By Ifeoma Asika
The Internet Society Foundation has launched a new emergency response grant programme targeted at organizations working on projects that use the Internet to improve lives during or in response to an emergency.
With a focus this year on COVID-19, the Foundation will solicit grant applications from programmes that respond to the pandemic both during the immediate period of the crisis and in the aftermath. Grants of US$250,000 – US$500,000 will be awarded to organizations for projects lasting up to 12 months.
The programme will open for applications between May 5 and May 17 and the grantees will be announced on May 27.
The Foundation is committed to working with organizations that take known Internet-based technical solutions and apply them to COVID-19 responses, or are pivoting from their regular activities to create new projects or new technical solutions to address the pandemic. Examples of projects that would be considered for funding include: apps that accelerate and coordinate humanitarian response, services that promote and enable distance learning for students, platforms that establish new pathways to alternate livelihoods, and indexes that demonstrate urban and/or rural pandemic preparedness.
“More than ever, we recognize the importance that the Internet plays during this uncertain time, serving as a lifeline that enables children to continue learning; families and friends to stay connected; and vital public health information to keep circulating,” said Executive Director of the Internet Society Foundation, Sarah Armstrong. “We are launching this programme as we believe access to the Internet can create healthier and safer communities, reduce vulnerabilities and help build the resilience communities need to navigate this pandemic and emerge better prepared in the future.”