IGF 2022 Lightning Talk #34 How to Strengthen Community Resilience Against Online Violence

Wednesday, 30th November, 2022 (11:25 UTC) - Wednesday, 30th November, 2022 (11:55 UTC)
Speaker's Corner

ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa
Catherine Muya Program Officer, Digital Rights and Policy ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa (Civil society), African Group Risper Akinyi, Gender and Community Engagement Coordinator, TunapandaNet Community Network, African Group


Catherine Muya Program Officer, Digital Rights and Policy ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa (Civil society), African Group Risper Akinyi, Gender and Community Engagement Coordinator, TunapandaNet Community Network, African Group

Onsite Moderator

Risper Akinyi

Online Moderator

Catherine Muya


Catherine Muya



Targets: The session contributes to SDG 5.2 and 5b, namely to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in public or private spheres and enhance the use of ICT to promote the empowerment of women by providing ways to empower communities to tackle OGBV and ensure a safe digital space. Eliminating OGBV also encourages the realization of other rights such as free speech or association, boldening women to take up leadership positions, and breaking inequality barriers.


The session will begin with a presentation 'Ted Ex style', each speaker will get approximately 7 to make their remarks and share their perspectives with the audience. To fully engage the audience, the speakers prefer to not use presentations. After this, the speakers will get 7 minutes to interview each other on their presentations, bring out different perspectives and raise questions for debate among the audience. The next 7 minutes will be used for plenary to address questions raised by both our online and offline audience. The final two minutes will be used by the speakers to give their closing remarks.

Duration (minutes)



This session aims to provide participants with knowledge on how to strengthen resilience against Online Gender-based Violence (OGBV) among different communities including sexual and gender minorities, women human rights defenders, sex workers, and domestic workers; who because of existing economic, social, or cultural factors are structurally silenced. The session is informed by the collective work of the speakers over the past year to build resilience among different communities. Risper, who runs a community Network called TunapandaNet developed solutions to tackle OGBV in her community after realizing that OGBV was driving already connected women offline. Catherine brings her expertise in research on the digital safety and security needs of organizations working with structurally silenced women (Identified above) conducted in the past year. The session builds to the IGF 2021 theme of Trust, security, and stability and our 2021 session LT40 where the speakers discussed the unexplored dichotomy of internet access and online hate and proposed measures internet users and businesses could take to ensure a safe digital space.

This session takes a presentation format that facilitates active listening for both online and offline participants, It also can be streamed or watched at a remote Hub. To engage the audience, we will use: a) Poll questions for those participating online, Twitter polls can be used for offline participants to generate traction for our session and IGF 2022. b) The session will include an interactive Q &A session where, those on-site can get to ask their questions in the room and can still be heard by the online audience, while those online ask their questions through the Q&A feature.

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

The session highlighted that digital safety and security trainings are currently adhoc, not sufficiently funded and do not support organizations to design and implement safety and security policies, making it ineffective in the long term. Therefore, It is important that we design structured and regular digital security and safety trainings to achieve sustained change.

Session Report (* deadline 26 October) - click on the ? symbol for instructions


This session was held on 30 November 2022 by Catherine Muya from ARTICLE 19 and Risper Akinyi from Tunapande Net. In this session we spoke about: 

  1. Our inspiration to build online resilience for our communities: Risper spoke of how their organization provides internet access in the informal settlements of Kibera in Nairobi through community networks. She explained that in the course of bringing these communities online, she noticed online gender-based violence was pushing those already connected offline and causing others to be afraid of joining the internet.  

Catherine then spoke of research she had conducted across the year that looked into the digital safety and security needs of organizations working with structurally silenced women. These were women who because of social, cultural, or economic factors were disadvantaged from full participation in society. They included human rights defenders etc. 

  1. The session held a collaborative discussion between the speakers on issues raised which include: 

-The need to design digital safety programs in ways that the communities can relate to. These included considering language or means of delivery

-When it comes to organizations, digital safety, and security needed to be continuous and not one-off projects. 

  1. Participants both online and offline got an open opportunity to contribute to the discussion and we received 4 questions,  we had more but had to limit them to keep time. For example: 

-How to effectively design digital safety programs 


Key Takeaways:

From the session the main takeaways were: 


-Digital safety programs must be designed with the community in mind from the language to dissemination methods

-Training also need to take an organizational approach as training staff is at times not very effective as the staff is highly mobile with a higher turnover. 

-Donors should support organizations to become more digitally resilience by enabling them to invest in equipment and continuous learning on digital security 


Social Media 

Prior to the session, we advertised the session on Twitter and Linked In using the #IGF2022 

The tweet got more than 2000 impressions on Twitter and encouraged our online audience to follow us.  See the example here: 


During the session, we encouraged participants especially those attending to use the # to raise questions or comments. Participants were also able to connect with speakers on Twitter.