Digital Rights Advancement Grants 2020: Media Defence Centres
About the Digital Rights Advancement Grants 2020 Award:
MLDI has started a project that aims to strengthen and protect digital rights for independent media in Sub-Saharan Africa.
This is done by supporting the development of legal communities with the expertise and skills to advocate for freedom of expression online and litigate digital rights cases.
MLDI would like to partner with NGOs, law centres and/or independent media outlets in East, West, and Southern Africa to advance digital rights and freedom of expression online.
A limited number of one-year grants are available to such organisations, for projects aimed at providing better local level access to legal assistance and support to online independent media.
As part of this project, we are offering 12-month grants of up to USD 20,000 to organisations with backgrounds in defending and supporting the right to freedom of expression.
The objective of the grants is to improve local access to legal assistance for online media and bloggers in order to advance digital rights and standards in online freedom of expression and to maximize the number of digital rights cases reaching the courts.
The grants can be used to set up a media legal defence unit which provides pro bono legal support to journalists, citizen journalists and independent media and/or coordinates networks of lawyers to do the same.
If required, MLDI can provide legal mentoring, capacity building, and other forms of non-financial organisational support.
The grants can be used for the following types of projects in East, West or Southern Africa:
- provide legal advice or support services;
- undertake advocacy activities on laws and/or policies that limit freedom of expression online, advocate for the implementation of court rulings that promote digital rights, or publicise new legal standards on digital rights;
- develop or advance an advocacy and/or strategic litigation coalition to reform laws and/or policies which limit freedom of expression online;
- build or strengthen regional relationships with digital rights advocacy groups;
- analyse laws, policies, and practices that infringe on journalists’ right to freedom of expression online and/or provide training in online freedom of expression and digital rights to journalists, bloggers, and independent media;
- research on, or monitoring of, violations of the right to freedom of expression online;
- other projects and activities may be considered but should be discussed with the Project Coordinator before application (see contact details below).
Eligibility for the Digital Rights Advancement Grants 2020:
To be considered, organisations must meet the following criteria:
- The grant is open to NGOs, law centers and independent media outlets registered in East Africa, West Africa, or Southern Africa;
- The organisation must have a background or demonstrable interest in advocacy, litigation, and/or provision of legal support;
- The organisation should have previous experience in the advancement and protection of freedom of expression in the country or region where it operates; and
- The organisation must have sufficient administrative and financial capacity to comply with MLDI’s reporting requirements.
Sub-Saharan African Countries
Number of Awards: Limited
Value of the Digital Rights Advancement Grants 2020 Award:
12-month grants of up to USD 20,000
Duration of Programme:
one-off 12-month grants. Grants will start in Summer 2020.
9th February 2020 at 23h59 (GMT+1).
How to Apply:
Interested organisations are encouraged to submit a concept note though MLDI’s grant application portal.
Applicants will be asked to provide the following information:
- Organisation’s name and address;
- The names of the head of the organisation, board chair, and treasurer;
- The total amount of money requested from MLDI;
- The organisation’s annual budget;
- A summary of expected outcomes; and
- A summary of proposed activities and outputs.
Shortlisted organisations will be invited to submit a full proposal.