Our program benefits everyone who uses digital and online spaces, especially those who experience limitations to access and the basic right to free expression.


We support organizations and local leaders in creating solutions to improve internet governance and freedom. Building the capacity of organizations and local leaders to influence and advocate for policies that protect a free and open internet.


Initially, our program will focus on Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.


Building the capacity of organizations and local leaders to influence and advocate for policies that protect a free and open internet.


A free, open, and accessible internet for all is essential for any healthy, thriving society. An open internet strengthens civic engagement, improves livelihoods, and promotes transparency and accountability. The increasing shift of political and social debates to online platforms has led to a corresponding rise by restrictive governments around the world to use the internet as tool to silence dissent, promote violence, and threaten basic human rights.


Ensuring the internet remains open and accessible is necessary to strengthen democratic engagement, ensure social inclusion, and equal participation in the global economy. Counterpart’s Internet Governance & Internet Freedom program will build the capacity of civil society organizations, human rights activists and independent media outlets to improve government internet policy and citizen security.

Our focus is on strengthening the technical capacity of local leaders and organizations to create local solutions that will improve internet freedom and governance. We will initially focus our efforts in Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe to:

  • Convene policy makers, rights activists, thought leaders and others to help build consensus and an action agenda to protect citizens’ rights in digital and online spaces.
  • Disseminate international human rights standards that frame effective internet policies and build the capacity of civil society organizations to advocate for these policies.
  • Support emerging leader delegations to participate in key global forums such as the UN Internet Governance Forum and RightsCon.
  • Provide grants and project assistance to civil society organizations working to address social inclusion in the digital and online arena.


Specific program goals and outcomes will be designed as program partners are identified and participants share the most pressing needs facing their communities. Expected program impacts include:

  • Partners will have increased institutional and professional capacity to lead advocacy and research initiatives at the national level in Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
  • National dialogues between government and civil society will build consensus around internet policies that allow for freedom of expression and protect basic human rights.
  • Partners will be recognized regionally and internationally at multi-stakeholder forums for their leadership in advancing internet freedom and governance in their countries.


Our project worked closely with activists, researchers, academics, and change-makers to design a safe, inclusive, and open cyber space. Here is a list of our publications:

Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

Sustainable Development Goals addressed by IFIG program

Funder: United States Agency for International Development (USAID).