Document:Project Title INTEGRITY INITIATIVE Phase II

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Project application for phase II of Integrity Initiative

Disclaimer (#3)Document.png budget application and plan  by Chris Donnelly dated 27 April 2017
Subjects: Clusters, Integrity Initiative
Example of: Integrity Initiative/Leak/1
Source: 'Anonymous' (Link)

The document is originally a fill-in form. The formatting has been slightly edited by Wikispooks for clarity when transferring to here. The questions in Part B (at the end of the form) has not been filled in by the original responder.

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FCO application form 2017-18



PROJECT PROPOSAL FORM For projects over £80k To be completed by the Post

Contents

Project Title INTEGRITY INITIATIVE Phase II

Which Programme is the funding being sought from

Russian Language Strategic Communication Programme

Project Code. To be added once the Project has been approved and the code is provided by the Programme Team

TBC

Is the Project ODA eligible * Yes/No


Part A: To be completed by the Project Implementer

Project Title

INTEGRITY INITIATIVE Phase II

Purpose. This must be NO MORE than one sentence, clearly setting out the “change” to be delivered

To counter Russian disinformation and malign influence, and associated weapons of “Hybrid warfare”, in Europe and North America by: expanding the knowledge base; harnessing existing expertise, and; establishing a network of networks of experts, opinion formers and policy makers, to educate national audiences in the threat and to help build national capacities to counter it.

Context and Need for the Project. In no more than 200 words, provide the background to the issue this project will change, what the expected final Outcome will be, and (where applicable) why the UK should fund this project

Russian leaders say that Russia is at war with the West. The existence of democracy poses a threat to their dictatorial system. Undermining and ultimately destroying Western democratic institutions is Russia’s way of neutralising this “threat”. To this end, Russia is currently ramping up its use of all forms of power, led by malign influence and disinformation. Russia’s diplomats, media, Information Troops, hackers and troll armies attack individuals, subvert institutions and create mistrust of democratic processes.

The past year has seen significant publicity given to this issue in the West. But the intent and extent of Russia’s increasingly aggressive campaign is still denied in many capitals; its scale and nature is understood only by a small expert international community; western responses frequently lack strategic coherence. In some countries, Russian influence and disinformation has a free hand. To change this situation our project will continue its successful building of a network of networks across Europe, organising local teams to counter Russian influence and disinformation in their own societies, including within Russian-speaking communities, and changing attitudes in Russia itself. Our programme to date has helped the UK to lead this process. Expanding this success will cement UK’s influence in N America and in Europe post-Brexit.

Short Project Summary

In no more than 200 words explain what the project plans to achieve and how (setting out how the Outputs will deliver the Purpose/Objective, and how the activities will deliver each relevant Output), and what difference will it make on the ground over the next few years?

To expand our long-term programme so that European and N American countries can better understand and counter Russia’s policy of malign influence and disinformation.

To be achieved by:

  • Expanding our network of specialists, journalists, academics and political actors across Europe, empowering them to educate their publics and policy elites
  • Sponsoring, including via the Free University of Brussels (thereby enhancing academic respectability of the topic), advanced research, publications, workshops, educational courses, mentoring, lectures
  • Expanding the impact of the Integrity Initiative website, dissemination and Twitter/social media accounts, and increasing the reporting of the issue in mainstream and specialist press
  • Engaging national political and military establishments and societal organisations, improving their ability to counter Russian disinformation and other weapons of hybrid warfare strategy
  • Increasing the impact of effective organisations currently analysing Russian activities, making their expertise more widely available across Europe and North America.
  • Reinforcing the will and ability of international organisations to address this issue, despite the reticence of some member nations. Organisations include: NATO Parliamentary Assembly; Atlantic Treaty Association; Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers; Baltic Defence College; HQ NATO Public Diplomacy; EU East Stratcom team
  • Engaging Russian and Russian-speaking audiences to challenge Moscow’s narratives
  • Adapting our approach as Russia responds to our successful counter moves
  • Applying lessons of the programme more widely, e.g. to expose and counter Daesh influence in Muslim communities, and increasing Chinese influence in our countries

Phase 1 of this programme is now completed; FCO funding is requested for phase two.

Co-Funding

Has funding for this project been sought from other donors (EU, DfID, other countries), Private institutions or the host government? If Yes, please provide details including source and amount. If No, why not, and were options for doing so explored?

Funding from HQ NATO Public Diplomacy, £12,000 for each inaugural workshop = £168,000

Funding from partner institutions £5,000 for each inaugural workshop = £70,000

Funding from NATO HQ for educational video films – free provision of camera team

Funding from Lithuanian MOD to provide free all costs for their stratcom team for a monthly trip to support a new hub/cluster creation and to educate cluster leaders and key people in Vilnius in infowar techniques = £20,000

Funding from US State Dept, £250,000 for research and dissemination activities (excluding any activity in USA)

Funding from Smith Richardson Foundation, £45,000 for cluster activities in Europe and USA

Funding from Facebook, £100,000 for research and education activities

Funding from German business community, £25,000 for research and dissemination in EU countries

Timing

Planned start date:

01 04 2018

Planned completion date:

31 03 2019

Will the Implementing Partner be sub-contracting any other agencies to carry out elements of the project activities? If Yes, please provide details

No

Implementing Agency. Name; Address; Telephone Numbers; Email; Website

The Institute for Statecraft

2 Temple Place

London WC2R 3BD

07974 019 212

www.statecraft.org.uk

Country or countries covered

Southern and Western European countries, Greece, Balkans and Baltic States, USA, Canada

Have you bid for funding from the FCO in the past three years?

Please provide details of any bids made and/or projects implemented

2014 Ukraine capacity building. Unsuccessful bid

2015 El Salvador Human Rights and reduction of gang violence. Successful bid.

2016 El Salvador Rule of Law and prison reform. Successful bid.

2017 Integrity Initiative Phase 1 Successful bid

2018 TOR study for Expose network Unsuccessful bid

Project Plan

Based on the information provided in the Summary, use the table below to set out the Purpose, Outputs and Activities to be delivered. Give the Indicator(s) for the Purpose and each Output, along with the Baseline information, what the target to be reached is, and when it will be delivered by, along with milestones (checkpoints) at which progress will be measured.This will allow you to monitor and measure progress throughout the Project, and provide clear evidence of the Project’s success.

Indicator = what will be measured (eg the number of people who will be trained; the increase in positive perceptions of an issue)

Baseline = the current status (eg no training exists; current perceptions are x% positive)

Sources = where will the information on the baseline data and targets come from (eg data from research carried out by the implementer; open source data)

Milestones = the key points at which progress will be tracked (can be specific dates/events or the regular quarterly reports – but provide indicative dates for the latter)

Target = what the project will deliver (eg 100 people trained; 50% increase in positive perceptions)

Date = the date by which it will be delivered

Purpose: To counter Russian disinformation and malign influence, and associated weapons of “Hybrid warfare”, in Europe and North America by: expanding the knowledge base; harnessing existing expertise, and; establishing a network of networks of experts, opinion formers and policy makers, to educate national audiences in the threat and to help build national capacities to counter it. Indicator(s) Baseline Sources

Indicator(s)

Complete the development of the 9 national clusters (Hub + network) created during Phase 1 (Spain, France, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Lithuania, Norway, Serbia, Italy; set up the latent clusters ready to go in Moldova, Georgia, Sweden, Montenegro, Malta. Establish clusters in USA, Canada, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Austria, Portugal, Switzerland. Explore the need for the networks to extend to the Middle East/N Africa and other concerned countries. Achieve increased awareness and understanding of the threat posed by Russian influence, disinformation and other hybrid warfare weapons. Strengthen the capability of the country to recognise and respond to that threat

Baseline

Despite the recent extensive publicity given to this topic, in countries where there is no cluster or competent NGO fulfilling this function, understanding is limited to experts and expert communities are isolated, passive, and even under siege. There is little spin off from the expert international community’s understanding to impact on national political leaderships.

In countries where we have established clusters during Phase 1, awareness is rising within government and society, and response is being stimulated. NB in Spain, the widespread press coverage (e.g. El Pais) of Russian meddling in the Catalan referendum, the strong statements by the Defence Minister, and the recent appointment of Sra. Julia Olmo y Romero as Ambassador at large for Hybrid Threats and Cybersecurity.

Sources

A solid academic information base has been established at the Free University of Brussels (VUB) and on the Integrity Initiative website and on other websites we have supported with our research work in Phase 1. New clusters as they build their competence are improving their local information bases. In most countries with no cluster or relevant NGO, experts still work in stovepipes and do not achieve critical mass

Milestones

Experience in Phase 1 has shown that, once a cluster has been established, measurable impact can be expected within 3 months and the cluster is fully effective within 6 – 9 months.

Target & Date

Phase 1 has shown that the establishment of new national clusters is dependent on finding competent, committed and well-connected individuals, ideally with a suitable institute affiliation. The growth of the network in Phase 1 exceeded expectations because news of the Integrity Initiative spread and attracted the attention of like-minded individuals. The ability to provide some modest financial support to help set up the local network and to fund its early activity was also crucial. The experience of the Spanish and Lithuanian clusters particularly offers hope that a successful cluster can generate its own local income after a few months.

In some countries where Russian influence is pronounced (Italy, Serbia, Greece) cluster development must proceed with great caution to protect the cluster members from harassment. This notwithstanding, it should be possible to set up functioning clusters in all countries named in column 1 during the coming year Apl18-Apl19.

Output 1: Creating or improving the structural mechanisms for tracking, analysing, exposing and responding to Russian malign influence and disinformation

Indicators(s)

1. Setting up a cluster (Hub plus network of experts, journalists, political players) in each country in staged phases.

Phase 1 has achieved this in 9 countries with preparatory work done in a further 4, with funding from FCO and HQ NATO; in Phase 2 the 9 existing clusters and the 4 latent clusters will all be brought to fully functioning status; clusters will be set up in 10 more countries as listed above.

Details of the process for setting up the national clusters are given in item 1 in Attachment A to this form

Baseline

In Phase 1, the organisation and staff was established to set up and run the international network of clusters named above.

The work of this core staff made it clear that, to understand fully disinformation and malign influence, it was essential to address other weapons of hybrid warfare used by

Russia which interacted with the disinformation and operationalised the influence.

These areas include: organised crime and corruption; money laundering; oligarchical influence; financing of extreme left and right wing political parties; military sports and sports clubs, the Russian Orthodox Church; classical active measures (dirty tricks – Russ “Mokriye dyela”).

To this end, some 40 specialist associates were identified and engaged with a view to exploiting their expertise as the programme expanded in Phase 2.

In Phase 2, the next group of 14 clusters will be set up; the work of the existing clusters will be expanded as they reach full operating capability. All clusters will extend their portfolios to embrace the issues listed above (noting that in some countries this will have to be done with caution because of tense or hostile local conditions.

To enhancing impact and outreach, a publication and translation process in English, the local language and Russian will be established, building on research work done in Phase 1.

Sources

All data researched by the Institute for Statecraft and national clusters

Social media will be used to gather and distribute information on the topic as well as to help reinforce a sense of community and to engage more people outside the expert community

Milestones

Progress will be reported on a monthly basis and the programme amended according to developing circumstances, driven by the pace of international events

Each cluster mastering the use of social media, website and online platforms to engage with each other and take material for internal use and public distribution

Target & Date

Each Cluster generally consists of a small admin hub (1-3 pers), plus a network of 10-20 active members serving to disseminate material to 100+ key individuals and institutions.

The exact circumstances of each cluster established so far reflect the conditions in the country. It has proved essential to adjust the cluster mechanism to suit local conditions.

Spain: Cluster established Feb 2017 as proof of concept. Netherlands and France, clusters established June 2017.

Greece, Serbia, Lithuania, Norway, clusters established in Nov 2017. Germany and Italy, clusters established in Jan 2018

In the US, a subsidiary company has been established and is currently going through the process of registration for “not-for-profit” status, to enable the programme to benefit from US funding.

In Phase 2, as the further 14 clusters are established across Europe and N America during 2018-9, the speed of consolidation of the clusters and their attaining full effective functioning will increase as they interact and learn from each other in a formalised learning process.

Indicators(s)

2. Setting up a Brussels-based research network to encourage all major European countries, US and Canada to establish in a major national think tank a process or programme for studying infowar

The basis of this network is the academic research programme of the Institute for European Studies at the Free University of Brussels (VUB-IES).

This programme was established with funding from the Institute’s initial iteration of the Integrity Initiative. Continuation of this programme is dependent on further funding in Phase 2.

Details of the programme’s achievements are at Attachment B to this form.

Baseline

During Phase 1, Think tanks from 12 European countries were engaged; meetings were held in April and June 2017. Meetings in US in Sept 2017 established good contacts with institutes in Washington DC and California.

During Phase 2, this network of national think tanks will be engaged by the VUB IES in a discrete network, reinforcing their willingness to introduce this topic into their national mainstream programme. In some countries, this will be a very sensitive issue and will require extreme care.

The process will be supported by setting up an Advanced research programme and post graduate teaching modules at the VUB IES, which will provide academic rigour and respectability. The EU EEAS East Stratcom Task Force will be engaged to strengthen the Community link, and educational work by the Lithuanian MOD, Saper Vedere and ACUS will provide technical expertise.

Sources

Data researched principally by the VUB IES

Milestones

Progress reported on a monthly basis

Target & Date

12 European Institutes agreed to participate in the process, as did 2 in DC and 1 in California.

A further 10 institutes across Europe and N America will be engaged in Phase 2

Indicators(s)

3. In Phase 1, national MFAs, MODs were engaged, to encourage them to set up centres for the study of disinformation etc. This will be expanded in Phase 2, building on the successful models from Phase 1

Baseline

National clusters will operate separately from these national institutes, but will collaborate with and support them.

This has been successfully accomplished 5 countries so far: France (MFA CAPS), Netherlands (MOD), Spain (MOD, MFA & PM’s Office), Norway (MOD), Lithuania (MFA).

In Phase 2 we will step up the formal engagement of relevant Govt Depts, tailoring our approach to suit each country’s particular circumstances.

Sources

All data researched by the Institute and National clusters

Milestones

Progress will be reported on a monthly basis and the programme amended according to developing circumstances, driven by the pace of international events.

Target & Date

Progress will be tied to the establishment of national clusters. The more active the cluster, the greater likelihood of success. At the beginning of Phase 1 we estimated that we would achieve this in 5-6 countries by March 2018. We have in fact reached this target. But it was not possible to predict which those countries would be, nor is it possible to do that for Phase 2, where we hope to engage a further 7-8 Govt Depts. This is because success is by being alert to exploit opportunities as they arise rather than targeting countries specifically.

Indicators(s)

In Phase 1 we engaged the Lithuanian Armed Forces Stratcom (Infowar) team with UK 77 Bde , the Netherlands, Spanish and Norwegian MODs to establish units within their own ranks or to support our clusters and other NGOs to track, analyse and respond to Russian influence and disinformation.

This process will be expanded in Phase 2, to engage the MOD/Armed Forces of all countries which have a flourishing cluster. It will also continue the educational process, and link in ACUS and Saper Vedere to ensure a completely joined up approach between western institutions studying this problem and developing different forensic models.

Baseline

The Lithuanian AF Stratcom team successfully engaged with and educated the Spanish cluster formation in Jan/Feb 2017. Engagement with NL military agreed at 22 June in the Hague.

We also arranged for the Lithuanian team to provide training on a regular basis for all our cluster leaders in the methodology of tracking and exposing Russian malign influence and disinformation, and linked them directly to the Ukrainian Stopfake leadership and to the UK LSE team (whom we took to Vilnius) to exchange practical experience.

The Lithuanian CHOD has committed his Stratcom team to supporting the development of our programme in Phase 2 by providing educational instruction either in Vilnius or in other countries as we request. We will continue to organise regular visits and support the transfer of knowledge and methodologies.

Sources

All data researched by the Institute, Lithuanian cluster and 77Bde/SGMI

Using off-the-shelf tools and platforms as well as developing our own software tools to track, analyse and display disinformation activities.

Working with experts to apply AI to spot and analyse disinformation efforts

Milestones

Progress will be reported on a monthly basis and the programme amended according to developing circumstances, driven by the pace of international events.

Studies and papers have been and will continue to be prepared on the basis of the data produced; the new Integrity Initiative website has a disinformation dashboard that displays information on current disinformation themes, or events for which we are expecting and combating disinformation.

Target & Date

Progress in Phase 2 will be tied to the establishment of new national clusters and the evolution of existing clusters.

Indicators(s)

5. In Phase 1 we engaged with several governmental and quasi-governmental organisations (e.g. NATO HQ, the Atlantic Treaty Association [ATA] and the Youth ATA [YATA]), getting their agreement to exploit their influence networks. We also established links with several non-governmental institutions also working to track, expose and counter Russian malign influence and disinformation.

In Phase 2 we will engage more closely with these institutions, exploiting what they have to offer, linking them into our network so that their valuable research and innovative methodologies inform and enhance the work of our national clusters. In turn, our clusters will offer these institutions the opportunity to exploit our networks of national contacts.

Details of the process for engaging these institutions are given in item 2 of Attachment A to this form

Baseline

In Phase 1 the Institute became the official UK representative organisation within both ATA (in Dec 2017) and YATA (Mar 2018). NATO PDD support to our programme was evinced by the grant of matching funding to our events with clusters.

Phase 2 will see the expansion of our exploitation of ATA and YATA using their chapters in various countries. This has already started in Serbia and Montenegro.

NATO PDD has agreed to support relevant events by clusters in partnership with our programme

Sources

All data researched by the Institute, national clusters, YATA and ATA.

Milestones

Progress will be reported on a monthly basis and the programme amended according to developing circumstances, driven by the pace of international events.

Target & Date

Phase 2 will allow this activity to be scaled up considerably by our providing material for distribution, delivering presentations, organising events in collaboration with local ATA & YATA chapters

Output 2: In-depth research and analyses of the aims, tools and modus operandi of Russian malign influence and disinformation; tracking, analysing and exposing Russian interference in specific countries and significant events; researching western vulnerabilities and effective responses

Indicator(s)

1.Continuation of conducting in-depth studies of Russian influence and disinformation within a specific country: vulnerabilities; issues specific to the country in question; trends.

In Phase 2 we will establish a procedure for identifying key Russian disinformation message lines/ narratives and for tracking how they have found their way into the national political or media mainstream.

Baseline

In Phase 1, Germany study was completed and updated. Study of Germany’s vulnerabilities also completed and published by NDC Rome. French study completed and updated. Swedish study satisfactorily undertaken by third party outside this programme. Partial Netherlands study completed. Norwegian, Serbian and Italian studies commissioned and underway. Greek study to be completed by end March. Spanish study of Catalan referendum interference completed.

Sources

All data researched by the Institute and local clusters

Milestones

Completion of each study report

Target & Date

Written report for widespread dissemination; date determined by the programme of each cluster.

In Phase 2, each new cluster will be commissioned to produce a study, which will be translated into English, local language and Russian, disseminated across the network and published as appropriate (e.g. as an II report, or fed anonymously into local media outlets)

Indicators(s)

2. Evaluation study comparing the differences in the way Russia approaches each country (variations in Russian tactics) and why; implications for the responses. Baseline

This study was partially completed in phase 1 and will be finalised in Phase 2

Sources

All data researched by the Institute, VUB IES, and local clusters

Milestones

Completion of the study report

Target & Date

Written report for widespread dissemination; July 2018

Translated into English, local language and Russian, disseminated across the network and published as appropriate

Indicators(s)

3. Tracking Russian attention given to key events: national elections or referenda; international meetings (Summits, G7 etc); troop deployments (eg to Baltic States); unforeseen or surprise events.

Baseline

Work for each event needs to be done on an ongoing basis

Sources

All data researched by the Institute, VUB IES, and local clusters

Milestones

Each date will be determined by the event and the cluster programme when agreed

Target & Date

Written report for widespread dissemination, private and public briefings, and/or social media distribution

Translated into English, local language and Russian, disseminated across the network and published as appropriate

Indicators(s)

4. Preparing a lexicon of terminology for the subject area

Baseline

Delivery of first draft at the end of Phase 1. This draft will be circulated amongst clusters and developed and perfected during Phase 2, before being published as a basis for developing a common language for understanding and teaching the subject consistently

Sources

All data researched by the Institute in Phase 1. In Phase 2, completion will be via research done by the national clusters.

Milestones

Completion of the lexicon/ report

Target & Date

Written report in English and local language for widespread dissemination of first draft in April 2018

Indicators(s)

5. Preparing a manual of best practice, combining available experience and expertise with new experiences.

Baseline

Delivery of first draft at the end of Phase 1. This draft will be circulated amongst clusters and developed and perfected during Phase 2, before being published as a basis for

Sources

All data researched by the Institute or collated from other studies in Phase 1. In Phase 2, completion will be via research done by the national clusters.

Milestones

Completion of the manual/ report

Target & Date

Written report in English and local language for widespread dissemination of first draft in April 2018

Indicators(s)

6. Preparing a study of attitudes in Russia and of Russian speaking communities in Baltic States, Germany, other countries as relevant Preliminary work was begun in Phase 1 for the Baltic States and Germany. The programme has supported the setting up of the Andrei Sakharov Centre in Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, in Dec 2017

Baseline

In Phase 2 the work of this centre, bringing to Lithuania Russian citizens to understand their attitudes and help plan our information campaigns better, will be supported by the programme

Sources

All data researched by the Institute and local partner

Milestones

Progress will be reported on a monthly basis and the programme amended according to developing circumstances, driven by the pace of local/ international events.

Target & Date

The first meeting of a focus group of Russian citizens was held in Phase 1 (Dec 2017); continuation meetings and in-depth engagement will be stepped up in Phase 2

Indicators(s)

7. Devising and undertaking work to determine the relevance of the Russia work to learning how to counter Daesh and others.

Phase 1 has established the linkage between Daesh propaganda and Russia’s. Examples have been tracked down and recorded of Daesh copying very closely Russian disinformation scenarios. Examples have also been found of Russian media exploiting opportunities to exacerbate relations between the UK mainstream and immigrant communities in UK. We have also established that the Chinese have adopted Russia disinformation practices, indicating that these Russian “principles” of disinformation may have become accepted “best” practice.

Baseline

In Phase 2 this study will be significantly expanded

Sources

All data researched by the Institute

Milestones

Progress will be reported on a monthly basis and the programme amended according to developing circumstances

Target & Date

In Phase 1, we have engaged key leaders in target local Muslim communities to explore the feasibility of setting up a programme. First meetings were held in autumn 2017.

The work has demonstrated both the importance and the feasibility of a programme of engagement in Phase 2

Output 3: Dissemination of knowledge: education in understanding the threat; training in how to track, analyse and expose the threat; sharing best practice in and devising new ideas and concepts for implementing counter-measures

Indicator(s)

1.Publication schedule of in depth studies, policy briefs, textbooks, coordinated with activities in Phase 2

We will start a production line fed by our clusters and partners of engaging visual output such as infographics, tables and short mobile-friendly videos

Baseline

The publications will complement existing work

Sources

All material will be produced by the Institute, national clusters or VUB IES

We will gather into an “Armoury” (repository) and distribute as relevant selected information on the broader subjects of disinformation, propaganda, hybrid warfare, and media literacy to help educate the community and the wider public: studies, analyses, articles, visual content, created by our team, clusters or third parties

Milestones

Completion of each publication. Progress reporting on a monthly basis

Increased take up of the content by the public

Our social media accounts are seen as indispensible resources by the community tracking and combating disinformation

Target & Date

Written report for translation and widespread dissemination; dates dependent on events

All clusters to be producing at least one piece a month by end Q2

Indicators(s)

2. Translation of publications into English or the local language, plus into Russian, and dissemination to appropriate audiences

Funding was not available for this in Phase 1, but a few pilot translations were done which proved both the need for and utility of translations.

Baseline

The current loose network of institutions operating in this field, which this programme seeks to strengthen and render more coherent and effective, works almost exclusively in English. Organisations communicate with each other in English and issue most of their reports in English. There is sometimes remarkably little material put out in the local language and even less in Russian. The impact of the excellent work done is often, limited and does not reach those who most need to hear it.

There is therefore an immense need for work in local languages so as to be accessible to local leaderships and journalists who do not speak English. There is an even greater need for work in Russian, to inform Russian citizens, reinforce the democratic opposition, and reach Russian speaking populations of Western countries

In Phase 2, we will make a particular feature of identifying where translation into the vernacular is most important and which studies and reports should also be made available in Russian.

Sources

We will translate both original material produced by the Institute and also selected other material for which permission to translate can be obtained

Milestones

Translation and distribution of each publication. Progress reporting on a monthly basis

Target & Date

Written material for dissemination as appropriate in Phase 2

Indicators(s)

3. Although no funding was available for its implementation, preparation of a course on information literacy for University-level students was explored in Phase 1 and shown to be both feasible and desirable. During the course of the year, several such courses became available from third parties, making this less urgent.

However, our research demonstrated the extreme importance and urgency of such courses for younger people

In Phase 2 we propose to pursue this project and develop it as a model of an effective long-term response that can be adopted by democratic societies.

Baseline

A feasibility study was undertaken in conjunction with Chester University and the IAAC. We also worked with Stopfake in Ukraine, examining the excellent work done on this by them and their partners, and with Tallinn Technical University in Estonia, who are also expert in this field.

We have a good basis on which to build in Phase 2

Sources Our programme will reflect best practice drawn from existing models and tailored to identified specific needs

Milestones

Progress reporting on a monthly basis

Target & Date

The development and implementation of a pilot project for trialling in autumn 2018

Indicators(s)

4. Preparation of a video distance learning course on disinformation and malign influence

Other examples of our developing the use of visual material in Phase 2 are given in item 6 of Attachment A to this form

Baseline

No such programmes exist, and no funding was available for this in Phase 1

Sources

We are working in partnership with HQ NATO and a Berlin-based commercial e-learning company

Milestones

Progress reporting on a monthly basis

Milestones

The development of a pilot video by autumn 2018 for trialling in Universities, with widespread dissemination to follow

Indicators(s)

5.During Phase 1, we formalised our process of dissemination by targeted emails and hard copy of papers and studies produced by the Institute or from other trusted sources. During Phase 2 this process will be refined further and extended in scope.

Distribution to clusters and partners, as well as to leading cultural figures as appropriate, to increase public engagement.

Baseline

Since the beginning of Phase 1, the amount of published material on this theme has grown exponentially. The task to be done therefore changed, and this will be reflected in Phase 2.

…The first need is now to identify the best or novel material from amongst the enormous volume and distribute only that. Then it is important to assess the educational needs of our target audiences and tailor material to those needs. E.g. Members of Parliament and government officials in every country are invariably very short of time and need oral briefings and brief precis on which they can rely. Journalists need written precis, but also access to in-depth, accessible material to back up the precis and give them confidence in its veracity.

Sources

We will rewrite our own material in a form tailored to the audience and where possible precis good work done by others,

Distributing it carefully to ensure its effectiveness

Milestones

The process will be tightly monitored with feedback and progress reporting on a monthly basis

Target & Date

To ensure effectiveness distribution will be according to carefully drawn-up lists, varying between a handful of people and several hundreds of recipients, and material sent out accordingly.

Indicators(s)

6. During Phase 1, we formalised a process of social media dissemination of relevant commentaries on key issues which had been generated either by the Institute or by a third party.

In Phase 2 we will continue to expand our social media activity with the aims of monitoring and analysing hostile disinformation, spreading the message about disinformation activities against our democracies and how to spot them, and countering disinformation with positive information.

There will be 4 strands to this activity:

Using tools and technology to monitor and inform about disinformation and propaganda messaging

Using social media and online collaboration platforms to share information on the messaging, coordinate responses and share best practice and successful approaches

Publishing content from our network and beyond to distribute messaging, including for organized online and live activities related to relevant themes or events

Continuing to expand our network of partners and supporters, including journalists and cultural leaders

We will set up Facebook page for those who prefer to get their news and information from that source

Details of other aspects of technology affecting the programme are given in item 5 of Attachment A to this form

Baseline

Our experience in Phase 1 has taught us that this is one of the most important means for countering Russian disinformation which we must amplify greatly during Phase 2

More details of our attention to social media are given in item 4 of Attachment A to this form

Sources

We will (re-) distribute our own material and good work done by others

Milestones

The process will be tightly monitored with feedback and progress reporting on a monthly basis

Target & Date

Our tweeting and retweeting has already grown in scale and has the potential to grow much more

Twitter followers to be increased from just under 400 now to 600 by end Q2

New Facebook page to have 200 followers by end Q2

Indicators(s)

7.Delivery of briefings and presentations to official, military, and economic audiences across Europe and N America

Baseline

During Phase 1, Integrity Initiative personnel have delivered 6-7 such presentations monthly to a variety of audiences. As interest in the topic has grown, so has demand for such talks. These are limited only by available resources. In Phase 2 we will expand these presentations in form, content and number, and assist clusters to do the same

Sources

All material will be produced by the Institute or local clusters

Milestones

Progress reporting and feedback on a monthly basis

Target & Date

We are currently reaching up to 200 people monthly. This figure can be increased considerably in phase 2

Indicators(s)

8. Devising and implementing counter measures, both general and specific to each country

Planning social media campaigns in anticipation of anti-Western disinformation campaigns, in response to events or trends, or to push the message about disinformation and media literacy; tagging cultural figures and journalists to encourage them to share the content

Exploring the use of entertainment via TV and radio to carry messages to the Russian population and Russian-speaking minorities and diasporas.

Building on the experience of the Lithuanian Elves network, we will establish an Elves Academy to spread the movement across Europe

Details of the framework for developing responses and counter-measures are given, inter alia, in item 3 of Attachment A to this form and details of the Elves Academy are at Attachment C

Baseline

During Phase 1 we have studied this issue closely, in cooperation with our national clusters, with other expert organisations, and with official agencies tasked with this work in several countries. Much of this experience is captured in the manual to be completed in first draft by the end of March.

In Phase 2 we will devote much more time to this issue, in close consultation with all our network and official bodies, improving the feedback loops and mechanisms for evaluating success

Sources

All material will be produced by the Institute and national clusters

Milestones

Progress reporting and feedback on a monthly basis

Target & Date

Phase 2 will see the implementation of this activity on a much greater scale

Indicators(s)

9. In Phase 2, we propose to develop and introduce Information warfare and political (hybrid) warfare modules into the curriculum of relevant Masters’ programmes at VUB IES, Vytautas Magnus University, and other interested universities

Baseline

In response to the recent rapid growth of interest, this issue is being introduced into some university courses, but without quality control. In Phase 2 we will produce a model educational module on the basis of which we can tailor courses to the needs of different national higher educational systems.

Sources

All material will be produced by the Institute, VUB and national clusters

Milestones

Progress reporting and feedback on a monthly basis

Target & Date

Target for this work is to produce tested material by summer 2018 for experimental introduction during autumn and full scale implementation in the academic year beginning Sept 2019

Indicators(s)

10. During Phase 1 we have sought to strengthen the knowledge and expand the influence of the core expert community through a tailored series of seminars exploring new aspects of hybrid warfare with influential experts, policy makers and opinion formers

Baseline

This methodology has been proven extremely popular and effective. We propose to greatly expand this activity in Phase 2, assisting all our clusters to follow suit

Sources

All material will be produced or commissioned by the Institute or national clusters.

Milestones

Progress reporting and feedback on a monthly basis

Target & Date

By the end of Phase 1 we have been reaching 100 people monthly. This figure will be increased considerably in phase 2

Sustainability

How will the project ensure benefits are sustained once the project funding ends?

The programme is proposed to run until at least March 2019, to ensure that the clusters established in each country have sufficient time to take root, find funding, and demonstrate their effectiveness. FCO funding for Phase 2 will enable the activities to be expanded in scale, reach and scope. As clusters have established themselves, they have begun to access local sources of funding. But this is a slow process and harder in some countries than others. HQ NATO PDD has proved a reliable source of funding for national clusters. The ATA promises to be the same, giving access to other pots of money within NATO and member nations. Funding from institutional and national governmental sources in the US has been delayed by internal disputes within the US government, but w.e.f. March 2018 that deadlock seems to have been resolved and funding should now flow.

The programme has begun to create a critical mass of individuals from across society (think tanks, academia, politics, the media, government and the military) whose work is proving to be mutually reinforcing. Creating the network of networks has given each national group local coherence, credibility and reach, as well as good international access. Together, these conditions, plus the growing awareness within governments of the need for this work, should guarantee the continuity of the work under various auspices and in various forms.

Monitoring. Please note that the Grant Contract specifies the need for (at least) quarterly reporting on progress and finances

Risks

What are the key risks in implementing this project and how are you going to manage them. Add more lines as required. Larger/higher value projects will require a full Risk Management Strategy. You should consider whether one is needed for this project. You should also think here about when risks should be escalated

Risk: A malicious court case brought on a pretext by an individual or law company engaged by a stooge of the Russian government with the aim of harassing key individuals and disrupting the programme.

Impact

Medium/high

Likelihood

Low/medium

Management. How will the risk be managed and monitored, what are the mitigating actions, and who is the risk owner

Constant management attention to detail to prevent inadvertent statements in publications. Review of all potential contentious material by the Institute’s legal experts. The risk owner is the Institute

Escalation Point. At what stage will the management of this risk need to be escalated

On receipt of information that a writ may be issued.

Risk: A DDOS attack is carried out against the Institute servers; participants in the programme are hacked; the websites are tampered with and content of material altered, security is breached internally

Impact

Medium

Likelihood

Medium

Management

The maintenance of good IT firewalls and cyber hygiene procedures. Good management procedures to reduce internal malicious breaches of IT security and encourage instant reporting of mistakes and anomalies. Regular technical checks. The risk owner is the Institute and national clusters

Escalation Point

On receipt of evidence of a breach; lowering of technical performance; sudden departure of a staff member

Risk: Participants in the programme are harassed, either by trolling, physically, or by reputational attack

Impact

Medium

Likelihood

High

Management

Constant contacts between all members of the clusters and network; sharing of experiences; mentoring of individuals; modifying behaviour to reduce exposure to harassment; provision of moral support and legal advice.

Escalation Point

Level of harassment becomes difficult for an individual to tolerate; a sudden change in the nature or extent of harassment; the harassment prevents the individual or group from living a normal life

Risk: Adverse publicity generated by Russia or by supporters of Russia in target countries, or by political and interest groups affected by the work of the programme, aimed at discrediting the programme or its participants, or to create political embarrassment

Impact

Medium

Likelihood

Low/medium

Management

Education of all participants in the programme to ensure understanding of the risk. Care taken in public statements, interview, conferences. Counselling of victims in event of a problem. Cultivating good relationships with journalists to provide support and counter attack. The risk owners are the Institute and participating individuals

Escalation Point

Unexpected, unwarranted or aggressive media interest, or the appearance of articles and reports.

Risk: Physical incapacitation of the principals/subject matter experts running the programme

Impact

High

Likelihood

Low

Management

The Institute’s Business Continuity Plan has identified and pre-notified competent experts who are able to take over the running of the programme in such a situation. There would be a transitional period of about a month until the new team was up to speed. Risk owners are the Directors and Trustees of the Institute

Escalation Point

On the evident incapacitation of the key individuals

Stakeholders

Who are the people or groups with an interest in this project and who will be affected by it and/or can influence its success either positively or negatively? How will you manage your engagement with them. Add more lines as required. Larger/higher value projects will require a full Stakeholder Engagement & Communications Strategy. You should consider whether one is needed for this project.


Stakeholder: All participants in the national clusters

Interest

High

Influence

High

Engagement / Communications plan (How to engage, how often and who by/who to)

Regular contact needs to be maintained with all participants as well as with cluster leaders to ensure enthusiasm, check competence, and keep up morale. A programme staff member will be engaged for this specific function, but all team members must be engaged in the process. To be effective, the network must be actively maintained and grown. A passive network will be unable to engage with and defeat the threat, and will ultimately disintegrate.

Owner

All Staff

Stakeholders: Officials in national governments and international institutions

Interest

medium

Influence

High

Engagement / Communications plan

Officials have a limited time availability and are often overworked. Adverse publicity or an admin problem can be disproportionately upsetting. Attention to their requirements and sensitivity to their vulnerabilities need to be borne in mind by all in the programme.

Owner

All participants

Stakeholders: Programme funders

Interest

High

Influence

High

Engagement / Communications plan. (How to engage, how often and who by/who to)

Funders are entitled to expect both efficiency and effectiveness in the carrying out of the programme. Regular reporting and good communications will ensure the funders are satisfied and can have immediate impact should something worry them.

Owner

Institute staff

Stakeholders: Our targets

Interest

High

Influence

High

Engagement / Communications plan. (How to engage, how often and who by/who to)

Our work will annoy a lot of people, who may therefore try to disrupt it. This problem cannot be avoided, but may be reduced by avoiding unnecessarily abusive or provocative action. Steady, effective education of our policy makers and opinion formers will widen the support base and be more effective than shrill, high profile events with no follow through. Good political support achieved by carefully building good relations is very valuable in event of confrontation occurring

Owner

All participants

Beneficiary Groups

Describe the level of participation of beneficiary group(s) in planning the project. Does the plan reflect the wishes/needs of the beneficiaries. [Beneficiaries are those organisations, groups or individuals who are benefitting from the change that the project will deliver]


The beneficiaries will include Western policymakers and national governments across Europe, as well as the populations of these countries who would be affected by Russian disinformation, destabilisation and malign influence.

Other direct beneficiaries will be those effective institutions working in this area which this programme will actively support and whose work we will disseminate and publicise.

Also benefitting will be genuine media outlets whose reputation is undermined by Russian state propaganda outlets such as RT and Sputnik, masquerading as media sources.

Most of all, the Western system of democratic values will benefit for being protected against attack by those powers who would seek to overturn our system and all it stands for.


Signature of Implementing Agency Lead Contact

Chris N Donnelly

Date

27 04 2017


Part B

To be completed by Post

What Programme Objectives does this project help meet

Programme

Country Business Plan

Prosperity Fund only: Intermediate outcome from the PF Theory of Change

How will this project help to deliver that Objective

Contact name and details at Post

In addition to the “need for the Project” set out above, what benefit will the Project deliver for the UK?

Please note that if the Project is ODA eligible the primary purpose of the Project must be the development of the host country.

How have lessons learned from previous similar projects been taken into consideration in the development of this idea

What consideration has been given to an exit strategy to ensure that the project does not create dependence? Please provide details

Evaluation

Will this project be evaluated?

Projects over £500,000 must be evaluated, and this should happen within 6-12 months of the Project Completion Report being submitted to London

For Projects between £100,000 and £500,000 please highlight to the Programme Team if you think it would be useful for this Project to be evaluated.

Yes / No:

When:

Yes / No: Please ensure that a decision is made with the Programme Team and the evaluation is added to the evaluation plan. Funding for Project Evaluations will have to come from the Programme budget

The Implementer

Provide details of any previous work with the Implementing Agency, and relevant background information on financial, reputational, organisational etc issues

Cross Cutting Issues

What additional impact will the project have on issues such as the environment, diversity and human rights?

Please note both positive and negative possible impacts

For ODA projects: Are you satisfied that the proposed activity is likely to contribute to a reduction in poverty?

Yes / No. Please explain briefly how.

For ODA projects: Are you satisfied that the proposed activity will promote gender equality? If this is not possible, are you satisfied it will not contribute to further gender inequality?

Yes / No. Please include examples where possible.

Human rights (HR) assessment

For projects in the security and justice sectors: Have you completed an assessment under the Overseas Security & Justice Assistance Guidance?

Yes / No

Please summarise the results including the key risks and mitigation measures and overall rating

For other projects: Do you consider that there is a serious risk that the assistance might directly or significantly contribute to a violation of human rights and/or IHL?

If YES what is the risk:

CHECKLIST

Consultancy Value Programme

Are consultants being used in the delivery of this Project? If yes, please ensure that you check the requirements within the CVP on Corporate Procurement Group’s Sharepoint site

Yes/No

Marketing & Advertising Freeze

Will elements of the Project include Marketing or Advertising products and services that are externally procured i.e. will incur cost to FCO. If yes, refer to the guidance on the Comms & Engagement Sharepoint site and complete the necessary clearance forms

Yes/No

TV & Film Production

Is the project producing any television programmes or films (including documentaries)? If yes, you must seek approval from the relevant junior minister’s private office.

Yes/No

Advance Payments

Will the implementer require payments in advance? If Yes, please complete the Advance Payment request Form (Programme Office’s Sharepoint site) as early as possible. Please note, advance payments will ONLY be made where there is a clear justification

Yes/No

Open competition

Has the project been part of an open Bidding Round or Tender process? If not you should refer to your programme team in the first instance to make sure you comply with competition requirements.

Yes/No

Gifting

Will any of the goods procured during the project become the property of the implementer or beneficiary? If Yes, please consult the Gifting & Granting Guidance (Programme Office’s Sharepoint site). Please note, goods purchased during a project will usually remain the property of HMG and will need to be disposed of in accordance with guidance

Yes/No

Contract

There must be a signed contract in place between FCO and the implementer, prior to any activities commencing. Please ensure that the implementer is aware of the content of the

Contract well in advance of having to sign. Please refer to guidance on Grant Contracts (Programme Office’s Sharepoint site).

If the project is being implemented by a commercial organisation/ business, please see CPG’s Sharepoint site for guidance on Commercial Contracts.

Due Diligence

Reasonable checks must be made on the potential implementing organisation prior to initiating the project and your findings recorded (see Programme Office Sharepoint site).

Please confirm that checks will be / have been carried out.

Can this project be referred to publicly, or are there sensitivities that would preclude publicity.

If public, please provide an unclassified form of words describing the project, which can be used in briefing materials.

Comments from policy lead either geographical or thematic

Does the project have your support?

Date of Post Programme Board at which the bid was approved

Comments from Post Programme Board

[Note: All bids must be appraised by the Post Programme Board]

Include here, information on why the Project was approved, plus any conditions that were attached.

Signature of Board Chair

Date

Comments from London Programme Board (if applicable)

Date

Useful links:

Programme Office: http://ubs.sharepoint.fco.gov.uk/sites/ops/OU/SPF_Office/default.aspx

Corporate Procurement: http://ubs.sharepoint.fco.gov.uk/sites/finance/procurement/default.aspx

Comms & Engagement: http://restricted.sharepoint.fco.gov.uk/sites/comms/default.aspx