Líderes 2.0

Introduction

Líderes 2.0 is the evolution of LACNIC’s traditional programme to support national, regional, subregional and youth Internet Governance Forum initiatives (NRIs) in Latin America and the Caribbean. Whereas Líderes originally provided support for organising NRIs locally and/or having local NRI coordinators participate face-to-face in the Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Internet Governance Forum (LACIGF), Líderes 2.0 will provide a different type of support that will be advantageous to ongoing work that local IG communities are conducting during these challenging times.

Established in 2017, Líderes institutionalised LACNIC’s support for the burgeoning number of NRIs across the region. During that time, LACNIC provided funding to well over 28 successful candidates for either organising an IGF initiative locally and/or attending and presenting at the LACIGF.

In light of the circumstances surrounding the organisation of face-to-face events, and given the key developments of NRIs across the region, Líderes 2.0 has been conceptualised to continue providing useful support to local IG communities by showcasing these communities’ experiences and knowledge on a number of contemporary issue areas. Líderes 2.0 will put the spotlight on nuances that individual communities face with the intention of raising awareness and enhancing dialogue with counterparts across Latin America and the Caribbean.

Objective

The programme aims to provide funding and mentorship to successful applicants to research and present more detailed knowledge on select Internet Governance (IG) issues as they are perceived within their communities. These small research projects are intended to increase the knowledge of IG issues across Latin America and the Caribbean, and will be highlighted in a repository that will be hosted on LACNIC’s website. The projects must be unique, and not duplicate existing bodies of research on regional IG issues but rather complement existing knowledge in the field. Unique and diverse perspectives will be highly valued.

Thematic Areas

Internet and the Pandemic: impacts on human rights

Human rights are essential to the formulation of responses to the global pandemic. The Internet remains as the premier platform for accessing data and information, facilitating strategies to guarantee the continuation of livelihoods, and enabling connectedness at a time where social and physical distancing is being implemented to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Crisis responses need to be proportionate and respectful of the advances that have been made globally in ‘Internet Rights’. At no point should these rights be suspended under the guise of managing the pandemic.

Projects in this area may touch on, inter alia, freedom of expression versus censorship, data protection and privacy, gender issues, online surveillance, access to truthful information/managing fake news, and democracy.

Digital Inclusion

Connecting the unconnected has been put into greater perspective as countries around the world grapple with digital alternatives to ensure economic sustainability in light of the circumstances that the year 2020 has brought. The global pandemic has exposed the digital gaps that exist in our region. The pandemic may also be a game changer for digital transformations of all kinds. That being said, it is fundamental that no one is left behind through technology. Physical access to the Internet extends to approximately 71% of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean. Digital opportunity - the ability to leverage the Internet for socioeconomic gains - is still very disparate among and within countries.

Inequalities for the ‘have nots’ are susceptible to being exacerbated if digital inclusion strategies are not considered. These ‘have nots’ may refer to people who are excluded from technology owing to age, gender, disability, digital literacy, and affordability, among other reasons.

Projects in this area may touch on, inter alia, connecting the elderly, connecting marginalised groups, quality and affordable Internet access, equitable remote education for children, digital skills, and equitable access to e-health.

Security and Trust

Security and trust underpin a healthy digital environment in which various socioeconomic activities can thrive successfully. As recognised by the Internet Governance Forum, trust in the online world is a prerequisite for the Internet to develop its potential as a tool for empowerment, a channel of free speech, and an engine for economic development.

Collaborative approaches that recognise the roles and responsibilities of systems and users are essential to building trust and security, and addressing potential devastation from bad actors. All things considered, a balance must be met between establishing robust security online and preserving the freedoms and rights of users.

Projects in this area may touch on, inter alia, cyber hygiene; trust and the media; cybersecurity practices and norms; digital safety for all; and security, stability and resilience in Internet infrastructure.

You will be required to present your findings in a variety of formats including,  but not limited to, digital publication with graphics, animations or videos, and podcasts and infographics.

Highlights of the new programme

  • Furtherance of work on three select IG thematic areas, highlighting the nuances faced by your community.
  • Access to funding up to $1,500 USD
  • Access to a mentor that is knowledgeable on global IG issues
  • 3-month period to conduct a mini-research project
  • Findings may be presented as a one-time publication, videos, animations, a set of digital flyers, a series of podcasts and infographics, or an original format of your choosing
  • Resulting work to be featured on LACNIC’s website and promoted via LACNIC’s communication channels
  • Regional recognition of your intellectual property and your take on an issue your community faces

Who can apply?

This programme is open to, inter alia, NRI coordinators, university students, policy makers, independent researchers, and technical communities. Applications will be accepted by individuals, and collaborations among individuals. Virtually anyone that has been involved in Internet Governance in their community and/or can demonstrate strong capacity to carry out succinct, quality research is welcome to apply.

Criteria

These small research projects are expected to create new knowledge and context for Internet Governance issues across Latin America and the Caribbean. As such, here are the criteria the Selection Committee will apply in evaluating applications:

  • Alignment with the Thematic Areas to be funded
  • Coherence in problem definition
  • Originality
  • Geographic diversity
  • Stakeholder diversity (where collaborators are involved)

We advise that applicants avoid issues associated with internal politics, religion, and/or any discriminatory argument that unjustly targets and prejudicates any stakeholder within their local community. Final project submissions will be published on LACNIC’s website from Q1 2021 onwards. LACNIC will not explicitly endorse nor be responsible nor liable for the views nor the content produced within the final submissions.

Programme Limitations

Líderes 2.0 will not fund:

  • Applications originating from outside of Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Political or religious organisations
  • Promotional activities for existing bodies of research
  • Complements to other research grants - LACNIC intends to publish final submissions on its website unreservedly
  • For-profit activities
  • Expenses not related to the conduct of research and dissemination of its findings

What is the selection process like?

Applicants will be required to go to lideresform.lacnic.net and  complete an application form which will  be filled out and submitted entirely online. Applications will be evaluated based on pre-established criteria by a Selection Committee that is composed of three regional IG reference persons and two members of LACNIC staff. Two weeks after the close of the ‘Call for Applications’, applicants will be informed about whether their applications were successful or not. Successful applicants (hereinafter ‘Candidates’) will be informed of their mentor assigned to them and will be required to submit banking details to LACNIC to receive full payment of the fund. Candidates will be required to schedule their assignments adequately including check-ins with their mentors (subject to their schedule/agreement) during the three-month period. At the end of the three-month period, candidates must submit their work to the Selection Committee who will review work to ensure that it is consistent with the plan outlined during the application process and of high quality. Candidates will be informed of the Selection Committee’s approval of the work as is, or recommendations to be undertaken within a three-week period. Once the final work is submitted and approved, it will be uploaded to LACNIC’s website and periodic highlights on each author’s work will occur. 

The Selection Committee is composed of the eventual mentors of the programme. During the application process applicants will be expected to provide a brief overview of the perceived issue (problem statement), along with an outline of the approach they will use to research the problem and the ways in which they intend to capture and disseminate their findings. Each successful applicant i.e. candidate will be assigned a mentor - a notable individual within Latin America and the Caribbean that is involved in Internet Governance - and will have access to ten (10) hours of their mentor’s time to ask preliminary questions and validate concepts about their research project, or just general advice on how to capture and distribute their findings. Findings may be in the form of a written publication, videos, animations, a set of digital flyers, a series of podcasts and infographics, or an original format applicants could suggest.  While the ‘Call for Applications’ is expected to last one month, successful applicants/candidates will be expected to complete their research project in three (3) months. The findings will be first reviewed by the Selection Committee and once approved, they will be published on LACNIC’s website and promoted regularly for a six-month period via LACNIC’s communication channels.

Who are the members of the selection committee and subsequent mentors?

The 2020 Selection Committee will be composed of:

  • Raquel Gatto
  • Nigel Cassimire
  • Miguel Ignacio Estrada
  • Kevon Swift
  • Paula Oteguy

What happens after you send in your final submission?

LACNIC intends to showcase successful candidates and their work on its platform, firstly through publishing the same on an Internet Governance project portal that will be implemented in March 2021. LACNIC will also publish various communication materials (press releases, ads, etc.) giving tribute to the candidate’s work and contribution to knowledge on succinct Internet Governance issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. This activity is intended to extend the potential reach of candidates’ interests and research.  However, LACNIC will not endorse, nor will it be held responsible or liable for the views expressed in each body of work.

Important dates

Call for Applications starts 21 September 2020
Call for Applications ends 23 October 2020
Evaluation of applications by Selection Committee 23 Oct/4 Nov 2020
Communication of Successful Applications/Start of Research Projects 4-6 November 2020
First Submission of Research Findings to Selection Committee 3 February 2021
Final Submission of Research Findings to Selection Committee 17 February 2021
Publication and promotion of projects 1 March 2021 onwards

Apply now

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