In order to build advocacy capacity to prepare for and respond to internet shutdowns before they occur, Advocacy Assembly presents the Shutdowns Activism Fellowship.
This six-week online initiative aims to equip participants with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to prepare better and build an internet shutdown advocacy campaign.
The program will cover a variety of topics, including how to technically measure internet shutdowns, how to circumvent internet shutdowns using common tools and strategies, how to build an internet shutdown advocacy campaign, how to engage with the private sector, and when to use strategic litigation when shutdowns violate the law.
Unlocking the Potential of Advocacy
- The Shutdowns Activism Fellowship is designed as an opportunity for individuals in at-risk countries who aspire to become champions in the fight against internet shutdowns. Through engaging with international experts, fellows will gain valuable insights into developing multi-stakeholder coalitions and executing responsive campaigns. The program adopts a flexible, online learning format, allowing participants to access course materials at their convenience. Moreover, one-on-one conversations will enable fellows to receive personalized guidance as they build comprehensive action plans tailored to their communities’ needs.
Empowering through Knowledge
- During the fellowship program, participants will delve into a range of critical topics. From documenting human rights violations during shutdowns to utilizing tools like OONI and IODA to measure the impact of shutdowns, fellows will acquire invaluable skills. They will also learn to develop risk assessments and action plans, engage with the private sector, understand strategic litigation against shutdowns, explore circumvention methods for censorship, and build effective advocacy campaigns. This knowledge will empower fellows to respond strategically and proactively to internet shutdowns.
Transforming Ideas into Action
- Upon completion of the program, fellows will have the opportunity to access funds to implement activities outlined in their action plans. This financial support could enable them to organize trainings for their communities, design awareness campaigns, develop legal strategies, localize circumvention tool resources, or collaborate with journalists to report on internet shutdowns. By empowering fellows to translate knowledge into tangible actions, the program aims to foster real change and resilience in the face of internet shutdowns.
- The program runs from August – October 2023.
- Participants will then have four months, from October 2023 to February 2024, to implement funded activities.
- The course is designed to be largely asynchronous, with you able to watch course material, engage in discussion and build community with other fellows, and work with expert mentors. After 6 weeks of the program, you will be asked to design an internet shutdown advocacy action plan and you will be provided funds to conduct an activity based on the skills you’ve learned through the fellowship and aligned with your action plan.
- No prior knowledge about internet shutdowns is necessary, but you should have some understanding of how your community might be harmed by internet shutdowns and what you think you can contribute when it comes to fighting back against censorship and shutdowns
- You must be able to commit -2.5 hours a week to the program from August until October, 2023. With much of the program occurring asynchronously, you will be able to schedule this time around your other commitments, but you will need to do the work. You should also be able to commit time from the end of the course through February, 2024 to implement a targeted internet shutdown advocacy activity such as a training, a research project, or a coalition-building exercise
- You must have regular access to a computer and internet in order to participate in the course
- The core course materials will be available in Spanish, French, Arabic, Farsi, Swahili, Portuguese, and English but discussion for the course will be conducted in English, so you should have some ability to write & speak in English.
- You should be excited about the idea of learning new advocacy skills & putting them into practice.
For more information, visit Advocacy Assembly.