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, Colombia and Spain
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 and Arabic. 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 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
- LGBTI activists
- Indigenous leaders and rural collectives
- Humanitarian aid workers
- Freelance journalists and independent media
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.
Our advisory board has been fostering the roll out an impact-reporting mechanism based on pre- and post-engagement surveys of our users, recipients and clients, which we launched in October 2020. Early results show those who we work with reporting:
- 10% decrease in risk from 6.85 to 6.2.
- 20% increase in capacity from 5.7 to 6.8.
- 92% approval rating of Open Briefing’s support
“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), Mauritius
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 at-risk civil society organisations, collectives and defenders, particularly in the global south. Following the outbreak of COVID-19 and the resulting crackdowns on dissent in many countries around the world, our work to support the safety and resilience of civic actors is now more vital than ever.