Call for Proposals |

Since its launch in 2019, the Africa Digital Rights Fund (ADRF) has worked to grow the number of individuals and organisations that work to advance digital rights in Africa through rapid response and flexible grants. Furthermore, the fund has provided technical and institutional support to further enhance grantee’s efforts and ensure sustainability.

Inspired by the exceptional work of grantees to date, the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) has partnered with the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) to support select current or previous ADRF grantees to deploy a six-month policy advocacy campaign that furthers the conversation on internet freedom.

Building on existing efforts, recipients will be encouraged to use the Democratic Principles for an Open Internet and/or the Open Internet for Advocacy Playbook as a framework for the advocacy campaigns focused on advancing internet freedom. Recipients will also be encouraged to engage with diverse stakeholder groups in the advocacy projects, including local private sector organizations, and government ministries focused on the digital economy when relevant. 

Grant amounts will range between USD 5,000 and USD 8,000 based on the need and scope of the proposed intervention. 

Applicants MUST be a previous or current ADRF grantee organization.

The deadline for submissions is March 5, 2021. 

The application form can be accessed here.


The grant period will last approximately six months. (Approximate start date: April 2021)


  • Implement a policy advocacy initiative that promotes and protects digital rights at a local, national, or regional level. Advocacy plans must articulate how the project contributes to conversations on advancing internet freedom and outline the potential impact of the project activities. Applicants are strongly encouraged to incorporate the use of the Democratic Principles for an Open Internet and/or the Open Internet for Democracy Advocacy Playbook in proposed advocacy initiatives. Preference will also be given to project plans that demonstrate: A) the desire to implement a policy advocacy campaign that furthers the conversation on the intersection between internet freedom and an inclusive digital economy; and B) the ability and/or interest to engage with diverse stakeholder groups such as local chambers of commerce, business associations, economic think tanks, and/or entrepreneurs.
    • 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. 
      • Conducting multi-stakeholder workshops or roundtable discussions and developing a policy paper that provides key recommendations on how a proposed government action or policy could be improved to advance the development of an online space that promotes digital rights and an inclusive digital economy. 
  • Provide frequent updates to CIPESA on progress made during the advocacy initiative, and seek guidance from CIPESA as needed. 
  • Prepare a short report on the project activities and outcomes from the advocacy initiative, to be shared with CIPE and CIPESA. The report should also include a list of key stakeholders that were involved in any advocacy-related activities, such as multi-stakeholder dialogues. 
  • Participate in a regional dialogue focused on how to advance digital rights across Africa. (Location and dates TBD). 

Selection Criteria 

  • Demonstrated track record from the organization’s work as a current or previous ADRF grantee organization. 
  • Strength, feasibility, and anticipated impact of the proposed project.
  • Ability to travel and present at a regional dialogue which furthers the conversation on internet freedom (location TBD; costs covered for one representative from each selected organization; In-person participation in the event is contingent on health considerations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Selected candidates are expected to participate online if the events are moved online due to COVID-19).