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Announcing Ngao Yetu: Digital Security with Usable Tools

We are incredibly excited to announce Ngao Yetu: Digital Security with Usable Tools, a unique masterclass for current and upcoming digital security trainers working with human rights defenders in East Africa. Ngao Yetu combines two back-to-back workshops: a User Experience (UX) training facilitated by a UX expert followed by an advanced digital security training of trainers facilitated by DefendersTech. Read on below for more information on both parts of the program.

Ngao Yetu is open to tech-savvy human rights defenders, digital security trainers, and technologists working with human rights defenders in Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti, Sudan, South Sudan, and Ethiopia.

The program takes place in Nairobi and runs from September 27th to October 5th 2017 so make sure you can block off all of those 9 days and are able travel to Kenya for this intense knowledge-packed session. Be prepared to complete some pre-workshop assignments as well over the coming weeks. Ready to apply? APPLY NOW! Application closes September 10th.

DefendersTech is a project of DefendDefenders (the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project). It aims to empower human rights defenders to unlock the potentials of technology while staying secure, effective, and innovation. The UX Workshop is a collaboration with Internews as part of their USABLE project.

What is in Ngao Yetu: Digital Security with Usable Tools?

Digital Safety Training of Trainers

There is an increased barrage of digital risks, threats and attacks against human rights defenders and independent media practitioners. Risk assessment and defense against threats in this area is not always intuitive even for otherwise technologically proficient human rights defenders. Therefore, there is need to create a pool of digital safety trainers and practitioner within the East and Horn of Africa region to raise awareness, impart skills and respond to threats when they emerge.

The digital safety training of trainers will explore digital risk assessment, protection of data, devices security, account lock-down, and communications privacy. In addition, there will be a session on training skills, elaborating how to share digital safety information effectively with communities who need your skills.

UX Workshop

Attendees will participate in a 4-day User Experience Workshop tailored to digital security trainers under Internews’ human-centered security project, USABLE ( The goal of the workshop is to empower and enhance digital security trainers’ understanding of the specific usability roadblocks tool developers face in the design and deployment of their products, while also equipping trainers to better collect and gather important feedback from high-risk communities they work with. The project aims to improve the usability of critical open source security and privacy tools used by high-risk groups around the world, in order to scale adoption of good information security practices.

The 4-day workshop will be co-facilitated with a regional digital security trainer and User Experience expert, who will walk us through the biggest challenges open source developers face in creating usable and useful products for vulnerable communities, and will facilitate discussion on how we can improve feedback on changing threats and constraints when it comes to learning new technologies for different groups.

After the workshop, we will be opening up a regional pool of funding for trainers to apply the new skills they’ve learned and jump-start this critical feedback mechanism. Feedback will be collected in a number of areas like user-interface or work flow hurdles which are causing low adoption to changing threats or operating environments.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for tech-capable human rights defenders and journalists who have attended a digital security training before, have conducted digital security trainings themselves, or who work within the ICT/IT department within their organizations. Applicants must have strong computer and/or digital security skills.

Participant must be willing to carry out digital safety training and UX Workshops after attending the training-workshop

 How do I apply?

Ngao Yetu will take place in Nairobi from September 27th to October 5th. Make sure you can be available for those days including a travel days. Program activities will be held in English.

Ready? Apply online HERE before September 10th 2017. In case of any questions please write to us at [email protected]

Ngao Yetu is supported with the generous financial assistance of the OSIEA and Internews