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Offer: Digital Defenders Programme: Grant Fact Sheet

The Digital Defenders Partnership is a grant-making mechanism that coordinates digital emergency response and provides financial support through three types of grants.
Emergency Grants to critical internet users facing an urgent digital emergency in internet repressive environments. These grants provide direct (legal) advice and financial and other support to individuals with emergencies relating to cyber attacks, compromising of accounts and devices and secure connections.

Direct Support Grants aimed at providing advice and support to organisations suffering from digital attacks and seeking to improve their digital security apparatus, set up temporary help desks or test and research specific threats.
Strategic partnerships to NGOs and professionals working to strengthen the digital emergency field.

What constitutes an emergency?
An emergency is an urgent need for assistance arising from threats to the individual’s or organisation’s security. A digital threat can range from cyber attacks to loss of property or equipment and legal proceedings.

Types of emergency support
Emergency grants are intended to provide small and timely financial emergency assistance to individuals and organisations who are suffering from a cyber attack. Emergency grants can provide a maximum of 5,000 USD, run for a maximum period of four months and can be awarded within one week.
The grant can be used for urgent needs such as:
-digital security audits for organisations • equipment replacement
-secure hosting
-VPN connections
-safe internet connections
-finding legal representation
-payment of legal fees
-other types of urgently needed expenses

Who can apply?
Journalists, human rights defenders, NGOs, activists and bloggers who come under attack because of their online activities in internet repressive and transitional countries and are in need of immediate financial emergency assistance.

What constitutes a digital threat?
A digital threat faced by organisations working on human rights, media or blogging can range from cyber attacks, unsafe data use, compromising of devices or weak digital security practices.

Types of direct support
Direct Support Grants are intended to provide small and timely financial support. Direct support grants can provide a maximum of 50,000 USD, run for a maximum period of one year and can be awarded within a minimum of one month.

The grant can be used to:
-Provide temporary helpdesk or other support needed to mitigate a specific digital emergency situation that affects a larger group of independent media, human rights defenders, journalists, bloggers and activists. These emergencies can arise during elections, periods of protest or other politically sensitive times.
-Kick start the digital security of journalists, activists, human rights defenders and blogging organisations by engaging in a security assessment and implementing the subsequent recommendations that focus on infrastructure, incidence response procedures and/or digital security training. The following can fall under infrastructure: web hosting, secure mail hosting, encryption, burner devices, VPN or equipment replacement.
-Test and research a specific threat to the critical internet user in a specific repressive country.

Who can apply?
Human rights defenders-, media- and bloggers organisations that mitigate their own or others’ digital emergencies in internet repressive and transitional environments.

Strategic partnership grants are meant for those organisations that are working to target a specific need and build capacity on this need in the digital emergency response field. Emergency response capacity can be both technical, personal protection and organisational development. The support can only be awarded if it concerns a project in internet repressive and transitional countries.
Who can apply?
NGOs and professionals working to strengthen the digital emergency field, or working to mitigate threats in a specific repressive country.

Emergency and direct support grant applications will be assessed and approved or rejected by the DDP secretariat. An independent Investment Committee will review the strategic grants. The following criteria will be used for assessing the applications:
-Nature of emergency support: the project must fall within the aim of the Digital Defenders Partnership, i.e. provide emergency response to urgent digital threats to critical internet users and/or keeping the internet open and free
Activities concern repressive and transitional environments
-The activities benefit critical internet users, independent media, human rights defenders, journalists, bloggers and activists
-Need and context assessment
-Technical need, feasibility and security
-Value for money
-Organisational track record
-The DDP secretariat will inform the potential grantee about the outcome.

Applications for emergency and direct support grants can be submitted by completing the online grant application format on our website
Potential grantees for strategic grants can submit their proposal to the DDP secretariat via email at
If you are in need of direct assistance or have questions about digital emergencies you can also send an email to the DDP secretariat at

For more information on the Digital Defenders Partnership please look at, contact us via email at or follow us on Twitter @DigiDefenders.

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