Security for a Civil Society

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Michael Bowen

The Ford Foundation recently partnered with The Engine Room to conduct research on the current state of digital security within the civil society community.

The report is broken into three sections:

  • The Contextual Nature of Security – which discusses “basic understandings of digital security, consider[s] political contexts, and take[s] a brief look at current and past approaches to digital security support provision.”
  • Organisational Journeys – “[I]ntroduces a framework for understanding the journey that an organisation (a grantee) goes through in developing their security processes.” And introduces three organisational archetypes:
    • Unaware – Organisations “for whom digital security is not at all a operational priiority.”
    • Learning – Organisations “who are beginning to see why digital security is important.”
    • Mastering – Organisations “who have developed ways to of implementing and operationalising digital security within their institution.”
  • Recommendations

The report analyses the different operational archetypes, and draws its conclusions based on the different stages of digital security within each community, noting that for all, each stage is “very much a ‘cycle’ rather than a one-time ‘process'”, and that funders can assist in the evolution of these cycles by ensuring digital security has a prominent focus in grant development.

A full copy of the report can be found at the link below:

Ties That Bind: Introducing Our New Research on Organisational Security for Civil Society