Civil Rights Defenders seeking Digital Security Trainers

Civil Rights Defenders is seeking bids from organisations or individuals to enter a frame agreement to perform remote and in-person security trainings for our partner organisations and their networks, starting in 2022, with the possibility of annual extensions. We are seeking trainers within four fields: Digital security, Organizational security, Psychosocial security and Interrogation/interview resistance.

1. About Civil Rights Defenders

Civil Rights Defenders is a non-profit expert human rights organisation with over 30 years’ experience of supporting civil society and strengthening human rights defenders in repressive countries. Together with partners, we monitor human rights developments, demand reform, justice, and accountability. We support human rights defenders at risk by providing trainings, technical and financial assistance, networking platforms and peer support. We have more than two hundred partners throughout Eastern Europe, the Western Balkans, Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

We work from a defender-centric approach, meaning we recognise that our partners are the experts of their situation and are at the heart of the solution. In other words, we work for and with our partners.

Our head office is in Stockholm, Sweden, with local offices in Belgium, Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Colombia, Turkey, Southeast Asia, and East Africa.

Our Vision

A world of democratic societies in which we all enjoy our civil and political rights.

Our Mission

Our mission is to defend civil and political rights together with local human rights defenders to increase their security, capacity, and access to justice. We work as a part of a global movement of human rights defenders and partner with those at risk. Through legal means and public advocacy, we hold states, individuals, and non-state actors accountable for human rights violations. We advocate for the norms and values of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other relevant human rights standards, as we encourage people to use these rights to promote democratic societies.

2. Invitation to Tender

We are seeking bids from organisations or individuals to enter a frame agreement to perform security trainings for our partner organisations and their networks, starting in 2022, with the possibility of annual extensions.

We are looking for trainers capable of providing our partners with capacity building interventions on one (or more) of the following topics:

  • Digital security (Ref. P-2022-1)
  • Organizational security (Ref. P-2022-2)
  • Psychosocial security (Ref. P-2022-3)
  • Interrogation/interview resistance (Ref. P-2022-4)

Due to the circumstances of the global pandemic, we are especially looking for contractors who can perform remote and/or hybrid trainings.

Civil Rights Defenders is currently building up partner security support capacity via contracted consultants. We may award several frame agreements per topic based on bids received under this invitation.

The frame agreement will specify general terms, reimbursement rates and the services Civil Rights Defenders may procure from the contractor during the agreement period. As needed for our partner support activities, Civil Rights Defenders will then procure trainings and other interventions from our long-term contractors, under the terms set out in the frame agreement.

We welcome contractors of many different backgrounds and skill sets. Our defender-centric methodology means that trainings and other interventions are planned and produced with the human rights defenders’ interests and needs front and centre. We are not seeking to mainstream a particular way of working or set of tools unless there are clear benefits for our partners.

3. Profile of the Contractor

Pursuant to our core values and mission we are primarily seeking consultants operating from the principle that security and safety training must consider the entire human being and social context—what’s often called a holistic perspective. As we work with a very diverse group of partners, consultants with knowledge of LGBTI-issues and with a feminist intersectional perspective are prioritised. To us these are more than buzzwords, and we seek consultants who feel the same way.

We are especially interested in bids from organisations or individuals in the countries and regions we work in. Knowledge of local or regional languages, cultural and political understanding, and access to local communities are all important qualities we seek.

Required skills and experiences:

  • Working with human rights defenders in sensitive countries and contexts,
  • Designing, conducting, and evaluating trainings and other interventions,
  • Proven experience in conducting remote or mixed-mode/hybrid trainings and other interventions,
  • Working from a feminist intersectional perspective,
  • Working freely in speech and writing in English,
  • Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of security and being able to identify needs and giving advice to human rights defenders,
  • Significant experience of civil society organisations and/or informal networks and groups,
  • Experience in applying quantitative and qualitative evaluations methods.

Other desirable qualities:

  • Availability for travel regionally and/or sometimes intercontinentally, when and if such travel becomes relevant,
  • Knowledge of the principles of a human rights-based approach and experience and knowledge of ethical codes in relation to human rights work,
  • Knowledge of local languages in one or more of the regions we work in.

4. Selection Criteria

Bids received under this invitation are rated on the following criteria. The percentages indicate the weight assigned to each in the overall assessment of the bid.

Price (20%)

Price is of course an important factor in our assessment of bids. However, we wish to encourage a healthy market where contractors are paid reasonably for their work, and our assessment will reflect this.

Capacity and Services (30%)

The capacity to take on assignments and the services offered are assessed together. The factors assessed include language skills, proficiency with different platforms and tools, knowledge of methods and frameworks, as well as availability throughout the contract period.

Security (25%)

Due to the nature of the work to be performed, we will assess the bidders’ security posture and experience in working under stricter requirements for security and confidentiality.

Suitability (25%)

We will also consider the background, geographical location, and previous experience of the bidders. As an organisation with a global mandate, we value diversity among our contractors.

5. How to Submit a Bid

Bids will be received until January 31, 2022. After assessment, Civil Rights Defenders will offer one or several bidders to sign framework agreements for the services offered in their bid.

Please see the sections below for information on the profile we seek and the evaluation criteria!

We kindly ask you to submit at most 3 pages in response to this invitation. Your bid should at least include:

  • A short background of you or organisation,
  • Your experience performing digital security trainings, specifically highlighting experience in performing remote or mixed-mode/hybrid trainings,
  • A brief overview of how you work—your “teaching style” or methodologies,
  • Your daily rate for the services offered.

Every qualified bid will be considered. Civil Rights Defenders does not discriminate based on race, colour, religion, gender, gender identity or orientation, genetic information, age, national origin, marital status, disability status, political ideology, or any other characteristics protected by applicable law.

Please submit your bid to by 23:59 on January 31, 2022. Mark all documents with the reference number(s) for the services you are bidding to offer. Bids will be received in English or Swedish.

For any questions regarding the process, send an email to (Signal and other channels available on request.)

Any information submitted will be processed under the Civil Rights Defenders Privacy Policy.