CIPE Open Internet for Democracy Leaders Program 2019 ($1000 USD honorarium & Fully Funded to 2019 Internet Governance Forum in Berlin,Germany)

Application Deadline: May 27th 2019

Democracy has always required the free flow of ideas. In the modern age, this means a free, open internet where all citizens can freely voice their opinions, share, and debate. Access to an open internet for all is necessary to strengthen democratic engagement and governance, enable equal participation in the market economy, and promote social accountability.

The Open Internet for Democracy Leaders Program – a collaboration between the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) – is an eight-month non-resident leadership program that empowers emerging leaders from across the globe to build their advocacy and organizing skills to protect internet freedom.

Open Internet for Democracy Leaders are a unique cohort of global advocates from civic organizations, media, and the private sector who are passionate about protecting and promoting an open internet.

The program aims to:

  1. Empower emerging open internet advocates to advance internet policy discussions and organize for change in their country and region.
  2. Strengthen the Open Internet for Democracy Community by connecting emerging open internet advocates with their global peers.


The selected applicants will be a part of a larger international network where they can learn from peers and share their work. Open Internet Leaders will receive an honorarium of $1000 USD for completing their required activities, as well as travel and per diem covered for trips to one regional forum/conference and the 2019 Internet Governance Forum to be held in Berlin, Germany, November 25-29, 2019.


Expectations of selected Leaders include:

  • National or regional advocacy Implement an in-country activity that directly contributes to a national or regional conversation on internet freedom. In particular, this year’s work will focus on the dangers that network sovereignty policies pose to an open internet and democracy. Examples of what projects might entail include:
    • An advocacy campaign aimed at equipping national policymakers with information about the pitfalls of network sovereignty policies
    • A report/research project that examines the impact of network sovereignty policies on access to news and information.
    • A mapping of national and/or regional network sovereignty policy proposals and their potential consequences.
    • A training module/video that explains the implications of network sovereignty policies for civil society, media, and/or the private sector.
  • Communications and Outreach
    • Produce at least 2 blog posts or articles for .
    • Actively engage in conversations on open internet issues, such as on Twitter with the program’s @OpenNetGlobal account.
    • Map the network of in-country and regional groups and individuals in the open internet community;
    • Identify potential areas for collaboration among local and regional open internet advocates/groups, and develop strategies for engagement and collective action.
  • Thought Leadership
    • Participate at the 2019 Internet Governance Forum as well as one regional internet governance or digital rights forum.
    • Contribute to knowledge and awareness of Open Internet for Democracy Community about local/regional/national threats to an open internet through participation in relevant events and ongoing information sharing.

Selection Criteria

  • Demonstrated interest or experience working on open internet issues, with preference given to those focused on media, private sector/entrepreneurship or civic/political participation
  • Experience in one or more of the following areas: policy, activism, research, or technical expertise
  • Ability to work independently with minimum supervision in collaboration with colleagues across different time zones
  • Strong organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills
  • Strong social media skills
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Strong presentation skills
  • Must be able to travel to one international conference and one event/forum related to open internet or internet freedom in your home region (locations TBD; costs covered)
  • Preference given to individuals from non-OECD countries

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the CIPE Open Internet for Democracy Leaders Program 2019


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