DDP’s Mission is to coordinate emergency support and build emergency response capacity for the internet’s critical users, such as bloggers, cyber activists, journalists, human rights defenders, and other civil society activists, whenever and wherever they are under threat through grant making, Rapid Response and the Digital Integrity Fellowship.

DDP’s objectives
1) Increased safety for critical internet users under attack
2) Increased capacity of the digital emergency response ecosystem


  • Our Sustainable Emergency Grants are open again! You can apply for both an Incidental Emergency Grant or a Sustainable Emergency Grant.
  • The DDP will be at the Internet Freedom Festival in Valencia, 6-10 March 2017. We hope to see you there!


OPEN:  Incidental Emergency GrantsFor mitigating digital emergencies | For Journalists, bloggers, human rights activists, small organisations | Up to 10,000 Euro

OPEN: Sustainable Emergency Grants | For longer-term emergency support | NGO’s, media organisations, human rights organisations | 10,000 – 50,000 Euro

CLOSED: Capacity Building GrantsFor strategic investments in the emergency sector | organisations or larger groups of human rights defenders | 50,000 – 100,000 Euro

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About DDP

The Digital Defenders Partnership (DDP) started late 2012 by the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) to advance Internet freedom and to keep the internet open and free from emerging threats, specifically in internet repressive and transitional environments. The program increases and better coordinates emergency support for the internet’s critical users, such as bloggers, cyber activists, journalists, human rights defenders, and other civil society activists, through Grant making and Linking & Learning activities.

The DDP believes that an integrated, holistic response mechanism is needed, including physical, legal, infrastructural and emotional safety in order to respond adequately to Internet emergencies. We call the combination of all the different players in this integrated mechanism of response the Digital Emergency Response Ecosystem. To increase the capacity of the digital emergency response ecosystem we invest in the capacity of individual responders (individuals and organizations) and in the capacity of responders networks. We do this by granting (providing funds) and linking & learning activities (providing services). This has proven very effective the past 3 years. Below is an overview of the players within in the Digital Emergency Response Ecosystem.


The DDP’s approach can be recognised by the following core values:

  • Human rights & Internet freedom
    We work with donors, partners, consultants and grantees committed to the universal human rights instruments and stand for Internet freedom.
  • Trust & Confidentiality
    Trust is essential in emergency situations. Establishing and maintaining trust with partners is highly important to us. Many of our grantees could be endangered if we do not deal with their information in a confidential way.
  • Mentorship & Partnership
    The emergency response field is emerging. We provide a mentorship role. We strive to create a partnership with our grantees on equal footing, looking to best to serve the needs of organizations with advice and connections to our vast network of trusted partners.
  • Quality & Expertise
    There are hardly any quick fixes that have real impact – not even in fast emergency response. To have critical internet users be safe and secure on the long run, qualitative and trusted response that increases resilience is vital. We provide and share the expertise on qualitative emergency responses.
  • Not claiming, but facilitating
    We do not try to stamp our activities with a DDP or Hivos logo. Our aim is to facilitate an emergency response field that works. We want individuals and organizations to have and take ownership of their own interventions, activities and support them to create sustainable activities that stand the test of time.


As from 2016, DDP has started a strategic partnership with 3 organisations, to know Media Legal Defence Initiative, Front Line Defenders and VirtualRoad, as they each fulfil a specific need (legal defence, regional/physical safety and infrastructural responses) for critical Internet users. Together, we will be able to provide quick, holistic emergency response.

The added value of this DDP – FLD – MLDI – VR partnership is created by:

a) More intensive contact and trust relation
b) Referral/sharing of cases
c) Situational analysis from 4 perspectives
d) Shared outreach strategy
e) Fund security/project sustainability

The DDP is currently funded by 6 donors (US state department, Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). DDP is a neutral and independent entity from its donor countries, managed by the INGO Hivos.

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The DDP has three different types of funding that address urgent emergency situations, as well as longer-term grants focused on building capacity within an organisation. We furthermore coordinate a Digital Integrity fellowship, and a Rapid Response Network programme.

Scroll down to read more about the scope of the grants, our grant making process and eligibility criteria. If you want to know about future funding opportunities, please send an email to ddp@hivos.org.




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Incidental Emergency Grants 

To apply for an emergency grant, send an email to ddp@hivos.org.

For who?
Incidental Emergency grants are for rapid support to journalists, human rights defenders, NGOs, activists and bloggers who are facing an urgent digital emergency  because of their online activities.

What kind of projects?
The emergency grants can provide financial emergency assistance that can be used for mitigating digital threats or digital emergencies by way of:

– digital security audit for organizations
– equipment replacements
– secure hosting
– VPN connections
– safe internet connections
– finding legal representation
– payment of legal fees
– other types of urgently needed expenses

Scope of the grant
The incidental emergency grants:

  • Range from 1 – 10,000 Euro
  • Run for a maximum period of 4 months
  • Open to individuals and organizations under attack
  • Process time of proposal max. of 2 weeks

Note that projects are only eligible if there is a digital emergency situation. This type of grant will not support projects addressing digital security issues that are more structural in nature.

Emergency grant process
The grant making process for Emergency Grants consist of the following steps;

  1. Potential grantees can submit their proposal by sending an email to ddp@hivos.org
  2. In your email, explain the following (don’t mention any sensitive info if your project is confidential):
    – name of the project
    – project goal
    – country it takes place in
    – duration of the project (max. 4 months)
    – grant budget requested + explanation
    – your name / you’re organization’s name
    – aim and scope of the activities you/your organization is doing
    – names + contact details of at least 2 references
  3. An initial assessment is made on the DDPs eligibility criteria
  4. The DDP secretariat will review and approve or reject the proposal

The DDP secretariat will inform the potential grantee of the outcome. For questions, email us at ddp@hivos.org

You can also send us encrypted emails, find our PGP keys here: Sanne’s key, Wieke’s key, Frerieke’s key

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By email

ddp (at) hivos.org

Twitter: @DigiDefenders

You can also send us encrypted emails, find our PGP keys here: Sanne’s key, Wieke’s key, Frerieke’s key

By snail mail

Attn. Digital Defenders Partnership
P.O. Box 85565
2508 CG Den Haag
the Netherlands

By phone

+31 (0)70 3765500