The Internet Rights for Emerging Voices project was designed to empower local organizations and individuals seeking to advocate on behalf of a free, fair, and open internet in their communities. Building off of our past projects' successes in strengthening the digital rights community, iREV turned Internews' focus to communities and regions in which little to no internet freedom advocacy efforts are being conducted. Through this project we have supported 15 emerging digital rights leaders working to incorporate digital rights principles into their own work.
The SafeSister Fellowship is a joint initiative of Internews and Defend Defenders that seeks to address the growing threats that women in East Africa face on the internet, including online harassment, violence, and hate speech. The project provides support for digital safety training, mentorship and guidance to tech-savvy women in East Africa to become digital safety trainers in their own communities. This year-long program equips fellows with the technical expertise and funding to train women and girls in their own communities on how to stay safe online.
Business and Human Rights
The Business and Human Rights (BHR) project expands upon Internews’ traditional expertise in digital rights advocacy to incorporate the private sector and concepts of social corporate responsibility. This project, led by Global Partners Digital and a consortium of leading tech companies, networks, academics and civil society organizations, aims to increase the level of protection of and respect for human rights by tech companies globally. The project, as a whole, will place greater pressure on national and international policymakers with regards to business and human rights issues as they relate to the tech sector.
Enhancing Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration
In partnership with the Global Network Initiative (GNI), Internews will support civil society actors in Latin America, Africa, and South Asia to engage with tech companies on the issues critical to digital rights in their particular jurisdictions. To achieve this, Internews will support these organizations to attend GNI meetings and events and provide mentorship on how best to engage in these forums. Lessons learned from these engagements will then be applied through the creation of local multi-stakeholder coalitions that build collaborative advocacy efforts by companies and CSOs in support of national laws and policies that protect and enhance freedom of expression and privacy online.
Supporting advocacy and coalition-building for freedom of expression online in Cameroon
(Fundamental Freedoms Fund)
Internews worked with regional internet freedom experts to bring together Cameroonian activists from both the Anglophone and Francophone regions to protect digital rights and freedom of expression in the Cameroon. This project built a multilingual and diverse coalition of empowered and knowledgeable Cameroonian CSOs. It also served to educate and raise awareness among Cameroonian activists on freedom of expression issues. By cultivating a strong coalition that can build relationships with relevant policymakers and jointly respond to threats to freedom of expression, Internews helped civil society in Cameroon to be equipped to oppose potential threats to digital rights and other challenges in the policy landscape.
Internews’ Internet Policy Partnership Project (IP3) was a multiple-year project that empowered civil society to lead the internet policy conversation both within countries and on a regional scale. IP3 created enabling environments in developing countries for CSOs to successfully improve and preserve online freedoms and digital rights. IP3 expanded the abilities of CSOs to defend internet rights and foster the strengthening of internet freedom networks nationally, regionally, and globally.
Internews launched the Global Internet Policy Project (GIPP) in 2012 to encourage and support local civil society in countries around the globe to engage in policy advocacy for online freedom of expression, internet access, and privacy. The project’s main goals were to build capacity among local Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to help effectively advocate for progressive, fair internet laws and create a new network to strengthen global internet policy advocacy.
The Global Internet Policy Initiative (GIPI) formally brought Internews into the digital rights space in 2002 in partnership with the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), and co-funded by Markle Foundation, Open Society Institute, AOL, and EuropeAid. The project was a decade-long effort to promote better internet policy in 20 countries by empowering local advocates and stakeholders on a country-by-country basis. GIPI worked in developing countries to promote the adoption of legal and regulatory frameworks that support the growth of an open, affordable and user-controlled Internet – an Internet that can drive economic growth and advance human development – through in-depth digital communications policy analysis, training and assistance to Internet advocates in developing countries.
In Jordan, JOSA’s proposals for the Personal Data Protection Law were included in the draft bill which is under review by Parliament.
In Kenya, BAKE filed a successful petition in the High Court challenging the constitutionality of a law used by the government to harass bloggers and journalists. They also conducted direct advocacy efforts with the national communications authority in order to prevent an internet shutdown during Presidential elections.
In Peru, Hiperderecho provided their citizen-led agenda for digital rights legislation to every Peruvian congressional representative.
In the DRC, Collectif 24 held a national symposium on access to information and freedom of expression with over 84 participants from CSOs, journalists, the public sector, and academia, and met with the Members of Parliament to discuss the Freedom of the Press law, and the
Access to Information law.