What we do


The context

Asia is a dynamic region experiencing rapid economic and technological development. While demands for greater freedom of expression and access to information have grown, authoritarian tendencies of many governments remain. Restrictions and controls to civic space and expression have extended to online spaces, even as internet access has increased.

Asia is also home to the most number of social media users in the world. However, with increased usage of social media and messaging platforms comes exposure to coordinated disinformation campaigns and other harmful content that threaten to divide societies and distort facts.

Our strategic focus

We have operated in Asia since 2009. We support civil society organisations across Asia working to hold Big Tech accountable for the disinformation and manipulated content widely disseminated on their platforms.  

We also work in Indonesia and Malaysia, supporting freedom of expression and the protection of civic space, including online. We also support organisations working to build more inclusive and less polarised societies.

Our current priorities

Increasing inclusion and representation

We support initiatives and organisations working to create a more inclusive society in Malaysia, where everyone can freely and safely participate in civic and political life. We partner with and fund organisations that create safe spaces for dialogue, bridge divides, and promote narratives that will enable greater inclusivity and participation by all groups.

Protecting civic space and strengthening civil society

Across Indonesia and Malaysia, we focus on protecting civic space and working to advance foundational rights, such as the right to free expression and information. We take an ecosystem building approach, investing to foster an effective, resilient, and well-connected civil society by enhancing their capacity, supporting civic movement building, and protecting civil society actors from repression.

Tackling disinformation and promoting Big Tech accountability

Asia has become increasingly digitised. However, social media's business models, rapid growth, and influence allow for the large-scale dissemination of mis- and disinformation, as well as biased, polarising, and discriminating content. These disproportionately affect marginalised communities, without significant accountability on the part of social media and Big Tech platforms. We support and fund initiatives that seek to create a healthier information ecosystem and push for greater platform responsibility.


Addressing the Diversity Gap in Malaysia

Architects of Diversity (AOD) is a youth-led organisation focused on promoting diversity and inclusion in Malaysia. 

AOD runs programmes for youth, equipping them with the experiences and knowledge necessary to navigate issues of identity, discrimination, and conflict. This is especially important in an environment which is becoming increasingly polarised. 

AOD aims to empower young leaders as champions of inclusivity and build an enabling environment towards equity and inclusion.


Safeguarding against digital rights violations

It’s critical to protect civic space and ensure basic rights online, but digital rights violations such as internet shutdowns, defamation, and digital attacks have increased in recent years in Indonesia. Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet) is committed to defending digital rights in the region. The organisation is establishing a systematic approach to monitoring and countering digital rights violations. The partnership aims to improve SAFEnet’s capacity to track violations and support victims.

Promoting freedom of expression in Malaysia

East-West Management Institute (EWMI)’s mentoring and capacity-building programme supports a cluster of organisations working to advance freedom of expression in Malaysia. The programme aims to strengthen the capacity of each organisation and develop their collective ability to coordinate and collaborate more effectively. Our work with EWMI in Malaysia is an example of our ecosystem building approach in Asia, with the broader goal of fostering a vibrant and thriving civil society.