Applications for the 2019-2020 Digital Steps Program are Open

Deadline: 30 April 2019

Are you working to promote social values, bridge divides and bring communities together in Yemen or Syria? Do you have an idea for introducing technology in your work? If yes, then apply now to join a 12-month program that helps you turn your idea into a concrete initiative.

Applications are now open for the 2019-2020 Digital Steps program. This year’s program supports social cohesion initiatives led by Syrian and Yemeni organisations or initiatives to gain digital skills that will help increase their impact.

The Digital Steps Syria Program is a partnership between Build Up and the British Council.

Program Components

Selected teams will receive support in four areas:

  • Training: Teams come together for joint training that covers a variety of topics including participatory methodologies, user-centered design and conflict sensitivity. Training provides teams with the tools they need to design and manage innovative projects. Build Up helps teams to think like product managers – linking developers and experts with social cohesion objectives.
  • Accompaniment: Each team is assigned a Build Up staff who acts as their lead mentor. Lead mentors work with teams to identify additional mentors (Build Up staff or from their network) who have skills or experience relevant to the team’s work. Through monthly calls, regular email communication and face-to-face workshops, the mentors provide project management support, technical advice and hands-on problem solving.
  • Networking: The program helps teams to communicate their work externally, supporting them to produce communication materials and opening doors to public speaking events. Build Up also facilitates connections with participants from similar programs in other countries: teams join a global network of local activists and practitioners working to re-think participation in peace.
  • Grant funding: Teams receive a grant (8000 GBP) to cover some of the technical and implementation costs of their intervention. Teams are expected to engage with all aspects of the program; applications seeking only grant funding are not a strong match to the program.


The program lasts 12 months: it starts in July 2019 and ends in June 2020.

Eligible Initiatives

Fellowships are awarded to help a team develop a concrete social cohesion initiative which uses technology strategically. Initiatives should be at the idea phase, and they expect most initiatives to develop through the fellowship to the point where the idea can be piloted.

Initiatives proposed for the fellowship should meet one of the following aims:

  • Promoting social values among communities, and countering inter-communal division and violence;
  • Bridging divides between groups, including challenging stereotypes and dominant narratives that contribute to conflict;
  • Bringing communities together to find common ground.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The program is open to organisations or initiatives working in Syria or Yemen.
  • Teams must be based inside Syria or Yemen.
  • Civil society organisations, NGOs, INGOs, creative enterprises, social enterprises and unregistered teams working on an initiative all qualify.
  • Organisations or initiatives should apply with a team of two people.
  • These two people must have the ability to travel to Beirut or Amman (financial and logistical support will be provided by the program).
  • At least one team member must be a Syrian or Yemeni national.

How to Apply

Applicants can apply via the given website.

For more information, please visit

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