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Strengthening cyber policy research centres in the Global South – Derechos Digitales

Networking technologies are increasingly at the heart of economic, social, and political activities. While digital tools improve people’s ability to innovate, organize, document, and share, they may also be used for surveillance, tracking, censorship, and repression. Thus, as networking and communication tools are facilitating new opportunities, they are also introducing new vulnerabilities into the digital ecosystem that require new standards, skills, and applications to enable digitally driven development. Leaders and policymakers, particularly in the Global South, generally lack the evidence and objective advice to develop effective regulation in the digital space. Few organizations have a specific research orientation on cyber policy issues and there is a shortage of experts able to provide rigorous, evidence-based advice on cyber policy.

The Cyber Policy Centre initiative is helping to ensure that policymakers in the Global South consistently use objective, high quality research to inform digital policy development. It is helping to strengthen research and policy capacity on critical digital policy issues and facilitate research centres to develop a robust policy research agenda that addresses all facets of cyber and digital policy. It will help build institutional capacity and sustainability to produce credible, legitimate, and locally relevant research that convenes different perspectives on critical policy issues. This will enable policy leaders to respond to the rapidly changing digital environment and allow communities to benefit from the opportunities that digital innovation offers, including improved health, governance, education, and economic prospects, while shielding them as much as possible from the harms.

Six research centres from Chile, India, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, and Sri Lanka will participate in this initiative. The project will support a grant to Derechos Digitales, an independent non-profit digital rights organization based in Chile that primarily focuses its advocacy work on freedom of expression, privacy, and access to knowledge in Latin America. The grant will allow Derechos Digitales to carry out a cyber policy research agenda, in collaboration with Mexico-based Centro Latam Digital, to inform digital policy in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
24 months
IDRC Officer
Fernando Perini
Total Funding
CA$ 562,800.00
South America
Education and Science
Education and Science
Networked Economies
Organización no Gubernamental de Desarrollo
Institution Country
Project Leader
María Paz Canales
Organización no Gubernamental de Desarrollo, Defensa y Promocion de los Derechos Humanos en el Entorno Digital