security Training and Capacity-Building Support: The grantees will receive additional digital security training and capacity-building support once the selected proposal is determined. 

If interested, please find the link below for your reference and for any questions or clarifications, please send us an e-mail to Alissar Zaghlout on alissar@smex.org.

SMEX is a non-profit organization at the forefront of the digital rights movement in West Asia and North Africa. We advocate for digital spaces that foster freedom, accessibility, inclusivity, and security for all.