2021 Call for Applications

Selected projects 2021

Highlights of the 2021 Edition of Líderes 2.0

Furtherance of work on one of five possible Internet Governance issue areas, highlighting the nuances faced by each community Access to funding up to US$1,500 Access to a mentor that is knowledgeable on global Internet Governance issues
Three-month period to conduct a mini-research project Resulting work to be featured on LACNIC’s website and promoted via LACNIC’s communication channels Regional recognition of your intellectual property and your take on an issue your community faces


In developing responses to manage COVID-19, preserve the welfare of all citizens, and maintain livelihoods at the same time, digital issues and the way they are governed certainly remain at the forefront. 

The second edition of the Líderes 2.0 Program continues to provide key support to national and regional Internet Governance Initiatives (NRI) so they will promote awareness of these issues across the entire region, and even the world.


The program aims to provide funding and mentorship to successful applicants to research and present more detailed knowledge on select Internet Governance (IG) issues as they are perceived within their communities.

Líderes 2.0 will continue to prioritize intersessional work, underrepresented communities, and peer exchanges while providing a platform for the voices of successful candidates to be heard.

LACNIC will not explicitly endorse nor be responsible nor liable for the views nor the content produced within the final submissions. 

Thematic Areas

Internet and the Pandemic: Impacts on Human Rights

Human rights are essential to the formulation of responses to the global pandemic. These responses need to be respectful of the advances that have been made in Internet Rights. In this second year of the pandemic, are there still compromises between pandemic responses and the enjoyment of human rights. 

Projects in this area may touch on, inter alia, freedom of expression versus censorship, data protection and privacy, gender issues, online surveillance, access to truthful information/managing fake news, and democracy.

Digital Inclusion

The pandemic has exposed the digital gaps that exist in our region. Digital opportunity — the ability to leverage the Internet for socioeconomic gains — is still very disparate among and within countries. Inequalities for the ‘have nots’ are susceptible to being exacerbated if strategies for closing the digital divide are not considered.

Projects in this area may touch on topics such as connecting the elderly, connecting marginalized groups, quality and affordable Internet access, equitable remote education for children, digital skills, and equitable access to e-health. 

Security and Trust

As recognized by the Internet Governance Forum, trust in the online world is a prerequisite for the Internet to develop its potential as a tool for empowerment, a channel of free speech, and an engine for economic development. Collaborative approaches that recognize the roles and responsibilities of systems and users are essential to building trust and security, and thus addressing the effects of malicious actors. In 2020, there has been an uptick of cyberattacks, which has made cybersecurity plans more critical at both organizational and national levels.

Projects in this area may touch on, inter alia, cyber hygiene; trust and the media; cybersecurity practices and norms; digital safety for all; economic and technical impacts of cybersecurity incidents; and security, stability and resilience in Internet infrastructure.

Internet and Productivity

Stay-at-home measures and work-from-home arrangements have been a typical emergency response to COVID-19 scenarios around the globe. Have these attempts at upholding productivity and people’s welfare had the desired effect in the face of job loss, increasing debts and business failures? The OECD asserts that teleworking may remain a permanent feature in the future, which puts into perspective the possibility of bottom-up public policies standardizing this practice.

Projects in this area may touch on, inter alia, digital nomads and the pandemic, organizational and national onboarding of teleworking practices, independent remote workers within global markets, the impact of the pandemic on business process outsourcing (BPO), and new employer/employee relations resulting from teleworking.

Strengthening and expansion of NRIs

Where are NRIs situated within national, regional, and global discussions? What level of evolution and impact are they experiencing?

Although the pandemic has presented obstacles to the hosting of such forums, many find themselves at a distinctive point of maturity. However, some NRI models have lost their appeal, which obliges them to evolve towards new formats and implement strategic changes to remain relevant in discussions.

The objective of this thematic area is to do research on the collaborative attempts of NRIs to gain greater visibility and do intersessional work (beyond the events), which will allow them to continue making contributions and achieve a consolidated voice within discussion spaces at regional and global levels. Additionally, it is worth analyzing the work of the NRIs in terms of hybrid models (online + offline debates) and the perceived prominence of NRIs within the global IGF. Projects in this area may also address various organizational aspects of NRIs.

Who can apply?

  • Anyone who has been involved in Internet Governance in their community and/or who can demonstrate strong capacity to carry out succinct, quality research is welcome to apply. Among others, this includes NRI coordinators, university students, academic researchers, journalists, policy makers, independent researchers, and technical communities.
  • Applications by individuals and collaborations among individuals will be accepted.

Selection Criteria

The Selection Committee will take into account the following criteria:

  • Alignment with the five thematic areas to be funded
  • Coherence in problem definition
  • Originality
  • Geographic diversity
  • Stakeholder diversity (where collaborators are involved)

The projects must be unique and must not duplicate existing bodies of research on regional Internet Governance issues but rather complement existing knowledge in the field.

Líderes 2.0 will continue to prioritize intersessional work, underrepresented communities, and peer exchanges.

We advise that applicants avoid issues associated with internal politics, religion, and/or any discriminatory argument that unjustly targets and affects any stakeholder within their local community.

Líderes 2.0 will not fund 

  • Applications originating from outside of Latin America and the Caribbean (applicants must clearly demonstrate their stake in the region)
  • Political or religious organizations
  • Promotional activities for existing bodies of research
  • Complements to other research grants (LACNIC intends to publish final submissions on its website unreservedly)
  • For-profit activities
  • Expenses not related to the conduct of research and dissemination of its findings

Previous Líderes awardees must wait a minimum of two (2) years before becoming eligible to apply again.

What is the selection process like? 

  • Candidates must go to lideresform.lacnic.net and complete an online application. During the application process, applicants will be expected to provide a brief overview of the perceived issue (problem statement), along with an outline of the approach they will use to research the problem and the ways in which they intend to capture and disseminate their findings.
  • Applications will be evaluated based on pre-established criteria by a Selection Committee.
  • Once applicants have been notified whether their projects have been accepted, successful candidates will be assigned a mentor — a notable individual within Latin America and the Caribbean who is involved in Internet Governance.
  • Candidates will later sign an agreement with LACNIC.
  • Candidates will then be required to schedule their assignments, including check-ins with their mentors during the three-month period.
  • At the end of the three-month period, candidates must submit their work to the Committee, which make sure that it is consistent with the plan outlined during the application process and of high quality.
  • Findings may be presented in various formats, such as a single publication, videos, animations, a set of digital flyers, or a series of podcasts and infographics
  • Candidates will be notified if their work is approved as presented, otherwise they will be informed of recommendations they will have three weeks to implement.
  • Once the final work is submitted and approved, it will be uploaded to the Líderes Program Portal. 

Who are the members of the selection committee and subsequent mentors?

  • Raquel Gatto
  • Nigel Cassimire
  • Alejandra Erramuspe
  • Julián Casasbuenas 

This group of Internet Governance experts will act as the Selection Committee and serve as mentors to successful candidates. As part of the Committee, they will be responsible for selecting the winning projects; as mentors, they will guide each research process, validating concepts and advising researchers on how to present their findings. 

What happens after you send in your final submission? 

LACNIC will showcase successful candidates and their work on the Líderes Internet Governance project portal. LACNIC will also publish various communication materials (press releases, ads, etc.). However, LACNIC will not endorse, nor will it be held responsible or liable for the views expressed in each body of work.

Important Dates

Call for Applications starts 27 July 2021
Call for Applications ends 27 August 2021
Evaluation of applications by Selection Committee 1 to 8 September 2021
Communication of successful applications/Start of research projects 10 September 2021
First submission of research findings to Selection Committee 22 November 2021
Final submission of research findings to Selection Committee 6 December 2021
Publication and promotion of projects 1st February 2022 onwards