The Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean (FRIDA) is opening its 2019 call for proposals to fund projects, with an emphasis on community networks and women-led initiatives that promote gender equality in technology.

The FRIDA call for proposalswww.programafrida.net opens on Monday 1st April and applicants will have time until Wednesday 15 May to submit an executive summary if their projects. This year, FRIDA will offer an award that will include a USD 5,000 cash prize plus a fellowship to participate in the 2019 International Internet Governance Forum to be held in Berlin, as well as a USD 20,000 grant.

Grant for Gender-Related Projects. In 2019, FRIDA will offer a USD 20,000 grant to projects led by women that promote greater gender equality through technology, prioritizing initiatives that focus on the development of digital skills, the implementation of strategies to defend the digital rights and increase the security and inclusion of women and girls on the Internet, and support for women’s involvement in Internet infrastructure deployment to promote Internet access and adoption.

Community Networks. A USD 5,000 prize will also be offered to initiatives that involve the deployment of community networks. These projects must be designed to provide connectivity to remote, currently neglected communities, and must be built and operated by citizens who wish to bring connectivity to their community, town or city.

Selection Process and Winners. The application process will be divided in two stages. In the first stage, applicants will have time until 15 May to submit a summary of their initiatives. A Selection Committee made up by Carolina Aguerre and Carlos Rey Moreno will shortlist the projects that will advance to the final stage, during which a detailed project proposal will be requested and must be delivered before 28 June. The winning projects will be announced on 5 August.

Since 2004, FRIDA has distributed close to USD 1.6 million in the region among more than 129 innovative initiatives and projects, thus contributing to the promotion of Internet development in Latin America and the Caribbean.