About ICS

The Institute of Communication Studies is a leading research organization in the field of journalism and media studies, public relations and corporate communications. Our mission is to contribute towards strengthening of Macedonian democracy by working with media, civil society and public institutions, educating a critical public that will ask for greater transparency and accountability through engagement in the policy creation process.


Call for awarding grants for initiating solutions for local environmental issues

The Institute of Communication Studies (ICS), in partnership with the Macedonian Ecological Society (MES), is announcing a Call for grants for civil society organizations from regions with protected areas (Ohrid, Prespa, Demir Kapija, Tikvesh, Strumica and Pelagonija) that will offer initiatives for solving local problems related to environmental protection. This Call is part of the project “Shaping Environmental Policy through Local Action” implemented by ICS with financial support from the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR). The Call will select six civil society organizations – one from each region. The application of each organization should include partnership with one high school with which they will jointly and equally implement the initiative.

Objectives of this Call:

  • Capacity building of the civil society organizations and high school students for solving environmental protection issues through public interest campaigns, lobbying and advocacy;
  • Increased pressure on the public institutions for solving environmental issues by involving the citizens in the decision making process which is based on research and reasoned data.

Priority topics:

The CSOs are expected to propose solution to a local problem that denies them the basic human right to a healthy environment, through public interest campaigns and involvement of all stakeholders. The initiatives should pertain to one of the following topics:

  1. Water, air and soil pollution

(Water, air and soil are mediums that are constantly polluted. Our country is breaking the record for average air pollution every year, and the pollution of rivers and lakes with pesticides, organic pollutants, industrial waste and plastics is something that is happening continuously. These environmental issues are complex and require great engagement and involvement of all stakeholders).

  1. Use of natural resources

(Our country has a long history of looking at nature solely as a resource that will be endlessly present in the future. However, the unreasonable and irresponsible use of natural resources (water, wood, minerals) significantly affects the quality of the environment. Establishing sustainable practices and treating nature not only as a resource but also as a network of ecosystems is the only way we can protect nature).

  1. Promotion and protection of environmentally significant areas and biodiversity

(Macedonia has a small and underdeveloped network of protected areas. These areas are a haven for biodiversity and major places for recreation and field education. There are many other protected areas that are smaller and need help in terms of better management and studying.)


CSOs can offer any of the following activities, and they are not limited to the following:

  • Data-driven research for assessing the local environmental issue.
  • Promoting environmental education among the local community, young people and other stakeholders.
  • Organizing events and activities for involving citizens in the decision-making process on local environmental issues.
  • Production of media content for informing and presenting results.
  • Activities for using legal mechanisms and litigations for protection of human rights that are violated due to an environmental issue. *
  • Engage experts to assess the effects of the proposed measures and policies.

* Note: The grant cannot be used for litigations (court proceedings), but only for development of strategy and reasoned evidence necessary for implementation of the initiative.

Who can apply?

The Call is open for the following:

  1. All civil society organizations registered in the Republic of North Macedonia in accordance with the Law on Citizen Associations and Foundations, with the exception of political parties and religious organizations (the associations should have a business portfolio of at least two years and work on projects in the area of environment);
  2. The informal, non-profit, civic initiatives (groups and movements) may also apply. The civic initiatives should not be linked to political parties and officials. In the application, the initiatives should appoint a coordinator who will be in charge of implementation of the activities (the initiatives should have at least two years of experience in implementing various types of activities in the area of environment).

A prerequisite for both groups (CSOs/ informal initiatives) is to have a partnership with a high school in their region. The partner school will be expected to nominate 15 high school students and appoint one teacher (coordinator) who will be involved in the activities planned: eco-camp that lasts several days, attendance on events organized within the initiative, planning and implementation of the public interest campaign, final event etc. The partnership is proved by attaching a letter of intent, signed by the school management and the civil society organization. If the applicant organization submits an application independently, that is, without a partnership with a high school from the same region, the application will not be accepted for further evaluation.

Evaluation and selection of applications

All applications will be evaluated in accordance with the following criteria:

  • Administrative check of the completeness and accuracy of the submitted application template and the accompanying documents, in accordance with the Checklist. Applications that fail the administrative review will not be accepted for further evaluation.
  • Coherence of the mission and vision of the organization with the project objectives „Shaping Environmental Policy through Local Action“.
  • Clearly defined local issue that prevents the basic human right to healthy environment.
  • Clearly defined solution for the local issue that prevents the basic human right to healthy environment.
  • Harmonization between the initiative and the priority topics mentioned in this Call.
  • Capacity of the applicant to manage grants (project management experience, team competency)

The six grantees will be selected according to geographical diversity: one civic association/ initiative in partnership with one high school from one region.

Financial and other assistance

The total budget for awarding grants to civil society organizations is 30,000 euros. A total of six grants will be awarded within this Call, each in a maximum amount of up to 5,000 euros in denar counter value. For each grantee – civil society organization and school, ICS and MES will organize a set of trainings for developing a plan for public interest campaign, EU small grant management and mentoring for implementation of the approved initiatives. The duration of the individual projects will be seven months, excluding the training period. The total activity with the six grantees is 15 months. The budget should cover all costs that are directly related to the implementation of the planned activities, including salaries, fees, travel expenses, office expenses, for promotion and public representation, etc. The budget should reflect the partnership with the high school, including costs for the school coordinators and students that will result from the implementation of the activities. The amount of the administrative costs in relation to the total direct costs of the project can be up to 7%. The financial payments for implementation of the activities of the informal associations will be made through the ICS. The Budget Guideline includes detailed instructions on preparing the Budget.

Applying for the grant

The CSOs/ initiatives should submit the following:s

  1. Application form (download here)
  2. Letter of intent (download here)
  3. Budget (download here). Instructions for Budget preparation (download here)
  4. Document for official registration of the applicant organization (scanned)
  5. Current standing document, not older than 6 months (scanned)

The documents should be emailed to: ; with Subject: „SHAPE: Call for awarding grants“. The deadline for submitting the application is 16 October (Friday) 2020. If you have any questions related to this Call, feel free to contact us at: , no later than 05.10.2020. Contact person: Leyla Saban E-mail: Phone: 02 30 90 004

This content is prepared as part of the project “Shaping Environmental Policy Through Local Action”, implemented by the Institute for Communication Studies in partnership with the Macedonian Ecological Society, with financial support from the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).