Across the world, the spread of disinformation is on the rise. Its volatile growth is the result of the strategic use of online disinformation, which undermines democracy, and polarizes societies. While ways to combat disinformation are currently trending in the media, the existing tactics are primarily directed at fact-checkers and journalists, leaving wider civil society actors to their own devices.
Since 2018, TechSoup Network’s Digital Activism Program aims to provide multi-faceted support to civil society organizations (CSOs) and their staff in Central and Easter Europe (CEE), Latin America and West Africa. In the area of countering disinformation, the program strives to increase their understanding of the issues connected with direct disinformation threats through research, strengthen their capacity to deal with disinformation, boost their knowledge and connections within the nonprofit network.
Support for CSOs in Central and Eastern Europe
Our focus is on the CSOs, frontline workers, and activists working with the vulnerable communities that are the most frequent target of propaganda.
We believe that no progress can be made without access to technology. In the span of the Digital Activism Program activities in CEE, we will be providing CSOs with bespoke training and workshops, individual consultations, community events, small grants (more information in Slovak language available here), and access to tech solutions or tools which will help them design effective disinformation response campaigns.
The above work in CEE is supported by Google.org and led by TechSoup in close collaboration with TechSoup Network’s partners. As PDCS, we are implementing the program in Slovakia.
How does it work in practice?
We expect the following outputs for our work in all the project countries:
- 12 reports mapping disinformation threats in partnering countries
One of the outputs of the project is a report on "Mapping Disinformation and Civil Society in Slovakia" (available in PDF format in Slovak and English language). It was produced through a combination of collecting available data and information, qualitative interviews with relevant actors, data collection through questionnaires and the use of a narrative tracking tool from Gerulata Technologies.
In the same structure as the report for Slovakia, reports in the other participating countries were also produced. These will then be part of larger (regional) mapping studies that will offer a comparison of observations and trends in each region. In addition, the participating countries will continuously prepare quarterly updates on disinformation, which will be analysed using a tool from Gerulata Technologies. Both the regional mapping study and the interim updates will be published soon.
- 4 reports summarizing disinformation threats in sub-regions
- 6 local and sub-regional launch events
- 60 personalized CSOs’ capacity-building roadmaps
- Training/ capacity strengthening workshop for 60 CSOs
- Individual consultations for 60 CSOs
- Expert support in tech adoption for 60 CSOs
- 60 small grants for CSOs
- 12 collaborative grants for groups of CSOs
- 1 regional MEGAPHONE un-conference
- 1 closing ceremony
More information & contact details
The information about the Digital Activism Program will be published on Hive Mind - online hub designed for digital activism community.
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Czechia - VIA Association
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania - Partner to be determined
North Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo - Metamorphosis Foundation
Poland - TechSoup Polska
Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova - Funky Citizens
Slovakia - PDCS
Cover Photo by Joshua Sortino on Unsplash