This is a follow up post on how the engine room helped Amnesty international to understand how its researchers were using and could use technology and data in their work. This post discusses outcomes and plans, see a previous post on methods and process here.
One of the engine room’s areas of work is helping organisations tackle complex ideas. CIVICUS, a global network of civil society organisations, asked us to think together around an innovative long-term plan for people-powered accountability processes in the post-2015 global context, and we were excited to participate.
The priority for CIVICUS is shifting top-down information processes, and we’re conducting thematic workshops to find a common language for information collection and management across cultures, countries and NGO silos. On April 1st, 2014, we helped CIVICUS to convene a Gender Defenders Workshop in Istanbul. The workshop’s goal was to engage horizontal capacity building and sharing of information, recognize support areas and empower diverse groups to spark collaborative processes for a deeper conversation about shared efforts in data harmonization. The workshop gathered 17 participants with a broad range of expertise, from anti-harassment data-collection activists, technology specialists, gender safety and security experts, to storytellers and photo/video evidence campaigners.Continue reading
On March 6th we kicked off the first event for the Responsible Data Forum together with Aspiration. About fifty thinkers and doers gathered in Oakland, California, bringing perspectives from national advocacy outfits, international support organizations, tech firms and research organizations. There was some live blogging and a couple of write ups describing how it unfolded, the issues we identified and the responses we started working towards. This post gives a quick summary of how we see it all moving ahead.
Ideas and Collaborations
Responsible data challenges are getting a lot of attention these days, and there are plenty of efforts to make sense of them, in terms of privacy, ethics, security. But they rarely manage to think across these domains. Oakland was unique for the depth and breadth of expertise we had in the room, spanning human rights, systems admin, privacy and the nuts and bolts of national campaigning. We started the day mapping the questions that people wanted answered across all these different domains: there were a lot of questions.Continue reading
If you follow us on Twitter or read our blog, you’ve no doubt noticed we’ve been on a hiring spree. In the last three weeks we’ve hired three new team members! We wanted to take a breather and get everyone up to speed on what the new team looks like. And don’t worry, we don’t plan on keeping up that kind of pace.
Susannah Vila, a co-founder, left us in January to start an MBA program at Columbia University.
Tin Geber has joined us as a full-time Project Pirate. Tin is an interactive data designer who will be helping out on several projects – hence the job title.
Maria Grabowski, a researcher, writer, and campaigner who helped out on the Social Tech Census and has been blogging for us over the past year has joined the team as our Administrative Octopus.
Maya Richman, a technologist, researcher, and radio host based in Montreal has joined the team as Jabbermaster and will be helping us with communications, research, and web design.
- These new hires have been made possible by a generous general support grant from the Oak Foundation which we’ll be using to develop as an organization and grow our programs.