Call For Applications: Africa Digital Rights Fund

Call For Applications: Africa Digital Rights Fund

The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) is pleased to issue the third call for proposals to the Africa Digital Rights Fund (ADRF), which supports digital rights work across the continent through flexible and rapid response grants.

The current call is particularly interested in proposals for work related to Covid-19 response measures, how they affect the internet rights landscape, and how to redress any resulting harms to rights and freedoms. This effort is essential because, even in pandemic times, governments must respect rights and not abuse emergency powers. Moreover, many actors need access to credible information and research to inform their own work on awareness-raising and holding authorities to account during and in the aftermath of Covid-19.

Digital technologies are playing a role in enhancing Covid-19 disease surveillance, coordinating response mechanisms, and promoting public awareness. However, some technology-based response measures could harm the enjoyment of digital rights, particularly the right to privacy and personal data protection, freedom of expression and association online during and post- Covid-19. Indeed, since the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, CIPESA and a number of digital rights organisations have taken a keen interest in issues of misinformation, censorship and surveillance.

However, while the current scenario requires proactive and sustained digital rights advocacy, many digital rights organisations, especially smaller ones, need funds to sustain their work, credible research to inform their engagements, and support for their advocacy campaigns.

Launched in April 2019, the ADRF supports organisations and networks to implement activities that advance digital rights, including advocacy, litigation, research, policy analysis, movement building, digital literacy and digital security skills building. The inaugural round of ADRF awarded USD 65,000 to 10 initiatives advancing digital rights in Algeria, Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal, South Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The second call for applications saw a total of USD 152,000 awarded to 14 initiatives that are advancing digital rights through various projects in 18 African countries – Algeria, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, Somaliland, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Grant amounts for this round will range between USD 1,000 and USD 20,000, depending on the need and scope of the proposed intervention. The ADRF strongly encourages cost-sharing. The grant period will not exceed six months.

The deadline for submissions is Friday August 7, 2020. Read more about the ADRF round three guidelines here.  The application form can be accessed here.

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