COVID-19 & Digital Rights Rapid Response Fund

The Secretariat of the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms Coalition announces the launch of the Coalition’s COVID-19 & Digital Rights Rapid Response Fund. The Fund is an extension of the Strategic Advocacy Fund that forms part of the project “Securing human rights online in Africa through a strong and active ‘African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms’ network” (AfDec project).

In launching the Rapid Response Fund, the Secretariat invites Coalition members to apply for small grants of up to USD 6,000 for national-level emergency response initiatives aimed at ensuring the promotion and protection of human rights online in response to existing national internet-related policies and COVID-19 prevention, containment and treatment policies.

Main purpose of this small grant programme: The COVID-19 & Digital Rights Rapid Response Fund aims to facilitate strategic interventions by Coalition members as they monitor and respond to the implementation of existing internet-related policies and national COVID-19 prevention, containment and treatment policies that involve digital technologies. Specifically, the Fund will help Coalition members to respond to threats to, or violations of, online rights at national level through the various strategies outlined in the AfDec project objectives.

Over the past month, civil society organisations and human rights and digital rights activists have highlighted a range of human rights violations as the continent responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the violations relate to the exercise and/or facilitation of the enjoyment of citizens’ rights through the internet. The Secretariat sees this as an opportune moment for Coalition members to advocate for an open and free internet that promotes human rights as articulated in the African Declaration’s 13 principles.

Activities that are eligible for support include:

  • Convening of online strategic national policy debates and dialogues.
  • Participation in online strategic national policy debates, dialogues and decision-making forums.
  • Research papers, issue briefs, statements, and positions papers.
  • Litigation aimed at striking down laws, legal provisions, regulations, policies, etc. that threaten or violate internet/digital rights or freedoms; challenging administrative or other actions that threaten or violate internet/digital rights or freedoms at national level.

Applying for funding:

The Secretariat will be accepting and approving applications for support from 22 April to 15 May 2020. Applications must be submitted to the AfDec Secretariat through the AfDec Coordinator koliwe@apc.org using the “Application for support form”.

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