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The organisations



Hivos is an international organisation that seeks new solutions to persistent global issues. With smart projects in the right places, we oppose discrimination, inequality, abuse of power and the unsustainable use of our planet’s resources. Counterbalance alone, however, is not enough. Our primary focus is achieving structural change. This is why we cooperate with innovative businesses, citizens and their organisations. We share a dream with them of sustainable economies and inclusive societies.

We believe that every human being has the right to live in freedom and dignity. You can be who you are, whether you are male, female, gay, straight, or anything in between. Moreover, you should have the freedom to believe and say what you want, to challenge governments and stir up the established order. Your freedom only ends where another person’s freedom begins, and of course where the earth imposes her limits. The depletion of natural resources, loss of biodiversity and climate change already have major implications for the most vulnerable inhabitants of our planet. They, and future generations, are entitled to a truly sustainable world.


The problems Hivos wants to confront...

...are complex and can change rapidly. Against a background of structural poverty, climate change and repression, we see economic crises, rising food prices and growing inequality. There are no simple or quick fixes. For real change to take place, we need to foster smart thinking and innovative solutions. Courage, creativity and knowledge are required to build a green and open world.

We cooperate with various partners across four continents. These can be artists, lawyers, or hackers, but also governments, energy companies and knowledge institutions. The projects we develop and support can be large-scale and long-term, but also small and experimental – a farmers cooperative, or a breeding ground for Internet entrepreneurs, for example. They can also be in the form of a campaign against corruption, a partnership with a coffee trader or a safe haven for a gay activist. What our partners have in common is that they seek to bring about social change through innovative ways. We recognise that same drive in many people across the world.



ARTICLE 19 works so that people everywhere can express themselves freely, access information and enjoy freedom of the press. We understand freedom of expression as three things:

Freedom of expression is the right to speak.

Freedom of expression is freedom of the press.

Freedom of expression is the right to know.

ARTICLE 19 designs and promotes laws and policies that protect free expression, holding abusers and governments to account, and advocate for legal reforms. Through our legal and policy hot desk, we also respond to urgent requests from activists needing support and expert advice worldwide.

We assist the media in its professional development with a range of training and capacity-building resources on freedom of the press, journalists’ rights, defamation, public interest broadcasting, media pluralism, and reporting diversity.

We defend victims by monitoring and analysing abuses, publicising the plight of individuals under attack, providing security training and security measures for journalists and human rights defenders, and litigating on their behalf.

We also actively demand transparency and accountability by testing governments’ transparency practices and access to information provisions, and by campaigning for the disclosure of information of public interest.

School of Data

School of Data is a global network committed to advancing data literacy in civil society. Information that directly impact people’s lives is increasingly accessible but civil society is falling behind in making effective use of it. Through our global network of data literacy practitioners and trainers, School of Data seeks to address this data skills gaps in order to amplify the messages of civil society through the use of data. School of Data is seeking to level the playing field by ensuring that civil society organisations and newsrooms have the knowledge, resources and tools they need to participate fully in the information age. School of Data will support the Open Up Contracting Programme by coordinating a team of international mentors willing and able to help the programme's partner organisations successful implement their projects.



CoST is the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative and works with governments, industry and civil society around the world to get better value from public infrastructure investment by increasing transparency and accountability.

It is a multi-stakeholder initiative with 15 national and sub-national programmes spanning four continents that promotes transparency by disclosing data from public infrastructure investment. This helps to inform and empower citizens, enabling them to hold decision-makers to account. Informed citizens and responsive public institutions can lead to the introduction of reforms that will reduce mismanagement, inefficiency, corruption and the risks posed to the public from poor infrastructure.

CoST works at the sub-national, national and international level to facilitate the global exchange of experience and knowledge on transparency and accountability in public infrastructure. In so doing, CoST works closely with other global transparency initiatives like the Open Government Partnership and the Open Contracting Partnership.

The Engine Room

The Engine Room accelerates social change by helping activists, organisations and other social change agents - especially frontline human rights and governance organisations - make the most of data and technology to increase their own impact. We provide direct support to activists to improve their strategic understanding of data and technology, convene people in communities, and conduct research about the latest tools and methods as a contribution to the global conversation about how to work for social change in the digital age.

Throughout the Hivos Foundation’s Open Up Contracting programme, The Engine Room has been providing high level strategic advice on the new partnership model of the programme. We also supported the partner selection process as part of the selection committee, and facilitated sessions at various events related to the programme.


Our Partners