Call for applications to be a part of capacity building for digital rights defenders in Southeast Asia

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The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) invites applications from individuals and organisations based in Southeast Asia to participate in a 24-month programme that seeks to strengthen digital rights and digital rights defenders in the region. 

In order to ensure that the digital rights movement in the Southeast Asian region is sufficiently strengthened, we propose to enable new entrants (individual digital rights defenders and civil society organisations) in the digital rights space in Southeast Asia to advocate for and uphold digital rights.

Towards this end, we will be working with a cohort of 15 organisations or individuals from Southeast Asia who identify themselves as relatively new entrants to the work around digital rights. Our theory of change involves three interconnected strategies: promoting closer relationships through network building across the cohort, building their capacity, and resourcing the cohort to support their work, which will lead to better understanding of key issues related to digital rights and strategies to counter attacks and carry out advocacy. These measures will ultimately strengthen the digital rights movement in the region.

Objective of the programme

This initiative is a part of APC’s broader strategy on building the capacity of digital rights defenders in the global South. 

The specific objectives of this programme will be to work with the cohort on:

  1. Movement building: Promote closer relationships, interaction and knowledge exchange among the cohort members and other digital rights defenders in the region towards strengthening the digital rights movement.

  2. Capacity building: Build the capacity of cohort members to understand digital rights issues and engage in strategic advocacy.

  3. Resource building: Enable the work of cohort members through small grants and fellowships that allow for learning opportunities with other organisations in the region and carrying out activities such as research, capacity building, advocacy and campaigning.


Over a period of 24 months, the cohort members will participate in targeted capacity-building programmes on rights, policies and advocacy. They will get to be a part of multiple convenings with experts from the region. Fellowship opportunities will be made available with leading digital rights organisations in the region paving the way for greater collaborations. Cohort members will also be eligible to apply for small grants to implement and experiment their plans. They will also receive support to participate in key events relating to internet governance and advocacy. 

Profile of applicants

APC invites applications from individuals and organisations who consider themselves as new entrants to the field of digital rights in Southeast Asia. Individuals who identify as digital/human rights defenders, media professionals, researchers, technologists, lawyers or policy workers and civil society organisations that are engaging on issues relating to digital rights are eligible to apply for this programme. Applicants must demonstrate a minimum experience of two years of engaging with digital rights.


APC will select 15 members of a cohort that will consist of individuals and organisations in the region. The selection process will require applicants to fill out an application outlining their experience and interest. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to take part in an interview, after which the final candidates will be chosen. The selection committee comprises APC staff, members and experts from the region. 

The deadline for submission of applications is 15 January 2022. Applicants should be available for an interview in the second week of February 2022.

To apply for the programme, please fill out the application form for individuals or organisations.

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