About the Fund
The Africa Digital Rights Fund (ADRF) offers flexible and rapid response grants to select initiatives in Africa to implement activities that advance digital rights, including advocacy, litigation, research, policy analysis, digital literacy and digital security skills building.
Round three of the ADRF 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.
Initiatives not focused on Covid-19 but working in various thematic areas, including but not limited to the following are also welcome to apply:
- Access and affordability
- Access to Information
- Data protection and privacy
- Digital economy
- Digital Identity (ID)
- Digital security
- Diversity and inclusion
- Freedom of expression
- Hate speech
- Innovation for democratic participation, transparency and accountability (civic and social tech)
- Network disruptions
- Strategic litigation
In line with CIPESA and ADRF’s diversity, equity and inclusion goals, proposals focused on marginalised/vulnerable populations including women, sexual minorities, persons with disabilities (PWDs), and refugees are strongly encouraged.
Grant amounts range between US$ 1,000 and US$ 20,000, depending on the need and scope of the proposed intervention. The grant period will not exceed 6 months. It is anticipated that around 10 grants will be awarded in this round.
Round three of ADRF is open to organisations based and/or operational in Africa and with interventions covering any country on the continent.
Size of Grants
Grant size in round three shall range from US$1,000 to US$20,000. Cost sharing is strongly encouraged.
The activities that are eligible for funding are those that protect and advance digital rights. These may include but are not limited to research, advocacy, policy analysis, litigation, digital literacy and digital security skills building, and participating in digital rights legal and legislative processes.
The grant funding shall be for a period not exceeding 6 months.
- The Fund is open to organisations and coalitions working to advance digital rights in Africa. This includes but is not limited to human rights defenders, media, activists, think tanks, legal aid groups, and tech hubs. Entities working on women’s rights, or with youths, sexual minorities, refugees, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.
- The initiatives to be funded will preferably have formal registration in an African country, but in some circumstances organisations and coalitions that do not have formal registration may be considered. Such organisations need to show evidence that they are operational in a particular African country or countries.
- The activities to be funded must be in/on an African country or countries.
- The Fund shall not fund any activity that does not directly advance digital rights.
- The Fund will not support travel to attend conferences or workshops, except in exceptional circumstances where such travel is directly linked to an activity that is eligible.
- Reimbursements for costs that have already been incurred.
- The Fund shall not provide scholarships.
- Fund recipients are excluded from receiving more than one grant at a time.
The Fund is administered by the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA). An internal and external panel of experts will make decisions on beneficiaries based on the following criteria:
- If the proposed intervention fits within the Fund’s digital rights priorities.
- The relevance to the given context/country.
- Commitment and experience of the applicant in advancing digital rights.
- Potential impact of the intervention on digital rights policies or practices.