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Government of India and UNDP Media Fellowships on Decentralized Planning - 2015

The Planning Commission, Government of India (GoI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) invite applications from journalists working or willing to work in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha for a Media Fellowship Programme on Decentralized Planning. This Fellowship Programme is being managed by OneWorld Foundation India. The last date for submission of applications is 25-12-2014. Last date for the submission of application: December 25, 2014.

The fellowship aims to strengthen public awareness and engagement on issues of decentralized planning. As articulated in the 2006 Report of the Expert Group on Planning at the Grassroots Level, decentralized planning is a process wherein various social groups, communities, Panchayats and municipal bodies and relevant government departments identify development priorities in their area (Panchayat, Block or District) and participate in the planning process aimed at addressing these priorities. Decentralized planning and implementation is widely regarded as a powerful tool to address challenges such as poor service delivery, social exclusion and disparities across varied geographical areas and communities.

Since 2004, UNDP has partnered with the Government of India on different interventions on decentralized planning and related issues.

The fellowship is open to mainstream media journalists (including freelance) from print, electronic and radio media (including community radio) and news agencies/wires. Journalists working for online news media websites may also apply. The fellowship is for a period of six months, from January-June, 2015. There are six fellowships, three each for Madhya Pradesh and Odisha. The working language will be English, Hindi or Odia.

Interested journalists will be expected to spend a significant amount of their research time in rural areas to report on decentralised planning and implementation processes. OneWorld will provide mentorship support to each of the fellows during the fellowship period.


During the fellowship period (six months), each fellow is expected to write/publish, broadcast or telecast the following in media outlets:

  • News stories / spot reports, feature stories, opinion pieces or analytical pieces on decentralization and decentralized planning to be published or broadcast or telecast in the media:

Print Media Journalist

Television Journalist

Radio Journalist

Five reports (each of at least 500 words)

Five reports (each of 2-15 minutes duration) depending upon the slot with the news channel

Five reports (each of 2-30 minutes duration)

  • One 5,000-word analytical piece / write-up on the issue(s) related to decentralized planning, which could be published in a reputed magazine or journal. Electronic media and radio journalists can submit an analytical piece / write-up or broadcast or telecast a 15-minute documentary through their radio/ TV channels;
  • The fellows must acknowledge the support of  The Government of India-UNDP Media Fellowships on Decentralized Planning – 2015 when they publish, broadcast, or telecast the articles or reports they produce under the fellowship;
  • GoI and UNDP may reproduce the materials developed under the fellowship programme giving due credit to the newspaper/journal/magazine/TV or radio channel, which primarily publishes, broadcasts or telecasts  them;
  • As part of their fellowship, the fellows must attend workshops organised in their respective states under the Fellowship programme for sharing of knowledge, experiences or new information and inputs. They will be notified in advance about the workshops;
  • The fellows also need to participate in Google Hangouts/ webinars, which will be organised under this programme;
  • Print media journalists must submit the original clippings of the published articles, along with the date and the name of publication;
  • Electronic media journalists must submit the video and audio CDs of their output, along with the date of telecast/broadcast and the name of channel/station;
  • All fellows have to submit photographs of the areas they worked in and the people they interviewed;
  • Each fellow will submit a fellowship completion report at the end of the period putting in perspective all contributions made during the fellowship assignment.

Timeline of Deliverables

The fellows will have to submit four out of the six deliverables within four months from the commencement of the fellowship.

Application Process

Fellowship applicants must send their applications with the following documents:

  • A copy of their curriculum vitae (CV);
  • A letter of support from the applicant's editor/ producer stating that the final output (stories, news reports, features, opinion pieces etc.) will be published/broadcast/telecast by the affiliated media group. Freelance journalists can submit a letter of recommendation from a media group or a publication indicating its willingness to publish/ broadcast/ telecast her/ his work. Applications without the editors’/producers’ undertaking will not be considered;
  • Applicants must submit a comprehensive fellowship proposal outlining:
    1. The region (state/district) their proposal is focused on;
    2. The subjects and story ideas that the applicant proposes to focus on, including a strategy for each of the five stories that they will publish;
    3. A draft outline for the 5,000-word analytical write up or 15-minute video documentary / audio record (as the case may be) to be submitted to OneWorld Foundation India;
    4. Tentative travel plans;
  • Print/online journalists are also expected to provide a sample of their published work on a development issue. ‘Published work’ implies article(s) written by the journalist that have been published in any national or regional newspaper, magazine, or news website/portal. All submissions must include the date of publication, ideally within the last six months.
  • Television and radio journalists must provide one sample (on CDs) of their telecast/broadcast programme on a development issue, as well as a summary of the programme. All submissions must include the date of broadcast/telecast and the channel/station where it was aired, ideally within the last six months;
  • A jury of eminent editors and media professionals will review the applications, including fellowship proposal and sample of published work or telecast/broadcast material and select the media fellows;
  • The applicants will be given a chance to refine their proposals post selection, if the jury so recommends.

The last date for submission of applications is December 25, 2014.


To support their research study and writing through the six-month period, the fellows will each receive a total stipend of Rs. 1,50,000 (Rupees One lakh and Fifty Thousand Ony) subject to tax deductions at source.

  • In addition, each fellow will be reimbursed Rs. 40,000 (Rs Forty thousand) for travel and accommodation and another Rs. 10,000 (Rs Ten thousand) for books and periodicals needed for research (reimbursement will be made after receipt of an invoice for these expenses).
  • The travel allowance should cover at least two legs of travel, which in effect means at least two field trips.
  • The stipend will be paid out in three instalments:
    1. 20 percent at the end of the first month/commencement of the fellowship.
    2. 30 per cent at the end of four months, subject to submission of the stipulated number of articles within the four-month period.
    3. 50 per cent upon successful completion of the fellowship and submission of the deliverables.
    4. Travel expenses will be reimbursed on actuals as and when the fellows submit invoices.

Applications for the fellowship should be addressed by email to:

Download the application form here.

Please mention clearly in the subject line: “Application for The Government of India -UNDP Media Fellowships on Decentralized Planning - 2015”


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