Call for projects

Following the successful first edition on the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary, Public Eye will be awarding CHF 20,000 to support two investigative projects led by journalists or NGO researchers in countries where people's rights are being violated by irresponsible companies. This is in recognition of the fact that their critical eye is essential to denounce these injustices which are perpetrated on the other side of the world.

Since 1968, Public Eye (formerly Berne Declaration) has been fighting injustice originating in Switzerland. There have been numerous cases ranging from toxic fuels sold in West Africa, to dodgy drug trials in Egypt, to corruption in Congo’s oil sector. We unveil the illegitimate and illegal practices of Swiss companies and their disastrous consequences for the people in those countries. The Public Eye Investigation Award supports investigative journalism projects in countries where people's rights are being violated by irresponsible companies.

Terms and conditions

The investigation must have a direct link with the activities of Swiss companies and/or Swiss politics. It must shed new light on abusive practices in a developing or emerging country –whether relating to human rights violations, environmental damage, corruption or illegitimate financial activities– and it must be as yet unpublished. The report will be published by Public Eye, but it may also appear in other publications (to be agreed with Public Eye).

Submission of projects

The project is expected to contain a short overview of the project (one A4 page or 400 words maximum) and a brief introduction of the persons conducting the investigation. A draft research plan and a cost estimate must also be provided, as these will also help the jury panel to assess the feasibility of the project. Any other grant already awarded to the project must be mentioned. Detailed rules on submission of projects can be found below or here.

The jury (selection panel)

The jury tasked with selecting the shortlisted project(s) is composed of three external experts and three Public Eye staff.

Criteria for participation

Participation is open to journalists and staff at NGOs or other institutions who are investigating in developing or emerging countries. The projects are to be submitted by 9 March 2020 at the following address: [email protected]. 


More infos

  • 1. Overview

    Public Eye, a Swiss non-governmental organisation, offers a critical view of the impact that Switzerland and Swiss companies have on developing countries.

    Through its Investigation Award, Public Eye is offering financial support to two investigative projects with a direct link to Switzerland (a Swiss company, the Swiss government or a Swiss person, for instance) and referring to one or more developing and/or emerging countries. Such investigative project must uncover unheard-of aspects about problematic practices, be they environmental damage, human rights violations or illegal financial flows.

    This competition is open to journalists and NGO researchers or members of academic institutions publishing journalistic reports.

    The total amount to be allocated to the two shortlisted investigative project(s) is set at CHF 20,000.

  • 2. Deadlines for project submissions, payments and publication

    The investigative projects must be submitted to Public Eye no later than 9 March 2020 at the following address: [email protected]. 

    Half of the amount awarded to the winners will be paid once the jury has reached its decision. The second half will be paid when the investigation report has been submitted. 

    The winner(s) are required to submit their work to Public Eye no later than 31 August 2020.

  • 3. Content of the investigative projects

    A short overview of the project (one A4 page or 400 words maximum), highlighting the novelty element and relevance in the proposed grid (see below for the jury panel’s selection criteria). The investigative project must be exclusive (unpublished material) and must be based on a realistic working hypothesis (based on preliminary research).

    The CV of the candidate(s), who must be journalists or work for an NGO publishing investigative journalism reports.

    The outline research plan (schedule, sources, stages, expected travel, etc.).

    An estimated budget.

  • 4. The winners’ commitment vis-à-vis Public Eye

    The selected winner(s) agree for Public Eye to release the results of their work. The winner(s) will in any case also be able to disseminate their work themselves in coordination with Public Eye. Where appropriate, this coordination will refer specifically to the place and date of first publication of the investigation.

    The projects must be submitted in one of the following languages: English, French, German, Portuguese or Spanish.

  • 5. The jury’s selection criteria

    The jury will select two projects from among the submissions based on the criteria shown in the table above. These criteria will be weighted according to the point scale on the right-hand side column.

  • 6. The jury panel

    The jury will be made up of six members, three of whom will be Public Eye staff.

    The jury reserves the right to select two projects depending on the quality of the submissions.

    The jury allocates CHF 10,000 to each of the two selected projects.

Further information

If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected] or on +

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