This program aims to contribute to sustainable security for human rights organizations in repressive countries. Carefully selected organizations in repressive countries undergo a fully customized organizational digital safety & security transition, guided by experienced digital security experts. Depending on the organizations’ needs, the fellowship includes holistic training for staff, the design of security policies, and the migration of software to a secure system.  

Goals

  1. To scale-up the digital security capacity and information integrity of organizations that support huamn rights defenders (HRDs) and civil society activists (CSAs)  and who are exercising their rights to freedom of expression online.
  2. To support digital security Fellows (trainers and consultants) to work within these organizations.
  3. To complement the existing ecosystem of person-to-person assistance and trainings, while bringing in technical expertise which is traditionally outside the reach of these organizations.

How does it work?
Selected organizations receive over the period of six to eight months* constructive assistance to create a secure environment for their employees and thereby the CSAs and HRDs they work with. The first interaction with an organization will likely be in the form of a visit by a digital security trainer/consultant (Fellow) to complete an initial assessment and discuss the needs and possibilities within the organization in the area of digital integrity. The Fellow will then follow-up with the organization remotely to provide any support needed. A so-called ‘champion’ inside the organization is assigned to lead the transition process and create an internal support base.

Subsequent interventions will largely depend on the first visit, and the implementation plan that was created in agreement between the Fellow and the organization, including some of the following:

  • Digital integrity considerations at a strategic level
  • Information policy development
  • Digital integrity and security capacity building measures
  • Awareness raising and (re-)training processeses
  • Mentoring and support for the identified staff ‘champion’

The various interventions are all performed by the Fellow, with support from fellows within the program’s pool, including mentor Fellows who will support, advise and co-facilitate activities.

Fellows are likely to be career professionals with a proven track record in information security, and the Fellowship gives them a chance to share their skills and experience with a human rights organization, that has identified a gap or need in their digital security situation.

Creative Commons

As we believe in a free and open Internet, this Fellowship is based on a Creative Commons, whereby any institute or organization is free to use the format of this fellowship and we encourage others to re-use and publish our information. Already Open Technology Foundation has made use of this Creative Commons format, and you can apply for a Fellowship grant on their website as well.

If you have interest to apply as an organization for the fellowship, and undergo a security transition, please send email to: digitalintegrity@hivos.org. In your email, explain the following:

  • name of the organization
  • foundation year
  • aim and scope of the activities you/your organization is doing
  • number of staff
  • contact details