The Digital Security curriculum for Human Rights Defenders in Uganda

Aware of the fact that many human rights defenders in Uganda are adopting ICT solutions to do their work which inadvertently has put them at the risk of a cyber attack, this project was born. The purpose of it is to develop a contextualized Digital Security Training curriculum, framework and manual for HRDs in Uganda. These resources will harmonize the different training practices, tools and information from different digital security trainers and organisations so as to eliminate, duplicity and conflict and to facilitate the adoption of better contextualized, localized training practices and tools to reinforce the digital security in the work of HRDs in Uganda.

To achieve our goal Defenders Protection Initiative (DPI) decided to adopt the principles of digital development such as collaboration, designing with the users in mind, using data and understanding the existing ecosystem, designing for scale and reuse and utilizing open source standards. Their approach will include, a cross-sectional baseline study/research that will inform the idea finding, conceptualisation and development of a prototype with digital security trainers. Further, this prototype will undergo testing to guarantee its effectiveness. The 9 principles of digital development shall be included.

Collaboration is a crucial part of this project. Digital Security Alliance members, that comprise of technologists, IT Officers, digital security trainers and experts from several organisations came together, such as Defender Defenders, CIPESA, IFreedom, National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders, Her Internet, Her Empire, Human Rights Center – Uganda, NGO Forum, Human Rights Network for Journalists, Defenders Protection Initiative, and Encrypt Uganda.

Initially they are collaborating through the baseline study and this will inform the next phase where workshops involving the target users will evolve, conceive and develop a prototype. The collaboration will continue even during the testing phase, where different partners will test the prototype to give feedback of its application.

This project will be implemented between June 2020 until February 2021.


The design of this Digital Security Training Curriculum to provide a comprehensive and holistic reference for Human Rights Defenders and other Digital Security trainers in Uganda was supported by a diverse network of individuals and organizations. These included the DHRLab Project.

We thank each of them for their valuable contribution to the development process of this curriculum, as well as for their ongoing efforts to increasing digital security awareness in Uganda. 

The content was shaped and greatly enriched by the following people who contributed their knowledge, insights and first-hand experience throughout the consultative process. In particular, we would like to thank Andrew Gole, (Encrypt Uganda) Lindsey Kukunda, (Her Empire) Kelly Daniel Kigonya, (IFreedom) Brian Byaruhanga, (DPI), Joseph Kasozi (HRCU), Fred Drapari (DPI) Sandra Kwikiriza (Her Internet) Kettie Kahume (Her Internet) Innocent Adriko (DLI), Emma Magambo (HRNJ), Ruth Apolot, Sonia Karungi, Ruth Atim, Shane Senyonga (Cloud & Pillar), Ben Kerry Mawejje, David Idoru (NGO Forum), and Eddie Muwumuza (Her Empire) and all the members of the Digital Security Community of Practice


The content in this curriculum was sourced and customized to fit the context of human rights defenders in Uganda from the following online sources under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike Unported 3.0 license by multiple authors. 

Level up (

Safer Journo Digital Security resources for Media Trainers (Internews)

Security in a box –

Cyber women – Institute for War and Peace Reporting –

Surveillance Self Defence