Grants for research and campaign support 2021 – CALL OPEN to all APC organisational members

This is a rolling call and will be open until 30 September 2021, or until the fund is fully allocated, to all APC organisational members. The maximum allowed budget per proposal is USD 5,000. Joint proposals are also possible with a maximum total budget of USD 12,500.

Background and context

We are opening this year’s call for our research and campaign (small) grants at a time of a continuing pandemic that intensifies the need for online presence and poses new challenges to our communities regarding access to information, communication, online safety and privacy. At the same time, the pandemic is being instrumentalised by authorities to restrict freedom of movement, assembly, association and expression, further leading to institutionalisation and normalisation of a state of surveillance with significant shifts in the collection, storage and use of personal data. Our communities will therefore continue to rely heavily on safe and privacy-respecting internet connectivity and access for their interventions and activism.

Within this context it is important that all of our network members have the capacity to use and shape online technologies to meaningfully and safely access digital resources and spaces. This is a shared need among APC members.

Consultation with members

In preparation for publishing the new call for our research and campaign grants, we called for a consultation with APC members to discuss setting priorities for this year’s grants. These outcomes have informed the grant’s priorities and process.

Many members expressed the wish to strengthen (regional) collaborative work among members around campaigning, telling stories, and also around the context of what's working, from the perspective of local communities. The concept of meaningful access was also discussed, not only as a measure of quality of connectivity, but also in terms of enabling local community members to use the internet in a meaningful way, especially in rural and indigenous communities.

In this respect, the need for capacity building for members and their communities was identified. The pandemic continues to exert pressure on our members to move all of their activities online. Yet not everyone has the necessary skills and resources to do so. These grants will support such activities during this period.

Regarding the grant-making process, some additional suggestions were made:

  • Consider the implementation of follow-up grants to build on work done in previously funded projects and/or Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch) reports.

  • Simplify the application form to make the application process even more accessible.

  • Simplify the process of receiving feedback.

Thematic suggestions

The following thematic suggestions were made regarding this year’s grants cycle:

  • A gender perspective on how we deal with COVID-19 challenges.

  • Fighting dis/misinformation and access to the right information, also questioning what digital rights mean at a local community level.

  • Use of open technologies in education.

  • Online safety and privacy, in light of the various tracking apps, disclosure of private data and hastily introduced digital services.

Research and campaign grants call

This is a rolling call and will be open until 30 September 2021, or until the fund is fully allocated, to all APC organisational members.

The total available amount for these grants is USD 105,000. Of this total, USD 80,000 comes from APC’s subgranting support from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and is available to members located in countries included on the OECD Development Assistance Committee’s list for 2021. The remaining USD 25,000 comes from APC membership dues and is available to members who are not included on this list.

The maximum allowed budget per proposal is USD 5,000. Joint proposals are also possible with a maximum total budget of USD 12,500.

These grants are for research and campaign activities that are aligned with any of the outcomes identified in APC’s 2020-2023 Strategic Plan and/or for capacity-building activities related to safe and privacy-respecting access to online resources and communication. Examples of such capacity building include training on how to use public-key cryptography to encrypt emails, understanding the concept of digital footprint, knowing how to use basic online privacy tools such as VPNs or a Tor browser, being knowledgeable of social media privacy settings, etc.

The APC 2020-2023 outcome areas are:

  • Harness collective power of communities
    Outcome 1: The collective power of communities within and beyond the APC network is harnessed through existing and new relationships built around transformative actions and our shared visions.

  • Enable digital inclusion for the most vulnerable
    Outcome 2: People affected by exclusion, discrimination and inequality are able to meaningfully use and shape the internet and digital technologies to meet their specific needs.

  • Co-creating a feminist internet
    Outcome 3: Women and people of diverse sexualities and genders participate in, shape and co-create the internet and digital technologies that reflect and respond to their lived realities.

  • Advocate for human rights online and offline
    Outcome 4: People, especially those facing discrimination and oppression, have greater power and autonomy through digital technologies to exercise their full range of human rights online and offline.

  • Promote governance of the internet as a global public good
    Outcome 5: The internet is recognised and governed as a global public good in an inclusive, transparent, democratic and accountable manner.

  • Mobilise collective action for environmental justice and sustainability
    Outcome 6: APC’s collective action and activism contribute to environmental justice and preservation of the earth, and mitigate the negative environmental impacts of the internet, digital technologies and the digital economy.

The grants will continue to support local campaigns that contribute to members’ advocacy work and also enable members to participate in APC-wide campaigns. Ideally, supported initiatives should promote meaningful collaboration in implementing our strategic priorities in the current context.

Important information about the call


The eligibility criteria for this cycle of our research and campaign grants are the following:

  • Members can submit proposals for up to USD 5,000 per grant or up to USD 12,500 for joint proposals.

  • A member cannot apply for more than one of each type of grant in a single grants cycle. A member cannot apply both as a leading organisation for one proposal and partner for a different (joint) proposal.

  • All activities for the research and campaign grants must be completed and all funds spent by 31 December 2021. No extensions will be possible.

  • Only APC organisational members in good standing can avail of APC grants. This means that members must not owe APC any of the following: a) dues or other outstanding funds, b) contractual work paid for but not yet delivered, c) financial or narrative reports from activities previously supported by APC, including travel supported by the APC Member Exchange and Travel Fund (METF). In the case of joint proposals, all members should be in good standing.


The evaluation and grant award decision will be carried out within a month of the application submission. All applicants will be informed about the evaluation of their proposals through email. All successful proposals will be published at

We look forward to receiving your proposals! For any question related to the process please contact

Assistance with submitting the application

In order to assist with the planning of your proposal, we have prepared a template for your use. To avoid accidentally losing your content, it is highly recommended that you develop your proposal offline (i.e. using the abovementioned template) and only copy the content to the subgranting platform once you are done. Make sure to keep your local copy as a backup.

Please also find here the template for your proposal’s budget.

We will also hold a Q&A online convening to answer possible questions about this call. You will be notified via email about the details of this convening. Feedback from this convening will be used to create an FAQ for this research and campaign grants cycle.

Submitting your application

To submit your application you need to log in to the APC subgranting platform at, using your APC member credentials. If you can’t access the platform please write to rox – at –

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