Technology at Scale Fund
Ensuring that USAGM audiences can access content safely through firewalls and other government attempts to censor objective news and allow journalists to safely do their work
The Technology at Scale Fund (TAS) seeks to help the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) safely create and deliver content to its online audience in censored environments. Understanding that there may be multiple approaches to helping USAGM audience members circumvent censorship at scale and facilitate secure reporting, content sharing and communications, this fund is not limited to predetermined technologies or methodologies.
Applications to the Technology at Scale fund go through a two-stage process. First, a concept note focusing on the technical approach and potential effectiveness of proposed solutions, as well as the past performance of the tool the applicant submitted. Second, applicants whose proposed solutions are deemed highly competitive will then be invited to submit a full proposal focusing on the specific scope, costing and technical provision of the services to be offered to USAGM.
- 1.Concept Note Submission and Review
- 2.Concept Note Determination: Once we’ve had the chance to review your idea and ask clarifying questions if needed, we’ll contact you and let you know whether your idea has been invited to submit a proposal or declined. If invited to proposal, we’ll specify a date by which you’ll need to submit that. If we’ve declined your idea, we’ll provide you with feedback on why your concept was not approved.
- 3.Proposal Invitation: If invited to proposal, you’ll have the chance to expand beyond the high-level overview you shared with us in your concept note. The biggest difference between your concept note and proposal will be the level of detail around your project’s planned activities and budget. Ideal applicants are specific and cost-conscious in these areas, while drilling down on details that will help make your big-picture idea come to life. You can expect us to contact you with follow-up questions or comments to solicit additional clarifying information; we do this for just about all of the projects we end up supporting. You can find additional proposal-specific guidance in greater detail here.
- 4.Advisory Council Review: OTF’s Advisory Council is made up of a diverse array of subject matter experts who understand various relevant fields and issues as they relate to Internet freedom. In their capacity as Advisory Council members, they provide strategic guidance to OTF, including by reviewing proposals. They are subject matter experts who have a vested interest in OTF funding decisions and are uniquely positioned to bolster our project oversight capacity, expertise, perspective, and accountability. At least two reviews from Advisory Council members are required before a proposal can move forward.
- 5.Proposal Determination: Upon successful review by the OTF team and Advisory Council, we will inform you whether your proposal has been accepted or declined.
- 6.Legal Review: Approved proposals are reviewed by our executive, legal and financial departments. If you reach this stage, an OTF Program Manager will be assigned to work with you on completing this step.
- 7.Contract Issued: Once a contract has been approved, it will be issued to the applicant to sign and return. Note that each contract includes standard provisions for U.S. Government funded agreements.
- 8.Project Oversight: Your assigned OTF Program Manager will be available to assist you for the duration of your contract. All OTF-issued contracts provision for consistent and diligent oversight that go beyond the minimum accountability safeguards and requirements. Please note that payments are only made once OTF determines that contract deliverables have been satisfactorily completed.