We want a world in which rights are realised and people are free. But civil society and civic space are under serious threat from attacks, harassment and censorship.
Open Briefing is a vital part of the response. We defend, strengthen and empower those on the frontlines of civil society by keeping them and their partners safe and secure, both online and in the real world.
Our international team provides high-impact training, consultancy and retained support across safety and security, digital security, and wellbeing and resilience. No other non-profit provides this comprehensive, holistic approach.
Since 2011, we have supported a wide range of social change agents around the world, from multinational humanitarian agencies working in violent environments to small human rights groups and individual environmental defenders and LGBT+ activists living under repression and surveillance.
“Working with Open Briefing has allowed us to safely continue to advocate and litigate to advance the human rights of women and girls.”
Women’s Link Worldwide
We provide donor- or partner-funded advice, capacity building and mentoring to at-risk defenders, collectives and civil society organisations, particularly those based in the global south. Read more
We build multilingual tools, apps and guides to strengthen the individual and collective safety and resilience of civil society organisations and civic actors around the world. Read more
Collaboration and engagement
We collaborate and advocate to defend civil society and protect civic space wherever it is threatened. Read more
Consultancy and training
We provide bespoke consultancy, training and retained support to help self-funding charities, foundations and social businesses meet their duty of care, data protection and safeguarding obligations. Read more
Cutting across our four programmes are our three holistic security work streams:
- Safety and security
- Digital security
- Wellbeing and resilience
Through the above programmes and work streams we support defenders, collectives and civil society organisations around the world, with a particular focus on the following priority communities:
- Human rights defenders in the global south
- Environmental defenders
- Women human rights defenders
- LGBTI activists
- Freelance journalists and independent media
- Protest leaders
In 2019, we responded to 40 requests for support from 17 at-risk organisations. We worked in or on more than 20 countries across 5 continents.
We estimate that we directly strengthened the safety and resilience of 430 human rights defenders and other civic actors across the world last year. We also trained 307 human rights defenders and other civic actors during 28 workshops and other trainings. This was a 75% increase on 2018.
In doing so, we supported organisations protecting human rights, civilians in conflict, the rights of women and girls, the environment, land rights, LGBT+ rights, and the right to privacy, and others standing against corruption and genocide. Of those, 90% worked in the global south, with one in five working exclusively in the global south. We helped keep human rights defenders and other civic actors safe in Somalia, Mali, Central African Republic, DR Congo, Nigeria, Lebanon, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, China, Chile and Colombia and a dozen other countries.
The civil society organisations that Open Briefing supported during 2019 reported an average 86% increase in confidence in their organisation’s security and/or wellbeing due to our work with them. Overall, the organisations that we worked with in 2019 gave us a 98% approval rating.
We are funded by Oak Foundation, the National Endowment for Democracy, and Ford Foundation, as well as public donations and income from service delivery.
We urgently need to increase our funding in order to respond swiftly and responsibly to the increased demand for our unique support from targeted civil society organisations, collectives and defenders. Following the outbreak of Covid-19 and the resulting crackdowns on dissent in many countries, our work is now more vital than ever.