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.
Open Briefing is a unique non-profit that provides human rights defenders and other civic actors at risk with mentoring, capacity building and multilingual resources to improve their safety and security, digital security, and wellbeing and resilience. As a social enterprise, we also help charities, grantmakers, and social businesses understand and meet their risk management, duty of care, data protection, and safeguarding commitments to staff and local partners.
Since 2011, we have supported a wide range of rights-based and humanitarian actors around the world, including in violent environments and restricted civic spaces. Our work both on the ground with defenders, activists, and collectives and with the senior management teams and boards of international organisations and donors gives us a deep understanding of risk at all levels of civil society. And we know our support works: our clients and beneficiaries reported a 17% increase in resilience and a 23% increase in capacity last year.
Open Briefing is a member of the Vuka! Coalition for Civic Action, the Defending Land and Environmental Defenders Coalition, the and the security working group of the Defenders in Development campaign. We are a voting member of the CIVICUS global civil society alliance and a non-profit affiliate of the Global Interagency Security Forum.
“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 safety and resilience advice, capacity building and mentoring to at-risk defenders, collectives and civil society organisations in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Arabic. Read more
We build multilingual tools, apps and other resources 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 with partners in civil society and in the commercial and academic worlds to defend civil society and protect civic space wherever it is threatened. Read more
Consultancy and training
As a social enterprise, we provide bespoke consultancy, training and retained support to help self-funding charities, foundations and social businesses meet their risk management, duty of care, data protection and safeguarding obligations. Read more
This blended model of funded support, free resources and client work means that we can provide support to those most in need, irrespective of their financial situation.
Cutting across our four programmes are our three holistic security workstreams:
- Safety and security
- Digital security
- Wellbeing and resilience
Through the above programmes and workstreams 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
- High-profile environmental defenders
- Women human rights defenders
- LGBT+ activists
- Indigenous leaders and rural collectives
- Humanitarian aid workers
- Freelance journalists and independent media
In 2020, we responded to 127 requests for support from human rights defenders and other civic actors at risk around the world. We provided 400 hours of mentoring and capacity building through our new funded support programme. We trained 350 civic actors at risk during 40 workshops and other trainings. And we worked in or on 46 countries.
The human rights defenders and other civic actors at risk that we helped with holistic security support and resources in 2020 gave us an 84% approval rating and reported a:
- 17% increase in resilience
- 23% increase in capacity
- 4% decrease in risk
“Open Briefing has been key in helping us on our journey to recognising our duty of care and the need for a security framework.”
PILS (Prevention Information et Lutte contre le Sida)
We are funded by Oak Foundation and the National Endowment for Democracy 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 at-risk civil society organisations, collectives and defenders, particularly in the global south. The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting crackdowns on dissent in many countries around the world, means that our work to support the safety and resilience of civic actors is now more vital than ever.