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Promoting Adaptive Resilience for Civil Society Organizations in the Middle East and North Africa.

ARC MENA is building adaptive resilience among small, at-risk civil society organizations (CSOs) in countries across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). To date, those include Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen. This partnership project spans three domains of resilience—psychosocial, physical and digital—with the Foundation leading on digital.

“Adaptive resilience” is an organization’s capacity to plan, recover, innovate and prosper in the face of sustained and real-time threats. Those threats increasingly include digital threats, from hacking and online theft to social engineering and disinformation. That makes digital resilience critical to CSOs’ success in their missions—whether they are training local communities, advocating for social progress or promoting local public health.

ARC MENA infographic showing the progress of an organization from onboarding through graduation.

Supporting adaptive resilience among small, at-risk civil society organizations.

ARC adapts the SecDev Foundation’s proven CyberSTAR framework. This guides organizations through a comprehensive process of tackling digital vulnerabilities. It encompasses everything from organizational audit through technical remediation and staff training. And it makes the digital safety universe accessible by framing it around six points of a star: risks, identity, passwords, conversations, devices and data. CyberSTAR was first developed in the early 2010s, and refined through work with at-risk CSOs across Eurasia, Southeast Asia and the MENA region.

ARC’s approach is practical, trauma-informed and tailored to local realities. It builds on the Foundation’s experience in organizational capacity-building in the MENA region. And by deliberately fostering local champions, we’re supporting durable long-term progress—for CSOs and for the people they serve.