Barcelona/Nairobi, 1 February 2022 - UN-Habitat, the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights, United Cities and Local Governments and Eurocities, in partnership with Open Society Foundations, are launching an open call for experts and city governments in Europe to pilot the Digital Rights Governance Framework. 

In the initial phase, the call is open to city governments in Europe only, including city members of the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights. 

The open call invites city governments and qualified individuals to apply and contribute to identifying challenges and issues faced by local governments in the different areas of digital areas. 

The Digital Rights Governance initiative seeks to support local governments in addressing ethical and digital rights’ aspects of their local digital strategies, policies, projects and services by providing context- specific and tailored assistance and advice. The project will support the design and piloting of a digital rights governance framework in three cities, that will include technical advice, ad-hoc support and advisory input. 

Digital technologies’ influence changes at a fast pace in societies, and cities need enhanced models of governance to manage opportunities and risks driven by technology. Emerging technologies affect people and communities worldwide, sometimes in unforeseen or unintended ways. The deployment of digital solutions in cities, especially in geographies where the discussion of ethics and inclusion in technology is less developed, must have transparency, accountability and community participation at the forefront of its practices, in order to ensure technology is used to improve people’s lives in cities. 

The initiative aims to tackle local digital-rights challenges and strengthen capacity around digital rights thematic areas such as digital inclusion, individual’s control and autonomy of data, transparency and accountability, public participation and community engagement, privacy, digital public goods and open digital infrastructures, procurement and a capacity building programme in such areas. 

City governments and qualified individuals interested in collaborating in the development and piloting of the framework should visit to submit an entry to the open call before the deadline of 27 February 2022. 

For inquiries, contact: 



The Cities Coalition for Digital Rights, launched by the Cities of Amsterdam, Barcelona. and New York in November 2018 and now with a membership of over 50 cities worldwide, is a network of cities helping each other in the greenfield of digital rights-based policymaking. The Coalition is committed to promoting and defending digital rights in urban context through city action, to resolve common digital challenges and work towards legal, ethical and operational frameworks to advance human rights in digital environments. United in spirit and ambition, the Coalition supports principled actions and pragmatic guidance through city-to-city collaboration.

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, is the United Nations agency working towards a better urban future. In close coordination with national and local governments, the agency leads the monitoring of SDG11 on sustainable cities and communities as well as the New Urban Agenda. In its Strategic Plan 2020-2023 and in the New Urban Agenda, frontier technologies are driving forces for inclusion and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, but require proper governance, mechanisms and capacity to address inequalities and leave no one behind in digital transformation strategies.