The Rapid Response Fund is OTF’s digital emergency response mechanism, providing short-term, urgently needed support in the face of time-sensitive internet freedom violations. If you or your organization work in the fields of human rights, activism, or journalism and media and have recently experienced a digital emergency, our Rapid Response Fund may be able to help, either through direct financial support or through technological services conducted by our trusted service partners.
When we review a Rapid Response application, there are a few questions we always keep in mind. Beyond determining whether the proposed effort fits within OTF’s remit, some of the most important to keep in mind before applying:
We accept and review applications for the Rapid Response Fund on an ongoing basis as they’re received. There are no deadlines or application rounds for Rapid Response. This ensures that digital emergencies can be addressed in real time. We aim to assess Rapid Response applications as quickly as possible, with a goal of making funding determinations within 5 days.
Concept Note Submission and Review: As soon as we receive a Rapid Response concept note, reviews are assigned and conducted - usually within 48 hours. We may contact you with clarifying questions before reaching a decision.
Advisory Council Review: If the OTF team approves your concept note, we share it with our Advisory Council (AC), which is made up of a diverse array of subject matter experts who understand various relevant fields and issues as they relate to Internet freedom. At least two AC members will review the considered concept note. A subset of our Advisory Council reviews Rapid Response applications specifically; you can find OTF’s Rapid Response AC members listed on the Rapid Response request page.
Concept Note Determination: Upon successful review by the OTF team and Advisory Council, we will inform you whether your applications has been accepted.
Legal Review: Approved Rapid Response applications are reviewed by our executive, legal and financial departments. If you reach this stage, OTF’s Director of Digital Safety will work with you on completing this step.
Contract Issued: Once the contract has been approved, it will be issued to the applicant to sign and return. Note that each contract includes standard provisions for U.S. Government funded agreements. A sample contract can be viewed here.
Project Oversight: OTF’s Director of Digital Safety will assist you for the duration of your contract. All OTF-issued contracts provision for consistent and diligent oversight that go beyond the minimum accountability safeguards and requirements. Please note that payments are only made once OTF determines that contract deliverables have been satisfactorily completed.