Categories: Open Web Fellows

Announcing the 2016 Open Web Fellows Program Host Organizations

Last year was a big year for the open Web: net neutrality became a mainstream phrase in the United States, data retention and surveillance were hotly contested at government levels in the European Union, and India’s government suspended operations of Free Basic’s zero-rating practices despite Mark Zuckerberg’s insistence that he was working in the interest of the poor. Much of this was done in collaboration with organizations that share the mission to protect the open Web as a global public resource. It’s partnerships and knowledge sharing initiatives that support these movements.

Once such initiative is the Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellows program, an international leadership program that brings together technology talent and civil society organizations to advance and protect the open Web. The Fellows embedded at these organizations will work on salient issues like privacy, access, and online rights. And this Fellowship program offers unique opportunities to learn, innovate, and gain credentials in a supportive environment while working to protect the open Web.

We are proud to announce our second cohort of host organizations, who are looking for 8 talented individuals to advise, build, and learn during their 10-month fellowships.

Apply now to become a Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellow!
Deadline for applications: 11:59pm PST March 20, 2016

Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law (CIPIT)
CIPIT is an evidence-based research and trainingcenter based at Strathmore Law School in Nairobi, Kenya. Working with communities in extreme stances of censorship, their mission is to study and share knowledge on the development of cyberspace, and conduct research from a multidisciplinary approach. In 2016 CIPIT will be focusing on Internet Freedom in Eastern Africa, intellectual property in African development, and network measurements in election monitoring.

CIPIT is looking for an inquisitive, focused Fellow with tech expertise who can consult on a policy-oriented research process. This Fellow could help shape the next generation of Internet laws in Africa, and see the real-life needs of the tools and code they generate. For example, the Fellow could develop user-focused tools that help real-life events – like the Ugandan election. Learn more here.

Citizen Lab
Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto that focuses on advanced research and development at the intersection of ICTs, human rights, and global security. They provide impartial,evidence-based, peer-reviewed research on information controls to help advocacy and policy engagement on an open and secure Internet, and help secure civil society organizations from targeted attacks.

Citizen Lab is looking for a Fellow who is motivated to apply their technical skills to questions concerning technology and human rights, and brings excellent communications and technical skills. The Fellow could develop new tools to measure Internet filtering and network interference, investigate malware attacks or the privacy and security of apps and social media, and empower citizens by developing platform for corporate and public transparency. Learn more here.

ColorOfChange is a leading civil rights organization that works to strengthen the voice of Black America and create positive change around political and social issues that affect the Black community. ColorOfChange supports net neutrality and the reclassification of broadband as a public utility, and works to give their members a voice — hugely consequential, as Black and brown Americans are least able to afford the paybooths and obstacles that come with a closed Internet.

ColorOfChange is looking for a Fellow who is passionate about ensuring the US national conversation around net neutrality includes arguments in favor of net neutrality from a civil rights perspective. This Fellow would have the opportunity to pioneer tools for rapid-response campaigning that could be replicated and used by millions, find a compelling approach for users to engage with data that is integrated in the presentation itself, leverage mobile (and wearables??) for activism. Learn more here.

Data & Society
Data & Society is a research institute that is committed to identifying issues at the intersection of technology and society. They focus on social, cultural, and ethical issues arising from data-centric technological development. In 2016, they will focus on identifying major emergent issues stemming from new data-driven technologies, develop tools to help people better understand issues, and build a diverse network of researchers and practitioners.

Data & Society is looking for a Fellow who is deeply versed in technical conversations, and understands that new massive technologies are creating disruption. This Fellow would work with people from other fields to raise the technical capacity of others in the network, and engage technical communities core to Data & Society’s mission. Learn more here.

Derechos Digitales
Derechos Digitales is an organization that promotes human rights in digital environments. Their work focuses on the nuanced realities of Latin American countries, and bring these perspectives to discussions around issues like cybersecurity and corporate transparency. They work to shape policy-making on issues such as mass surveillance, digital threats to activists, and legislative work on Internet governance. In 2016 they will focus on privacy, freedom of expression and access to knowledge.

Derechos Digitales is looking for a Fellow with tech expertise who is passionate about working at the intersection of human rights and tech policy in the global south. The Fellow could provide technical advise on the tools and resources needed in these contexts, and develop tech policy documents that can bridge the human rights and tech communities. Derechos Digitales is looking for a Spanish-speaking Fellow who would be comfortable supporting capacity building sessions with local civil society organizations. Learn more here.

European Digital Rights (EDRi)
EDRi is an association of 33 civil rights organizations from across Europe, and works to promote, protect and uphold civil and human rights in the digital environment in the European Union. Their four key priorities for 2016 are data protection and privacy, mass surveillance, copyright reform and net neutrality. EDRi supports Europe’s data protection reform and campaigned against EU state surveillance proposals. The current onslaught of “counter-terrorism” proposals after recent attacks sees European governments adopting new laws with little consideration of effectiveness, proportionality, or whether privacy is being sacrificed.

EDRi is looking for a Fellow who is passionate about raising awareness about EU digital rights, and can use their technical expertise to help educate the general public, tech-policy community, and policy-makers. For example, the Fellow could explain existing data collection practices and newly gained online rights to users via an app or other tool, depending on the Fellow’s talents and preferences. The Fellow could provide technical assistance to help policy-makers and regulators understand the tools used by online companies for tracking and monitoring. Learn more here.

Freedom of the Press Foundation
Freedom of the Press Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports and defends journalism dedicated to transparency and accountability. They believe one of the most critical press freedom issues of the 21st Century is digital security, and work to ensure journalists can use technology to do their jobs safely and without the constant fear of surveillance.

Freedom of the Press Foundation is looking for a Fellow with strong technical abilities and is interested in helping journalists work safely and communicate securely.  The Fellow would apply their skills to build and support tools like SecureDrop with Freedom of the Press Foundation’s talented staff of technologists and engineers that help journalists communicate securely with sources and whistleblowers. Learn more here.

Privacy International
Privacy International focuses on privacy issues around the world. They advocate for strong privacy protection laws, investigate government surveillance, conduct research to enact policy change, and raise awareness amongst the public about technologies that place privacy at risk. In 2016 Privacy International is working partnering with organizations in the global south to identify privacy challenges, and more work on data exploitation.

Privacy International is looking for a Fellow who’s eager to learn and find new challenges. The Fellow would use their strong technical skills to translate technology to policy-makers, and help others around the world do the same. The Fellow would work with Privacy International’s Tech Team to analyze surveillance documentation and data, identify and analyze new technologies, and help develop briefings and educational programming with a technical understanding. Learn more here.

Apply now to become a Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellow!
Deadline for applications: 11:59pm PST March 20, 2016

9 comments on “Announcing the 2016 Open Web Fellows Program Host Organizations”

  1. Brenda Zulu wrote on

    I would like to apply for the Mozzila Open Web fellowship because i would like to learn and share fellow bloggers when am back home.
    My name is Brenda Zulu who is a Director at the Zambian Bloggers Network an organisation that has been adding its voice to digital rights. Zambian Bloggers Network (ZBN) is a membership organization for Journalists and bloggers. There are about over 100 bloggers who are members of our Facebook platform and about 30 paid up members.

    1. melissa wrote on

      Hi Brenda,
      Thank you for reaching out. If you (as an individual) would like to apply to the fellowship program, please use the links in the blogpost above to do so. If you’d like the Zambian Bloggers Network to be a host organization for 2017, please let us know so we can be sure to reach out to you when we start the process for finding host organizations (later this year).

  2. Mohamed Lamin Kamara wrote on

    Dear friends,
    I am interested in participating in the Mozzila open web fellowship this 2016 However, I am a Sierra Leonean filmmaker and freelance journalist. I am also a member of several local and international youth organizations, international non-governmental organizations and community base organization in the country.
    I am the current Secretary General for the Sierra Leone Film Council, Commissioner for Development Sierra Leone Scout Association, Secretary General National Copyright Committee Sierra Leone. However i have various in capacity in hosts of other organizations the list goes on………………
    I will appreciate if you will give me the opportunity to attend

    1. melissa wrote on

      Hi Mohamed,

      Thank you for your interest. Please visit the application link in the blogpost (links to:


  3. Ed Dodds wrote on

    On the Data meme: Have y’all tapped @HudsonHollister et al and the @datacoalition as resources / partners?

  4. khalil Ben aoumeur wrote on

    Hey All 🙂

    I’m khalil From algeria and im a graphic designer, So I’m so interested for participating in the Mozzila open web fellowship, as well as i’m a member At AIESEC Benak an international organization for the youth development and also working as a freelancer on graphic designs :), by the way i’m currently a designer with the congress committee team of AIESEC international congress 2016 organized by AIESEC in Polnad, however i was a blogger since 2011 (just a beginner)

    and can i attend this fellowship ?

    cheers 🙂

    1. melissa wrote on

      Hi Khalil,

      Thanks for your interest. Please apply via the links above:


  5. Mellow wrote on

    IF I choose a certain fellowship on the application would I be considered possibly for other ones IF I’m not a good fit for that certain fellowship?

    Do I need to be well established in my career? The reason I ask is because I am only in the beginning stages at the moment and don’t have much of anything or any work to show for.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. melissa wrote on

      Hi there,

      Thanks for reaching out. You would be applying for the fellowship program as a whole rather than an individual fellowship at a host organization. Answers to your question and more detail on what we’re looking for can be found here: