2016-2017 engine room strategy, and a look back at 2015

Posted February 8, 2016 by Alix Dunn

Most of the content in this post was sent via our newsletter last week. We are sharing it here so that it reaches our blog readers who aren’t subscribed. If you want to subscribe to our newsletter, you can do that here.

Last year was packed with events, collaborations, growth, and some exciting milestones for the engine room. We had a great time putting together our  2015 Retrospective, so take a look to learn something new about us and the multi-faceted work we do.

What’s on tap for 2016?

With 2015 in the rear view mirror, our headlines in 2016 include plans to:

  • Expand the Matchbox Program to the Balkans region (check out our first Matchbox collaboration in the Balkans: Data Centar)
  • Experiment with new ways of communicating relevant research findings (we will be taking The Compiler to the next level, and testing new ways to make research and documentation more accessible)
  • Customize and replicate successful projects in new contexts for new partners
  • Explore key intersections where opportunity and responsible data challenges collide (you can find a round-up of our most recent RDF on Data Visualization here)
  • Continue to provide responsive, empowering support to partners around the world

And where are we headed?

For an overview of what’s next for us, why we do what we do, and where we are headed, give our 2016-2017 strategy a read. You can find it here.

We look forward to continuing scheming with you in the new year and hope that you are looking forward to 2016 as much as we are. And as always, our digital door is open if you want to talk more about our work or yours!

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We’re hiring a Regional Matchbox Lead for Latin America — maybe it’s you!

Posted January 6, 2016 by Julia Keseru

Latin America, by our Jabbermaster artist, Maya Richman

The engine room works with organizations of all shapes and sizes that advocate for social change and provides support to advocacy projects using tech and data in their work. We are now looking for someone to join the Matchbox Program and lead our support work in Latin America.

Do you have a vision for the role technology and data can play in activism and experience working with social change projects to use technology in their work? Are you eager to use this experience and your vast networks to help shape ideas that can change Latin America? Are you a creative thinker who enjoys tackling complex problems with gusto and good humor? Are you a self-starter, who is also comfortable working in a distributed team and taking an active role in defining work plans and program strategy? Do you enjoy sharing and documenting project experiences with partners and colleagues? Read on, this position might be a great fit for you.

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What we’ve learned about microtasking (and, introducing our new Library!)

Posted January 5, 2016 by Zara Rahman


Over the past few months, we’ve been working closely with Amnesty International to help them think through the technical and strategic challenges required to plan and launch a project which will mobilise the wisdom of the crowd to shed light on human rights abuses worldwide.

The project, Alt-Click, is a two-year project funded by the Swedish Postcode Lottery that aims to inspire a new generation of tech savvy human rights activists to take part in documenting, verifying and collating evidence of human rights abuse. In this context, Amnesty is planning to use microtasking to invite people to analyse satellite images, verify video footage and classify large amounts of social media data.

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