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Call for Learners for the Infuse Pilot

Are you a digital protector (digital security trainer, auditor, technologist, etc.) who is interested in gaining specialized skills to better protect at-risk organizations and individuals in your community?

Internews, in partnership with DefendDefenders and a wider network of global protectors, is building Infuse, a framework which aims to assist Learners in their efforts to upskill in areas of specialized technical expertise. While the framework is open to anyone, Internews and DefendDefenders are offering dedicated support through a fellowship program to select Learners to pilot and launch this community and provide opportunities to apply newly gained skills. Apply today to receive support as one of the inaugural Learners with the new Infuse framework!

Selected Learners will receive support through a fellowship program to follow learning paths for one or more of the following areas of specialized technical expertise using Infuse learning paths.

  • Detecting, Investigating, and Tracking Malicious Infrastructure
  • Malware Detection
  • Malware Investigation
  • Web Application Security Fundamentals
  • Web Application Assessment
  • Web Application Attach Preparation, Forensics, and Incident Response

How Internews and DefendDefenders will support selected Learners:

  • Providing access to self-guided learning paths developed and reviewed by global subject matter experts from the digital protector community.
    • Learning paths provide guidance for how one can upskills in an area of specialized technical expertise. This can be self-guided or completed with help from peers and/or Mentors**. Learning paths include a subject matter overview, recommendations for resources and tools and context for using them, practice exercises, and options for verifying your new skills.
    • Badges will be associated with learning paths, allowing Learners who complete the path a standardized way to demonstrate their grasp of the specialized technical expertise.
    • All learning paths include skill verification exercises. Infuse, upon request, will match Learners with a Mentor or peer Learner to help them verify their skills and to provide overall guidance and support. There are also options for Learners to self-verify their skills.
    • **Learners will have the opportunity to work with a Mentor (a digital protector with subject matter expertise relevant to the learning path subjects) and/or a peer Learner (another Learner following the same learning path). Working with a Mentor or peer Learner is optional, but is highly recommended and encouraged.
  • Offering resources to Learners (as individuals or part of an organization) who will apply their newly gained skills by providing direct support to marginalized, vulnerable, or at-risk communities. Please note that resources will be distributed as needed and available. These may include:
    • Fellowship funding opportunities. These are split into three phases. Learners must apply separately to participate in each phase:
      • Phase 1 – Learning: Fellowship of $500 USD for selected Learners who follow and complete a learning path relevant to their context.
      • Phase 2 – Implementing Learning: Fellowship of $1,500 USD for selected Learners who complete Phase 1 and wish to implement their newly gained skills while providing direct support to individuals or communities in need.
      • Phase 3 – Exchange Program: Fellowship of $2,500 USD for selected Learners who complete Phase 1 and want to participate in a cross-regional, in-person exchange program where Learners are matched with a digital protector organization in another region. Internews will cover all travel, accommodation, etc. related to the exchange.
    • Limited funds will be available to purchase laptops, other hardware, and/or software for individual Learners and the communities they are supporting.
  • Providing spaces for Learners to connect with one another to discuss learning materials and techniques for applying them in their communities.

Eligibility and Application Instructions:

To participate as a Learner in this fellowship and be eligible to receive the above support, you must meet most of the following criteria.

  • Be based in or work closely with communities based in the Sub-Saharan Africa Preference may be given to Learners based in the following countries: Burundi, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe.
  • Be a member of or have experience providing support for at-risk communities
  • Have demonstrated experience working as a digital protector. The learning paths cover specialized digital security topics, so baseline digital security technical knowledge and skills are required (each learning path describes the prerequisite knowledge and skill required).
  • Have demonstrated interest in implementing at least one newly gained skill from the Infuse framework while providing direct support to at-risk individuals or organizations.

Language Proficiency

  • English-language reading comprehension skills, while not required, will likely be useful in completing the learning paths as they utilize many English-language resources. Some learning path content will eventually be translated into Arabic, French, and Spanish, but many resources linked out are not available in these languages. If you have questions or concerns about language, please do not hesitate to reach out (see contact information at the end of this document).

You may apply as an individual or as an organization. Support will be disbursed through fellowships for individual Learners and subgrant funding for organizations which hire digital protectors who upskill and implement newly gained skills while providing direct support to communities in need.

To apply, please complete the application form: https://forms.gle/wJp52exCM5V6cJxS7

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but preference will be given to applicants who complete the form by 19th January 2024.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this application is only to apply for Phase 1 – Learning, and if you are selected, you have only been selected for Phase 1. If interested, you will have the opportunity to apply for Phases 2 and 3 (Implementing Learning & Exchange Program) after being selected for and completing Phase 1.

Contact us with any questions!

Contact the Infuse team at Internews at [email protected] and C.C [email protected]

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