Deadline: August 5, 2019
Within the framework of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development and its Working Group on Freedom of Expression and addressing Disinformation, UNESCO’s Communication and Information Sector (CI) launches a new Request For Proposals (RFP).
The initiative encourages researchers to put in proposals to conduct a research report on the various efforts being taken around the world to counter the abuse of broadband for the dissemination of what diverse actors may define as disinformation.
The research should analyse the different modalities of responses based on empirical data from all parts of the world, with the findings presented mainly at a level of generality which extrapolates key trends.
Overall, the research should seek to provide insights that can stimulate creativity and innovation in tackling problems in broadband use while reinforcing freedom of expression and sustainable development, as well as help set agendas for future research.
The study should also aim to provide useful resources for stakeholders including governments, courts, regulators, educators, companies, academia, media, civil society organizations and others.
To this end, the research should include a “gap analysis” through reviewing studies, surveys, and other research about this phenomenon. It should give an assessment of the different modalities of response to disinformation, at a general level, and in terms of the costs, benefits and risks of each modality from the point of view of freedom of expression and ICT contribution to sustainable development. Based on this, the study should recommend proposals for the way ahead.
The framing of this project is founded on the universal right to freedom of expression, and the importance of ensuring that measures concerning disinformation do not impact negatively on the essence of this right.
UNESCO invites interested researchers, institutions, research consortia, entities and organizations to submit proposals which should include comments on the Terms of Reference, detailed description of the research methodology, description of the proposed team, including updated CV, deliverables, timeline requested funding, and what the researchers can offer in terms of promotion of the final study. To ensure that experience is covered internationally, consortia of researchers from different countries are encouraged. Proposers may wish to suggest outcomes that can be scaled in terms of differing budget options.
The research should be produced over a maximum of six months, with an interim report due mid-way. The outcome should be a publishable report in mother-tongue level English, of approximately 100 pages, plus references, and including a 12-page Executive Summary for translation. Oversight and final editing will be by a working group of Broadband Commissioners as well as external experts in the field. The final document will be published by the Broadband Commission under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0).
UNESCO, therefore, invites interested researchers and organizations to submit their proposals, according to these Terms of Reference, by email to before noon (CET), 5 August 2019 to J.Hironaka@unesco.org(link sends e-mail).