The 'innovation in development reporting grant programme' focuses on rewarding creative methods of reporting that are relevant to the millennium development goals (MDGs). A budget of more than €300,000 will be shared between the winning projects.
"We plan to have another 16 this time," Wilfried Rüttens, director of the European Journalism Centre, told Journalism.co.uk, "so with a few more rounds there will be a lot to keep track of."
At present, applications must have a target audience in European countries which spend the most on international development, although Rüttens would like to include more countries in future rounds.
"Belgium is not on the list because they are not one of the big spenders in development assistance," he said, "but they have a long tradition of involvement with the Congo and other African countries."
A number of Belgian project co-ordinators had already been in touch, said Rüttens, but the current scope of the programme means they are not eligible. The eligible countries are France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
Winners from the first round of grants, announced in June, include a crowdsourced, data-driven investigation of land grabbing in Africa; an interactive investigation into Dutch initiatives surrounding the MDGs; the mapping of official Italian development funds to projects around the world; and reports into reducing the digital divide in India, Uruguay and Egypt. Sixteen projects were funded in total.
Rüttens said in June that they had initially received lots of applications that were "basically enabling projects", but that was not why the programme was established.
"They were not focussed on the reporting output so much," he said, "but on enabling people in the field or on enabling networks to function better.
"That has not been the focus and we will have to address that for later stages."