Deadline: June 23, 2021

Applications are open for the Open Internet for Democracy Leaders Program 2021. The Open Internet for Democracy Leaders Program is a nine-month non-residential leadership program that empowers emerging leaders from across the globe to build their advocacy and organizing skills to protect internet freedom.

The Open Internet for Democracy Leaders are a unique cohort of global advocates from civic organizations, media, and the private sector who are passionate about protecting and promoting an open internet.  

The program aims to: 

  1. Empower emerging open internet advocates to advance internet policy discussions and organize for change in their country and/or region.
  2. Strengthen the Open Internet for Democracy Community by connecting emerging open internet advocates with their global peers.

Core Responsibilities

  • National or regional advocacy and research 
    • Implement an in-country activity that directly contributes to a local, national or regional conversation on internet freedom. The activity should incorporate coalition-building for effective advocacy against government policies or practices (in place or proposed) that threaten digital rights. Examples of what projects might entail include:
      • Organizing an advocacy campaign to raise awareness aimed at equipping policymakers with information about the pitfalls of policies inspired by digital authoritarianism. 
      • Producing research that examines the impact of digital authoritarianism on access to news and information.
      • Mapping national and/or regional policies or proposals and their potential consequences.
      • Developing a training module/video that explains the implications of digital authoritarianism for civil society, media, and/or the private sector. 
      • Conducting multi-stakeholder workshops or roundtable discussions to develop a position paper or a social media campaign on a proposed government action that threatens digital rights.
  • Communications and Outreach
    • Produce at least 2 blog posts or articles
    • Actively engage in conversations on open internet issues, such as on Twitter with the program’s account.
    • Identify potential areas for collaboration among local and regional open internet advocates/groups, and develop strategies for engagement and collective action. 
  • Community Collaboration & Thought Leadership
    • Participate at the 2021 Internet Governance Forum (virtually or in-person).
    • Contribute to knowledge and awareness of the Open Internet for Democracy Community about local/regional/national threats to an open internet through participation in relevant events and ongoing information sharing.


  • The selected applicants will be a part of a larger international network where they can learn from peers and share their work.
  • Open Internet Leaders will receive an honorarium of $1,000 USD for completing their required activities, as well as travel and per diem covered for at least one international trip (Note: Travel opportunities may change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If for any reason travel is not possible, CIPE, NDI, and CIMA, will explore ways for the Open Internet Leaders to participate in international fora through virtual conferencing platforms.)


  • Applicant must show demonstrated interest or experience working on open internet issues, with preference given to those focused on media, economic inclusion/digital economy/entrepreneurship or civic/political participation;
  • Experience in one or more of the following areas: policy, activism, research, or technical expertise;
  • Ability to work independently with minimum supervision in collaboration with colleagues across different time zones;
  • Strong organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills;
  • Strong social media skills;
  • Fluency in written and spoken English;
  • Strong presentation skills;
  • Ability to travel to one international conference (location TBD; costs covered; In-person participation in such events is contingent on health considerations related to the COVID-19 pandemic);
  • Access to reliable internet connection that will enable participation in video or virtual workshops or conferences;
  • Ability to actively participate in regular check-in calls with program organizers and in virtual orientation sessions;
  • Applicants must live and work in an OECD-DAC eligible country.  


Applications will close on June 30, 2021. Late applications wil not be considered.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit Open Internet for Democracy.

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