Hivos International

Digital Defenders Partnership


In recent years, we have witnessed an increasing crackdown on the freedoms of the internet and its critical users, specifically in repressive and transitional environments. In late 2012, the Digital Defenders Partnership (DDP) was established to provide rapid response to a range of emerging threats to internet freedom, from supporting bloggers and cyber-activists who find themselves under attack, to facilitating access to internet in countries where the internet is not free or not accessible.


The DDP is a grant-making mechanism providing support to organisations and individuals working in the digital emergency field. The DDP provides three types of grants:

Emergency Grants to critical internet users facing an urgent digital emergency in internet repressive environments. These grants provide direct (legal) advice and financial and other support to individuals with emergencies relating to cyber attacks, compromised  accounts and devices, and secure connections.

Direct Support Grants aimed at providing advice and support to organisations suffering from digital attacks and seeking to improve their digital security apparatus, set up temporary helpdesks or test and research specific threats.

Strategic partnerships are meant for those organisations working to target a specific need and build capacity on this need in the digital emergency response field. This need can relate to technical, personal protection or organisational development.

Applications for emergency and direct support grants can be submitted by completing the online grant application format on the DDP website. Potential grantees for strategic grants can submit their proposal to the DDP secretariat via

Digital Emergency Support

The DDP executes various brokering activities. If you are experiencing a digital emergency, the DDP can provide direct assistance to mitigate the digital threat or can broker third party intervention from an extensive network of lawyers, technical specialists and training organisations with specific experience in this area.

Tools, guides and research

In addition to providing grants and brokering activities, the programme also provides tools, guides and research. In summer 2014, DDP launched with several partners in the field the Digital First Aid Kit, a self-diagnostic tool that helps you determine how to mitigate digital threats.

The DDP is a programme implemented by Hivos and supported by the governments of the Netherlands, United States, United Kingdom, Estonia, Latvia, Czech Republic and Sweden under the Freedom Online Coalition.


€ 204.826
01/10/2012 to 31/12/2015


& Downloads

DDP factsheet on applying for grants2.58 MB