The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) announces a Request for Statements of Interest (RSOI) from organizations interested in submitting Statements of Interest (SOI) for programs that support Internet Freedom.

In support of the U.S. International Strategy for Cyberspace, DRL’s goal is to protect the open, interoperable, secure, and reliable Internet by promoting fundamental freedoms, human rights, and the free flow of information online through integrated support to civil society for technology, digital safety, policy and advocacy, and applied research programs.

Priority Regions

  • SOIs focused globally or focused on any region will be considered. Applications should prioritize work in Internet-repressive environments.
  • SOIs regarding technology development should have clear regional human rights use-case and deployment strategies for the target region(s). SOIs focused on digital safety, advocacy, and research should also have region- or population-specific goals and priorities that are informed by clear field knowledge and expertise.

Funding Themes

  • Funding Theme #1: Technology: Uncensored and Secure Access to the Global Internet – Development of and support for desktop and mobile technologies that counter censorship and/or enable secure communications.
  • Funding Theme #2: Digital Safety – Support, training, and information resources that contribute to greater digital safety for users in Internet-repressive societies, including civil society, human rights defenders, journalists, and other vulnerable populations.
  • Funding Theme #3: Policy and Advocacy – National, regional, and international policy and advocacy efforts that empower civil society to counter restrictive Internet laws and support policies to promote Internet freedom in countries where the government has adopted, or is considering adopting, laws or policies that restrict human rights online.
  • Funding Theme #4: Applied Research – Research efforts to inform and benefit Internet freedom globally. Research should address technological and political developments affecting Internet freedom.

Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:

  • Award Ceiling: $3,000,000
  • Award Floor: $500,000

Eligibility Criteria

Organizations submitting SOIs must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a U.S.- or foreign-based non-profit/non-governmental organization (NGO), or a public international organization,
  • Be a private, public, or state institution of higher education,
  • Be a for-profit organization or business (noting there are restrictions on payment of fees and/or profits under grants and cooperative agreements, including those outlined in 48 CFR 30, “Cost Accounting Standards Administration”, and 48 CFR 31, “Contract Cost Principles and Procedures”),
  • Have existing, or the capacity to develop, active partnerships with thematic or in-country partners, entities, and relevant stakeholders including private sector partner and NGOs,
  • Have demonstrable experience administering successful and preferably similar programs.

For more information, visit Internet Freedom.


Name of the Organisation
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
Grant Amount
USD 5 Lakh
Closing date of Proposal
Monday, 9 November, 2020
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