Digital Security Support for Freedom House's Emergency Assistance Program



Digital Security Support for Freedom House’s Emergency Assistance Program

Request for Proposals


Our Mission


Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world. Today, as more than two billion people live under oppressive rule, Freedom House speaks out against the main threats to democracy and empowers citizens to exercise their fundamental rights. We analyze the challenges to freedom; advocate for greater political and civil liberties; and support frontline activists to defend human rights and promote democratic change. Founded in 1941, Freedom House was the first American organization to champion the advancement of freedom globally. 


Consultancy Overview


Freedom House’s Emergency Assistance Program (EAP) provides rapid financial assistance to front line human rights defenders (HRDs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) targeted because of their human rights work. Since 2007, EAP has given over 4,000 grants in over 100 countries.


Freedom House seeks a firm, team, or individual capable of boosting the digital security capacity of Freedom House’s Emergency Assistance Program (EAP) through a short-term consultancy.


The consultancy first seeks to audit the current practices and infrastructure of EAP as it pertains to the lifecycle of emergency assistance, including intake of cases, communication with beneficiaries and stakeholders (including donors), storage and collection of data, and current digital security tools and procedures.


After completion of the audit, the selected firm/consultant will be expected to develop a strategy for addressing EAP’s digital security needs, including developing strategies for both internal and external components of the program. Strategies will seek to address immediate low-hanging fruit, while setting out plans of action for more resource intensive interventions in consultation with EAP staff around labor/financial/programmatic restrictions. The strategy will also propose and document digital security protocols for EAP staff to follow through their case work, including developing strategies based on working with a diverse set of beneficiaries in terms of culture, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as technical capability and level of risk.


After the strategy development, the firm/consultant will conduct a series of staff trainings on the developed protocols. Training should include strategies for determining the digital security risks/threat models of beneficiaries, selecting tools/approaches based on these circumstances, and limited training of trainers (ToTs) to enable regional specialists to remotely build the capacity of potential beneficiaries to communicate securely during the course of emergency assistance.


The consultancy will culminate with the development of final recommendations on hiring a permanent staff member on EAP to address digital security, longer-term recommendations to improve digital security that could not be completed during the consultancy due to restrictions on time/labor hours/funding, and any other additional thoughts on potential program development, including the collection of digital security data.


Activity One:  Audit of Current Practices and Infrastructure

  • Output: Audit/ Security Assessment report detailing findings delivered to the EAP team


Activity Two: Addressing Audit Findings- Internal

  • Output: Internal strategy and plan of action for addressing digital threats related to infrastructure, internal communications, and intersection of EAP with other Freedom House units.


Activity Three: Addressing Audit Findings- External

  • Output: Develop/Revise Digital Security Protocols for EAP


Activity Four:  Digital Security Trainings / Basic ToTs for Staff

  • Output: Digital security trainings conducted for EAP Staff Members


Activity Five:  Final Recommendations

  • Output: Final Recommendations Report


Evaluation Criteria

1.Proposal Narrative (35%)

2.Capacity and Past Performance (35%)

3.Timeline (5%)

4.Cost Proposal (25%)


Submission Instructions

Tuesday, November 30th, 2016 (11:59 PM EST) is the deadline for submitting full proposals. Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis. Interested parties should request a full RFP at [email protected]. Requests to receive the full RFP should include a short statement of qualifications, bio, or CV.

Freedom House reserves the right to forgo sharing the full RFP based on qualifications. Submission of a response to the RFP does not bind Freedom House to engage the firm/consultant to provide the requested services. The bidding party is solely responsible for the costs it incurs in responding to this request for proposal.