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Call for proposals: 2023 UNESCO International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC)

Call for proposals: 2023 UNESCO International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC)

UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) launches a call for project proposals for the 2023 cycle aimed at expanding opportunities for free, independent and pluralistic media. The call is open to local media organizations of UNESCO Member States worldwide, with project proposals from Mekong countries to undergo a preliminary round of screening by the Communication and Information (CI) unit of the UNESCO Bangkok Office.


Established in 1980, UNESCO’s IPDC is the only multilateral forum of the UN system designed to mobilize the international community around media development issues. The IPDC acts as a laboratory for ideas on emerging and pressing media policy issues; moreover, it offers seed funding to media development projects by grassroots and local actors tackling media issues on the ground. For over 40 years, more than 2,200 projects globally have been supported by the IPDC, with US$115 million channeled to media development.

As the focal point for Mekong countries, the UNESCO Bangkok Office will collect, assess and submit quality project proposals to the IPDC Bureau for further examination and potential approval. Final decisions will be made by a panel of UNESCO Member States that have been elected to the IPDC Bureau.


The IPDC Bureau supports projects that aim at one or more of the following:

  • Supporting media pluralism (particularly community media) and independence (improving self-regulation and professional standards)
  • Promoting the safety of journalists
  • Countering hate speech in media and social media; promoting conflict-sensitive journalism
  • Practicing and/or promoting cross-cultural/cross-religious dialogue among journalists
  • Supporting law reform to foster media independence
  • Conducting media assessments and research based on UNESCO's Media Development Indicators (MDIs), the Gender Sensitive Indicators for the Media (GSIM), the Internet Universality Indicators, the Journalists' Safety Indicators, or the Media Viability Indicators
  • Engaging in capacity-building for journalists and media managers, including improving journalism education (e.g. utilizing one of UNESCO's handbooks for journalism education)

Budget allowance

A minimum of US$10,000 and a maximum of US$35,000


  • Projects submitted by organizations such as press, radio and television, media training institutes, professional journalist's organizations, media development agencies, universities and journalism schools, and community media organizations
  • National/Regional projects submitted by and/or for countries covered by the UNESCO Bangkok Office: Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam

Note: IPDC prioritizes projects with the potential to serve as innovative pilots and pays particular attention to proposals from least-developed, landlocked and small island countries, as well as those in conflict or post-conflict situations.

It is strongly recommended that proposals consider the adaptation or use of UNESCO resources, such as UNESCO’s journalism education handbooks; in addition, proposals should take into consideration, wherever possible, UNESCO’s current global priorities: Africa and Gender Equality.

Application and selection process

For media stakeholders interested in submitting a proposal and learning more about IPDC’s guidelines, useful materials may be found in the attachments accompanying this announcement.

As general guidance:

  • Carefully read the Guidelines of IPDC Project Submission Template to understand its terms;
  • Complete the Submission Template for IPDC Proposals; and
  • Send the completed template by e-mail to: ci.bgk(at)unesco.org.

Deadline for submissions
31 January 2023

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted by UNESCO Bangkok via email by 9 February 2023.

For more information about IPDC: https://www.unesco.org/en/international-programme-development-communication?hub=668