Kyoto, Japan (October 10, 2023) – Today, the Ford Foundation announced the launch of the Global Network for Social Justice and Digital Resilience, a first-of-its-kind initiative that aims to increase the technical capacities of civil society organizations across the Global South.
Groups offering technical support and consultation to civil society are limited and have long been concentrated in the Global North. Civil society in the Global South lacks access to in-region technical experts who can answer the growing needs and demands of frontline social justice organizations in their local and cultural contexts.
Launched at a side event of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum, the Digital Resilience Network addresses these field-wide issues by supporting a cohort of Global South-based technical support organizations that will network, accelerate learning, and transfer technical capacities and knowledge to frontline civil society organizations, where the greatest technological needs and risks exist.
Network members have spent years at the leading edge of digital resilience but have lacked the resources needed to address the manifold digital threats that civil society faces. The work of these groups has ranged from conducting threat intelligence to providing security support including digital, legal, and physical elements; from equipping disconnected communities with autonomous infrastructures to advancing digital inclusion for people with disabilities.
“The Global Network for Social Justice and Digital Resilience is a critical tool to advance social equity and counter the digitally-driven democratic backslide across the Global South,” said Alberto Cerda Silva, program officer of Ford Foundation’s Technology and Society program.
The initial cohort supported by the Digital Resilience Network are Co-Creation Hub (Nigeria), Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (Uganda), Centre for Internet & Society (India), Derechos Digitales (Chile), Núcleo de Pesquizas, Estudios y Formación (Brazil), Fundación Acceso (Costa Rica), the Citizen Lab (Canada), , The Engine Room (Global), Social Media Exchange (Lebanon), SocialTIC (Mexico).
“Given CcHUB’s pivotal role in driving innovation in Africa, it is no surprise that its dedicated Technology and Society practice has asserted itself as a founding member of the Global Network for Social Justice and Digital Resilience,” says Wuraola Taiwo, Project manager, digital security at Co-creation Hub. Particularly, bringing expertise as a resilience infrastructure resource is very important. It has led digital security awareness initiatives in Africa one social justice organization, journalist, or human rights defender at a time, and will continue to do so through the network in order to deliver the necessary insights needed to create privacy and security of civil society organizations in the global south.
“The Global Network for Social Justice and Digital Resilience is a critical tool to advance social equity and counter the digitally-driven democratic backslide across the Global South,” said Alberto Cerda Silva, program officer of Ford Foundation’s Technology and Society program. The Network incorporates equality, inclusion, diversity, and feminist values into its processes.
SafeonlineAfrica was the starting point for this journey but over the next few months and years, Co-creation Hub will continue with the challenging yet necessary work to ensure the privacy and security of social justice organizations at the frontline of the battle for digital resilience. These endeavors aim to build avenues for social justice communities to leverage the benefits of technology,
As Co-creation Hub charts this new course, we invite our partners, collaborators, and the larger community to join us in this monumental endeavor. Join us in advocating for a better, more resilient future for the Global South! Because together, we’re not just stronger; we’re unstoppable.
Learn more about the Global Network for Social Justice and Digital Resilience and the work of its members here. https://digitalresilience.network/
The Global Network for Social Justice and Digital Resilience is a network of ten established organizations working in the global majority, that collaborate to strengthen the digital resilience of the social justice ecosystem. The Network aims to become a source of knowledge that builds and learns collective ways of strengthening the tech capacity of each of its members and, in consequence, the digital resilience of the social justice ecosystem.