FRDC – Dnet

FRDC

Donor/ Partners: European Union, Friedrich Naumann Stifung Fur die Feriheit (FNF), Overall Term: 2020 – 2023

Objective

To address the best practice of freedom of expression in Bangladesh by promoting knowledge of digital citizenship among the youth.

Background

Digital platforms have become an integral part of everyone’s lives in this era. The youth generation spend most of their time browsing through different social media platforms for various reasons. Many of them unknowingly become involved in unlawful digital activities and deviate from the responsible use of it. This causes intolerance, hate-speech, and cyberbullying and can incite disharmony in the realm of the digital world. Which is why it is crucial to ensure that they are navigating the digital world safely.

The action "Foster responsible digital citizenship to promote freedom of expression in Bangladesh" is being implemented jointly by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and Dnet, funded by the European Union. This is an initiative to teach the youth generation of Bangladesh about the responsible usage of the digital space.

Approach

In alignment with the objective of Digital Citizenship, Fostering responsible digital citizenship (FRDC) is a program where the youth generation of Bangladesh are encouraged and supported to learn about online safety practices. This project aims to capacitate 5,000 youth to freely and safely express themselves in the digital space. It assists them in learning about national and international norms, etiquettes, and laws governing the use of digital spaces, as well as making them aware of the importance of responsible interaction in digital media. The action also addresses the challenges to freedom of expression in the country posed by the Digital Security Act 2018. Enhancing knowledge and supporting the youth (particularly university students in Dhaka and Rajshahi) to have a positive experience in the digital world is the focus of this action. It also emphasizes on education, awareness and sensitization of relevant stakeholders to support and guide the youth in a responsive digital existence while practicing and promoting the right to freedom of expression.

Fostering responsible digital citizenship (FRDC) launched its educational website in 2020. The website consists of eight free courses designed to teach students the ways in which they can interact in the virtual environment in a safe, positive, and competent manner. Through these courses, students can educate themselves on good governance, developing democratic views, resolving online disputes, using freedom of expression and many other aspects of the digital world. Once enrolled, students will have lifetime access to the course materials. Through building awareness about digital citizenship, this program aspires to build capacity and promote the practice of positive freedom of expression amongst the youth of Bangladesh. As of now, FRDC has been able to reach more than 1,000 university students from five universities in Dhaka and Rajshahi and help them become responsible for their digital footprints.

Project Link: https://www.digitalcitizenbd.com/