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Headquarters: Raamweg 16
2596 HL Den Haag
The Netherlands
Employees: 324 (119 in the Netherlands)
Revenue: € 115.8 million

Hivos is an international organization, headquartered in the Netherlands, which "seeks new solutions to persistent global issues". Its primary focus is on achieving structural change that will oppose discrimination, inequality, abuses of power, and unsustainable use of the planet's resources.[1]

Hivos' advocacy networks include over 700 partner organisations in Africa, Asia and Latin America, as well as Dutch and European organisations.

Safeguarding Internet Freedoms

Hivos is an organization with many focuses, but one of Hivos' main focal points is consolidating and safeguarding Internet Freedoms, through improvement in three key areas:[2]

Prevention & Protection
To support what Hivos calls "smart activism", the organization supports activities and partnerships which raise activists' awareness of skills that prevent and deal with online security threats, so that they can enjoy the full freedom of online expression in a safe manner. Hivos enhances secure communication by conducting research, offering training, and encouraging peer-to-peer learning. One such example is Supporting events such as the Arab Blogger Conference, which gathers activists from all over the MENA region to exchange and discuss digital tactics that will realize democratic change. Hivos uses prevention and protection to offer technical and practical support to activists.[2]

Policy & Privacy
Hivos and its partners lobby for inclusive internet governance regulation and support "Internet Governance roundtables", under the belief that facilitating discussions among civil society, governments, and the private sector encourage success in the long-term future of Internet Freedom. It works with its partners on creating country-specific action plans for improvement, as well as preserve the privacy of citizens and protect them from government and private sector intrusion. Hivos supports research into the technology ecosystem and subsequent lobbying. Its Internet Governance Programme, for example, pushed for an Internet policy agenda in the MENA region, engaged in the regional and global policy dialogues, and held IG training courses for stakeholders.[2]

Hivos places international and regional pressure on regimes that promote online human rights abuses. Some of the organization's partners garner international attention for individual cases, such as the network behind Mid Esat Youth, while others, like Threatened Voices, offer insight into the prevalence of blogger and activist persecution by tracking and documenting the suppression of online free speech. Through its initiatives to employ ICT technologies to ICT technologies to help safeguard worldwide internet and communications freedoms, Hivos has garnered (financial) support from a wide array of organisations, institutions and foundations, such as the Dutch Foreign Ministry.[2]


Hivos supports a number of initiatives around the world the support internet freedoms, including but not limited to:[2]

  • IGMENA: A program which brings voices together from the MENA region (Middle East and North African region) on Internet Governance and policies. In response to the importance of internet during the "Arab Spring", and the limited amount of legal framework for Internet freedoms that exist in most of those countries, IGMENA believes in assuring freedom of expression and information within MENA counties. As a result, IGMENA believes that Internet Governance should be confined to the government, technical experts, and business representatives, and aims to attract wider participation from a wide-ranging number of civil society individuals, including bloggers, journalists, students, public sector employees and members of the private sector. It encourages those individuals to come together, share knowledge, and create national and regional action plans.[1]

Focal Points & Solutions

Hivos focuses the following points -- which include preserving Internet Freedom, as mentioned -- and aims to alleviate them through a number of methods and programs:[3]

  • Sustainable Food[4]
    • Building Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)
    • Financing Rural Entrepreneurship
    • Sustainable Agriculture, Biodiversity and Climate Change
    • Sustainable Producer Entrepreneurship and Markets
  • Renewable Energy[5]
    • 100% Sustainable
    • Carbon Finance
    • Renewable Energy in Practice
  • Transparency & Accountability[6]
    • Democratic Change
    • Stop Child Labour
    • Transparency & Accountability
  • Freedom of Expression[7]
    • Alternative & Independent Media
    • Cultural Networks
    • Cultural Productions
    • Festivals and Cultural Spaces
    • Internet Freedom
  • Sexual Rights & Diversity[8]
    • HIV/AIDS & High Risk Groups
    • LGBT Rights
    • Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)
  • Women's Empowerment[9]
    • Women@Work
    • Women's Empowerment


  1. 1.0 1.1 About, HIVOSorg. Retrieved 2016 March 24. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "about" defined multiple times with different content
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 About Internet Freedom, Retrieved 2016 March 24.
  3. What We Do, Retrieved 2016 March 24.
  4. Sustainable Food, Retrieved 2016 March 24.
  5. Renewable Energy, Retrieved 2016 March 24.
  6. Transparency & Accountability, Retrieved 2016 March 24.
  7. Freedom of Expression, Retrieved 2016 March 24.
  8. Sexual Rights & Diversity, Retrieved 2016 March 24.
  9. Women's Empowerment, Retrieved 2016 March 24.