On 4 July, DFF held its first “ask us anything” call. This was a chance for organisations and individuals to informally connect with DFF staff and discuss anything they wanted to know about DFF grants for strategic litigation and how to submit a successful application.
Some of the questions that came up included the timeline for processing an application, DFF’s position on covering external counsel’s legal fees, and how to find out more about grantees DFF is supporting. We provided guidance to a current applicant on changes that might be made to their application in light of recent developments in their jurisdiction. One other organisation discussed their plans for a new case and asked questions about whether it would be a good fit for DFF grant support.
The call was a great opportunity for DFF to meet new digital rights litigators and for individuals in the digital rights field to meet each other. Following the discussions, we invited one of the organisations on the call to join a strategic litigation workshop we are organising later in the year.
This “ask us anything” call comes almost exactly one year after DFF’s grantmaking process was formally launched — in the summer of 2018. DFF continues to provide grants to support strategic litigation to advance digital rights in Europe. We now have a case study page on our website where you can see examples of the cases we have supported so far. Our first case study highlights a case by Panoptykon, who are supporting Polish civil society organisation SIN to file a lawsuit against Facebook.
In early 2019, we asked organisations we have engaged with so far to provide feedback on our grantmaking and field building activities. Overall, we were pleased to see that the feedback was very positive. However, there were some areas identified for improvement. In particular, a number of people described confusion about aspects of the grantmaking process and in deciding what kind of information to include in their application. Based on this feedback, we have developed supplementary resources to help demystify the application process and explain what a strong application for DFF support looks like. Our website now has a frequently asked questions section and application guides, describing how to fill out our grant application forms. We will continue adding to these resources based on your feedback, including what we learn from the “ask us anything” calls.
DFF plan to host another “ask us anything” call on Tuesday 10 September 2019. Please do spread the word, let us know if you want to join and we look forward to talking to many more of you then.