The Digital Democracy Initiative (DDI) is an ambitious new development programme funded by Denmark and the European Union. The DDI derives from the Danish-led multi-stakeholder initiative Tech for Democracy. It provides a strategic and consolidated funding framework for new and existing civil society partnerships focused on the promotion and protection of inclusive democracy in the digital age. The programme design provides a flexible scalability and contains a framework for multi-donor contributions. Defined projects have additional absorption capacity and the programme identifies relevant areas for expansion based on available funding. Access Now, CIVICUS, Digital Defenders Partnership, and Global Focus have been selected as implementing partners. Denmark has committed 40 mio. euros for the Digital Democracy Initiative from 2023 to 2026. The European Union (DG INTPA) has committed 11 million euros from 2023-2026. Additional implementing partners of the programme will be identified through Calls for Proposals, which will be announced on this website and on the DKMFA channels.
After more than a decade of global decline in democracy, the number of people living in non-democratic countries today is over 70 percent. Across the globe, the average citizen now enjoys a level of democratic rights as low as that in 1989, and the number of liberal democracies in the world has decreased to 34, the lowest since 1995. The rise of digital technology is impacting all of these trends. Digital technology has become a central new arena in the struggle for democracy presenting both new opportunities and challenges.
Many local civil society organisations lack the means and capacity to access and utilise digital technologies, leaving them unprotected from digital threats and without critical tools for promoting and protecting democracy in our digital age. The programme will prioritise assistance and support to local civil society organisations to strengthen use and awareness of digital technologies in their work to promote and protect inclusive democracy, including organisations representing women, youth, and marginalised groups as well as informal actors and social movements, often challenged in accessing funding and other resources.
The geographical focus of the programme is developing countries (ODA Eligible). Within this broad scope, a specific focus and priority will be on countries undergoing rapid change in democratic space. This includes prioritising support to local civil society actors in countries undergoing rapid democratic regression, or support to local civil society actors to consolidate bright spots, ongoing public mobilisation on democratic agendas, or other contextual opportunities to expand inclusive democratic space.
As we only now launching the programme, we are still setting up the funding mechanism for support to local civil society in using digital technologies for democratic change and human rights. However, if you are a human rights defender under digital threat or in need of digital security support, you can already now apply for assistance from Digital Defenders Partnership: Incident Emergency Fund – Digital Defenders Partnership
Please feel free to contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, should you have any question related to the Digital Democracy Initiative: email@example.com