Through The Engine Room’s Matchbox programme, we support social justice organisations – especially those in resource-constrained backgrounds – who wish to use data and technology to strengthen their work.
Our support is direct, intensive and context-respecting. We meet you where you are, with focused support.
We’ve worked with organisations in Latin America and Africa on a diverse range of issues, including legislative and procurement transparency, service delivery, budget monitoring, documenting and visualising police violence, and more. In our last round of Matchbox, for example, we supported the Legal Advisory Information Center (LAIC) in South Africa to adopt responsible data practices and transition to a sustainable platform to manage their land tenure cases, and assisted Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS) in Argentina to reconceptualise their database documenting cases of institutional violence.
Recently, we revamped the Matchbox programme to make room for even more flexibility and more organic relationship-building with our partners, and to enhance the quality of our support.
Previously, partners were selected through an open call and selection process. Our new approach is designed to deepen relationships and solidarity with our Matchbox partners by working with potential partners in non-intensive ways first, through our Light-Touch Support programme (LiTS). Ideally, this new approach will give our potential partners more opportunities and agency to identify their own needs, allowing support to develop more organically.
Our new process for Matchbox partnerships looks like this:
After your organisation has engaged with our Light Touch Support multiple times and it seems like you and your work might be a good potential fit for more intensive, Matchbox-style support, we propose an exploratory call to discuss Matchbox-partnership possibilities:
- During the call, we’ll share more information about our Matchbox support offer and have some discussion around whether this is the right time to deepen our collaboration. If, after the call, both you and our team assess that a Matchbox partnership has the potential to be successful, we’ll send you a survey to get a more detailed understanding of your support needs
- The survey will be followed by a clarifying discussion between your team and ours.
- We then work together to prioritise support areas and design a work plan to implement over 6-8 months.
If your organisation** is interested in getting support from The Engine Room, please schedule a Light Touch Support call with us!
Bring a current tech- or data-related challenge you’re grappling with, and we’ll tackle it together. Through the LiTS process, you’ll be able to get a better sense of how our support works and what it entails, assess if this type of collaboration works for your organisation, and meet some of our team members.
**Our LiTS and Matchbox support is primarily offered to groups with limited resources, particularly those based in Africa and Latin America, whose work confronts power imbalances, injustice and rights abuses in a given social context.