OUR STRATEGIC PLAN FOR 2023-2026
Redefining our work for the coming years: a roadmap for our groundbreaking community impact in 2023-2026 and beyond
We are thrilled to share our Strategic Plan 2023-2026. This strategy has been a work of love, collaboration, co-creation, and passion. The iterative drafting process took many months, starting with a team retreat in early summer of 2022 and culminating with our Board approving the strategy in December 2022. The process included extensive internal discussions among the staff and with our Board members, and more than fifteen external consultations with partners and allies. You can now download the full strategy here.
We have completely redefined our values and theory of change for this strategy. It incorporates our goals for the next four years, and our evolving culture, innovations in methodologies and approach to continue decolonising the organisation. The discussions were also informed by a previous evaluation of the organisation by external consultants, by our team’s self-reflection and workshops on internal decolonising, and by the results of the Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability & Learning (MEAL) process and methodologies that we have implemented for a number of years.
Since 2017, DFF has been heavily involved in facilitating the digital rights community’s collaboration and co-creation of ideas to support strategic litigation to advance digital rights in Europe. In 2021, we took major steps to further integrate racial, social, gender, and economic justice perspectives into our main work streams, and critically self-reflect on our approach to work. Our commitment is to have an anti-oppressive and decolonial framing as a permanent and prevalent part of our organisational strategy.
The feedback, thought-provoking ideas, and candid insights we received helped us to uncover a better defined mission, a new set of values, and sharpened the focus of our Theory of Change. They also helped to crystallise our strategic priorities.
As we move into our sixth year of existence, a key recognition in our new strategy is that we are a maturing organisation. As such, our focus has shifted to ensure that our operations infrastructure safeguards the sustainability and resilience of the organisation; guarantees staff well-being, mental health and satisfaction; aligns with principles of anti-oppression and diversity; and enables future diversification and careful growth. We are confident that we are in the best position to realise our strategic priorities and continue advancing and protecting human rights in digital spaces, reducing the negative impact of technology in the world, and creating systemic change through conscientious grantmaking, curated skill- and knowledge-building events, and a growing network of partners and allies.
In the coming years, our main plans include:
Grantmaking to match the needs of the community
Over the next years, we will expand on our historical strength by deepening our commitment to the digital rights community. We will actively explore and experiment with new and more flexible forms of funding. For instance, rather than only funding a specific case, we could provide flexible funding for an organisation to work on litigation strategies and cases on a broader digital rights issue for an extended period. The focus would be less on litigation outcomes, and more on organisational learning, piloting and strengthening outcomes. The goal of this funding would be to help particularly under-resourced or marginalised organisations, or organisations new to digital rights litigation, to have the time and resources to move forward with litigation.
Some of the approaches we will be exploring include support for pre-litigation planning, community/movement lawyering work, post-litigation activities, ‘flow fund’ for innovative ideas, litigation hubs (action by a group of organisations doing targeted work on a specific issue), and theme-specific or region-specific grants.
Community Building, Strengthening, and Support
We have demonstrated our value in helping to build a “community” of organisations and individuals working on digital rights issues in Europe. Over the next years we intend to continue building this community and extend it to a wider range of organisations. We will continue to facilitate events and convenings and create resources to support this community in pursuing strong and strategic litigation on digital rights issues, with better coordination amongst organisations, and greater skills- and knowledge-building and sharing. At the same time, we aspire to better equip this community with the means to apply anti-colonial principles in their work, such as equity, dignity, and redistributed power dynamics.
Deepening the journey towards decolonising the digital rights field
We are committed to becoming a support hub for decolonising the digital rights field by applying the following streams of activities:
- Anti-colonial retreats and peer-learning sessions: We will continue to organise peer-learning sessions, open to all interested organisations, on tackling digital rights issues from an anti-colonial perspective.
- Anti-colonial content sharing and production: We will take a further role in the sharing of knowledge and practices on the abolition of power dynamics rooted in coloniality via the creation of a network of experts, the production of toolkits and other printable documents, and the development of a participatory online platform that allows the sharing and archiving of anti-colonial content.
- Peer-learning group of funders: We will continue to play a leading role in the co-organisation of a nascent group of philanthropic foundations and meet with them regularly to discuss decolonisation theory and practice within their organisations and how they can best support decolonising processes within the digital rights field.