What is ACCAN Grants Program?

The ACCAN Grants Program is an initiative that supports research, representation, or education projects that address issues for telecommunications consumers in Australia. Applications are judged by an independent panel according to the Program’s assessment process which is competitive, merit-based and guided by assessment criteria.

 

Background

Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) is Australia’s peak body for consumer representation in communications. ACCAN’s vision is for communications services that are trusted, inclusive and available for all. Our work covers emerging consumer and technology issues and aims to inspire, inform and enable consumers to act in their own interests.

ACCAN is a not-for-profit community organisation and has a broad range of individual and organisational members. We work on behalf of all consumers, small businesses and not-for-profit organisations.

The ACCAN Grants Program (the Program) is administered as part of our funding agreement with the Department of Communications and the Arts to fund projects that help achieve our vision.

 

Objectives

The ACCAN Grants Program focuses on outcomes for communications consumers. Through the Program we seek to enable consumers to navigate the communications market, and to establish a sound body of evidence for representation on behalf of the communications consumer.

The Program is designed to:

  • support ACCAN’s ongoing consumer education objective;
  • to represent and maintain diverse consumer interests at the core of policy developments and industry initiatives; and
  • to support the provision of well researched, evidence based input into government and industry consultations.

 

Funding

Expressions of Interest for the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network’s (ACCAN’s) 2020 Grants Round are now open, with up to $100,000 available for successful projects.

 

Eligibility

Projects may produce outputs of different sorts in order to address consumer needs and deliver outcomes. For example, your project may fit into one, or more, of these areas:

  • Research – applied research into the social, economic, environmental or technological effects, experiences and implications of communications for consumers. These projects should use appropriate methodologies to document a particular communications consumer issue or explore the experience of a group of communications consumers. Outputs can include, for example, baseline data sets, research reports that detail fieldwork and findings, and articles.
  • Education – that empowers consumers and communities to act in their own interests in relation to communications issues. These projects might include developing consumer education tools, conducting workshops, or peer education initiatives where systemic or emerging communications consumer issues exist. Education may be on topics such as billing issues, how to make a complaint about phone or internet services, consumer rights in relation to communications services, or digital literacy.
  • Representation – of the interests of consumers in relation to communications issues. These projects might involve action such as developing specific submissions, undertaking policy work, participating in regulatory reviews or knowledge sharing to develop your group’s capacity to advocate on consumer issues. Projects that fall under this category can be directed, for example, towards regulatory bodies, industry or consumers themselves.

Projects may address the needs of large numbers of consumers, or significant needs of smaller numbers of consumers, or both.

In order to be eligible for assessment, applications must be completed and submitted prior to the advertised deadline and meet all eligibility criteria. Applications that are late, incomplete, or ineligible will not be assessed by the Panel. Applications must:

  • Be for a project that seeks to explore communications consumer issues in Australia, and be consistent with ACCAN’s scope
  • Be for a project that begins after 1 st July 2019.
  • Be for a project that:
    • completes before 30th June 2020 if applying under the Education & Representation Stream
    • completes before 30th June 2020 if applying under the Research Stream project and requesting under $50,000.
    • completes before 30th June 2021 if applying under the Research Stream and requesting over $50,000
  • Provide a valid ABN.
  • Declare that should they be successful they will provide evidence of Public Liability Insurance with coverage up to $5 million.
  • Have successfully acquitted any previous funding under the ACCAN Grants Program.
  • Not request funding for any of the ineligible activities listed.

 

2020 Round Priority Themes

It is critical that applications are framed in terms of a specific consumer problem and describe how the project addresses that problem. Research Stream applications also need to demonstrate alignment with one of the below Priority Themes. Priorities are formulated in consultation with ACCAN’s stakeholders.

  • Telecommunications issues for particular communities
    E.g. Small Business, remote indigenous, access issues
  • Embedded networks
    E.g. Aged care facilities; apartment blocks; consumer experience.
  • Emerging technology
    E.g. Automated decision making; Artificial Intelligence for people with disability or
    rural, regional, remote consumers.
  • Fixed line voice services
    E.g. Affordability, reliability.
  • Non-price factors and their effect on purchasing decisions
  • Consumer privacy and security
    Eg. E-safety and parental controls (usage, uptake, consumer behavior)
  • Other topics which can demonstrate direct alignment with ACCAN’s strategic plan may also be considered.

 

Timing

Applications close 25 February 2020.

 

More Information