Our Strategy

Our new strategy for 2024-2025 will be published in full soon! Below is a short preview. 


Over the past 12 years, The Engine Room has explored how emerging technologies can carry oppressive systems forward; we have also proposed ways to mitigate harm, and supported partners in making more secure, responsible and effective choices when it comes to the tech and data they adopt and use.

Through long-standing relationships with partners across Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and elsewhere, we are well positioned to provide support to partners working in these contexts, as well as to conduct research that is non-extractive and community centred.

In doing so, we are also able to gather insight and knowledge that also helps organisations such as funders and humanitarian organisations better understand and further resource those they serve.

Today, The Engine Room is in a critical position to identify how we can reimagine digital systems, redirect emergent technologies and sustain hope to meaningfully contribute to transformation towards trust, dignity and joy.

We want to live in a world where everyone in society thrives, and where technology serves to advance us towards equitable and sustainable ecosystems and societies.

The Engine Room fights for equitable and sustainable societies by reimagining and redirecting the use of technology and data. For us, this means uplifting digital technologies and data approaches that are:

  • Community-centred – defined, held and sustained by communities who can change them as well as phase them out.
  • Social justice-oriented – intentionally weaving anti-oppression strategies into all stages of their creation, maintenance and deployment; 
  • Transformative – working to transform lives and ecosystems for the better through supporting justice, collective care, and interconnectedness between all living beings.  

2024-2025 AREAS OF FOCUS

Equitable and sustainable technologies

Through our research and support, we see how technologies can strengthen old systems of oppression, and create new expressions of them. While we will continue to acknowledge and explore how these impact people, we will be more focussed on uplifting transformative digital technologies that foster justice, equity, accessibility for diverse bodies, justice,wellbeing and joy for defenders and advocates. 

Centering ecological and social justice approaches

To move from extractive infrastructures to sustainable and equitable ones, we must continue to look critically at emerging technologies’ role in oppressive systems, and consider viable alternatives. There are many community-based and -maintained initiatives that take a more nature-resilient approach by using, for example, low-tech, lo-tek, decentralised and open-source digital infrastructure, or solar-powered technologies and “carbon-aware” web design.

Building digital resilience

We will build on our experience in navigating digital ecosystem change to further identify the conditions that help social justice organisations to be more technologically and operationally resilient, and continue looking at how emerging technologies can help or hinder these efforts. This will expand our own research and knowledge-sharing around open source technologies, including open source hardware and software, and extend our capacity building in new ways.

Movement building

To achieve the futures we want, we must act in coordination across digital rights and social justice communities. We will contribute to sustaining and growing communities that use more responsible, critical, ethical perspectives to technology and data, through strategies such as bringing together cross-movement and feminist perspectives that help dismantle barriers to action, perspective, and learning.


These are the four key targets that we’re working towards in 2024:  

1 / Resilient and healthy infrastructures

We will have the infrastructure and knowledge that give our team the confidence and autonomy to act propositionally, advance our mission, and be healthy. 

2 / Propositional voice

We will be propositional, passionate, and critical in our thinking, writing, speaking about what is relevant and important at the intersection of tech and social justice, in ways that are based on our own research, our work with local communities, and conversations with our peers and partners. 

3 / Cohesiveness

We will support more partners, and our support will be better tailored to their needs. We will use our resources effectively and cohesively to help civil society organisations thrive, be resilient, adaptive, in the use of digital technology and online systems as they fight for social justice in challenging contexts.

4 / Opportunity development

We will have an annual budget that allows us to add toward a reserve, grow our impact, increase support to staff, create joy in the workplace, and pay the bills.


To achieve our mission we are:

  • Rooted within the problems that we’re trying to address – we don’t parachute in to do research, we have staff who are from many of the contexts we’re working within, and we conduct participatory research  together with the communities we’re supporting.
  • Critical optimists – we believe tech and data can increase impact and strengthen work, but we also see the potential problems that could arise and work to develop proactive ways of mitigating these challenges.
  • Trusted within many communities – our team engages with a range of communities, not just the ones within which we play a key role.
  • Committed to equity and wellbeing  – we prioritise staff well-being, acknowledging that wellbeing needs evolve because needs and our team  are not static
  • Attentive to systemic injustices that shape the world around us – we start our work by thinking about how power is operating on a macro and micro level.
  • Collaborative and open – we share what we’re doing – the good and the challenging – openly and often; we work to advance the work of our allies; and we see our work as a  contribution to the bigger movements we’re rooted within.