Shutdown Academy

60 mins

Developing an Action Plan for Internet Shutdowns

The course taught by Laura Schwartz-Henderson equips participants with advocacy skills, research techniques, and strategic planning to combat shutdowns.
About this course:
This course will teach you how to understand the advocacy needs and challenges your communities face in fighting back against internet shutdowns and how to build a strategic action plan to prepare for, prevent, and resist internet shutdowns. You will be provided a workbook template to brainstorm advocacy activities and strategically prioritize your actions before a potential shutdown occurs.
What do I learn:
In this course, you will learn the advocacy skills you need to fight back against shutdowns, how to use research to understand your community’s needs when it comes to shutdown response and prevention, and how to take all of this information and build a strategic internet shutdown action plan. This action planning process will help you organize and prioritize activities, and also give you the information and structure you need to request funding for anti-shutdown activities.
What do I need to know:
It is useful if you have some background knowledge on internet shutdowns and have taken some of the other advocacy assembly courses, but it is not a requirement.


Laura Schwartz-Henderson

Laura Schwartz-Henderson is the founder of Curious Shapes, a consultancy that focuses on using research and creative campaigns to fight for digital rights. In this work, she collaborates with activists, lawyers, journalists, designers, artists, and technologists from around the world to design actionable research projects and build strategic advocacy campaigns.

1.1 Introduction to the course
2.1 Know what a shutdown is and how different shutdowns technically occur
2.2 Why governments shut down the internet and what triggers a shutdown?
2.3 The impact of shutdowns
2.4 Know what you need to fight back against shutdowns
3.1 Why we need to conduct a risk assessment
3.2 Needs Assessment Methodology
3.3 How to assess the risks of a shutdown?
3.4 How to assess your community needs
3.5 Senegal: Preventative and Proactive measures to fight back on shutdowns
4.1 The WHO: Assessing stakeholders
4.2 THE WHEN: Building a calendar
4.3 THE WHAT: Strategizing & prioritizing our activities & tactics
4.4 Bangladesh: Using Research to Developed Nuanced Advocacy in a Challenging Context
5.1 Conclusion
5.2 Course survey

Related courses

  • 60 mins

    Shutdown Academy

    Documenting Human Rights Violations During Internet Shutdowns


    60 mins

  • Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI)

    90 mins

    Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI)

Suggested reading

  • Blog

    Defending Online Freedom: Three Organisations in Action

    Internet freedom has been threatened globally due to the rise of censorship, internet shutdowns, and surveillance. Such actions have significantly impacted individuals' ability to access information, express themselves freely, and communicate with others online. In this blog, we will discuss three such organisations. Each of these organisations shared with us insights learned from their experiences as part of our new shutdown academy courses.

  • Blog

    How The Economist uses IODA to report on Internet shutdowns

    This is a case study from our course ‘Detecting Internet Shutdowns with IODA’, in our Internet Shutdown Academy, which features 10 courses in seven languages taught by experts from leading organisations. It is designed to educate activists, journalists, and anyone impacted by internet disruptions and online censorship.

  • Blog

    Relaunching Stronger: Discover Exciting Updates on Advocacy Assembly!

    We're excited to announce the launch of our new website! Read more!

  • Blog

    Internet Shutdown Mentored Training Program

    Advocacy Assembly presents the Shutdown mentored training program, a six-week online initiative that features international experts and provides participants with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to prepare better for shutdowns and build an Internet shutdown advocacy campaign.

  • Blog

    The human cost of internet shutdowns

    In the age of technology, the internet has become a crucial aspect of daily life for millions of people around the world. From online shopping to social media and communication, the internet has changed the way we interact with one another and access information. However, internet shutdowns are increasingly becoming a common occurrence in many countries, with potentially serious consequences for citizens and their rights.

  • Blog

    Case study: Experiencing a shutdown in Cuba during protests

    In July 2021, Cuba saw the largest protests in more than 100 years taking place throughout the country. Cubans flooded the streets to demand better access to food, water, medicine, and COVID-19 vaccines, calling for government reforms. The first protest took place in a small town out of Havana called San Antonio de los Baros. The unrest was live-streamed on Facebook and had a domino effect throughout the country. Read more..

Skip to navigation
  • Privacy
  • Terms