Hivos International

Freedom of Expression

Alternative & Independent Media

Informed citizens are crucial, but information is worthless if it is biased, unchecked or censored. Stimulating high-quality journalism and independent news rep… » expand

Informed citizens are crucial, but information is worthless if it is biased, unchecked or censored. Stimulating high-quality journalism and independent news reporting by media organisations is, therefore, a key focal area of Hivos’ media policy.

Hivos’ approach to stimulating alternative and independent media is threefold:

1. Foster a diverse and thriving media landscape by consolidating alternative media.
2. Improve the quality of media and promote their independence.
3. Ensure that media do not only hold others to account, but themselves too.

Find out more about this Key Focal Area.

Cultural Networks

One of the key elements of Hivos’ Expression and Engagement programme is to improve the diversity, quality and independence of the cultural landscape. This al… » expand

One of the key elements of Hivos’ Expression and Engagement programme is to improve the diversity, quality and independence of the cultural landscape. This also requires strengthening cultural infrastructures.

By encouraging the formation of networks that improve cultural infrastructure we aim to open a channel for the voices of Southern artists, better the conditions for cultural production and increase the (inter)national marketing options of Southern artists. Cultural Networks addresses crucial needs like capacity development, advocacy and creating global collaboration by stimulating and connecting regional initiatives.

Find out more about this Key Focal Area.

Cultural Productions

Hivos stimulates cultural (co)productions by aiding art education and workshops, stimulating new talent, setting up or supporting national and international cul… » expand

Hivos stimulates cultural (co)productions by aiding art education and workshops, stimulating new talent, setting up or supporting national and international cultural exchange projects, and by further professionalising (local) cultural organisations.

In principle, Hivos is open to all sorts and combinations of disciplines: the performing arts, the visual arts, film and new forms of creative expression that use ICT and new media. We support activities in the spheres of artistic and cultural production without differentiating between "low" and "high" art or "academic" art and "popular" culture.

Hivos adheres to a definition of culture as a broad and dynamic framework that encompasses people’s practices, values, beliefs, aspirations and how they shape their own lives. Cultural Productions aims to:

  • open up space in society for critical reflection and dialogue ;
  • contribute to people's self-esteem and notions of identity ;
  • promote exchange and dialogue between different cultural communities;
  • strengthen the capacity of an independent arts and culture sector in the South.

Find out more about this Key Focal Area.

Festivals and Cultural Spaces

In many cases, artists direct most of their energies and funds toward the realisation of a concrete artwork or production, such as film, an exhibit or a play, w… » expand

In many cases, artists direct most of their energies and funds toward the realisation of a concrete artwork or production, such as film, an exhibit or a play, without seeing distribution as a priority. But if their work does not reach a wider public, it is very difficult to increase the economic sustainability of the arts and culture sector.

Hivos supports festivals and cultural spaces in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Netherlands to strengthen the cultural landscape, facilitate exchanges between artists and reach wider audiences. Festivals and cultural spaces provide an ideal platform for cultural expression, public debate and cultural exchange both nationally and internationally, while offering artists the opportunity to increase their income and distribute their creative products.

Find out more about this Key Focal Area.

Internet Freedom

In many countries, Internet Freedom is not enshrined in law and can come under threat from governmental legal and political action. By simply exercising their r… » expand

In many countries, Internet Freedom is not enshrined in law and can come under threat from governmental legal and political action. By simply exercising their right to free speech, bloggers, activists and human rights defenders often face arrest, torture, imprisonment, and sometimes even the death penalty.

In order to harness ICT’s exciting potential, Hivos strives towards consolidating and safequarding Internet Freedom through improvements in three key areas:

  • Prevention & Protection (digital safety and security for activists);
  • Policy & Privacy (internet governance policy and privacy protection);
  • Pressure (against online human rights abuses).

These areas are of course not always neatly separated, and some of our activities focus on more than one.

Find out more about this Key Focal Area.

Key Focal Areas

  • radio studio

    Diverse, high-quality and independent media are crucial for the development of a democratic society. 

  • By encouraging the formation of networks that improve cultural infrastructure we aim to open a channel for the voices of Southern artists, better the conditions for cultural production and increase

  • Hivos stimulates cultural (co)productions by aiding art education and workshops, stimulating new talent, setting up or supporting national and international cultural exchange projects, and by furth

  • Photo:Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts, India / Hivos.

    Hivos supports festivals and cultural spaces in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Netherlands to strengthen the cultural landscape, facilitate exchanges between artists and reach wider audiences.

  • Freedom of expression and the media is a basic requirement for citizens to stay informed, express an opinion and become civically involved in society.