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Posted 1 February, 2024 by Lesedi Bewlay

Looking back at 85 (!) light support partnerships in 2023

As we look back on 2023, we wanted to share another update from our Light Touch Support (LiTS) program: in the second semester, we engaged with 31 organisations and individuals seeking our support –  bringing us to a total of 85 partners in the year! From human rights to health rights, LGBTQI rights, access to education and environmental justice, working in countries like Brazil, Congo (DRC), Ghana, India, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, the UK, the US and more. (If you want to learn how the first half of the year went in our LiTS Programme, we wrote a couple of blog posts here and here). 

Responsible data, resilience and safety

Throughout the past 6 months, navigating emerging technologies and adopting responsible data practices continued to be key themes. We spoke with partners in a variety of contexts who are looking to bring a justice-based, ethical approach to their tech and data practices, including organisations from Ghana, India and Brazil. 

Throughout the past six months, organisations have also continued to express a need for learning how to handle data responsibly and leverage it for advocacy.

If you’re curious about how to start thinking about this, take a look at our Responsible Data handbook and join the The Responsible Data mailing list (managed by The Engine Room) where you can ask questions and seek advice from a community of 1000+ people thinking about these issues, including many from the humanitarian sector. 

Another big focus for our partners was on becoming more digitally resilient and being more equipped to handle potential threats and vulnerabilities. From a human rights organisation based in eastern DRC facing threats and surveillance from government authorities, to an organisation defending the rights of LGBTQIA+ people in the Dominican Republic: we connected many activists and organisers to digital security resources as well as to digital security experts that they could consult for ongoing support beyond our brief partnership. 

Read more about the work we are doing around supporting digital resilience for organisations

Fostering connections

Bridge-building and helping to forge impactful partnerships remains one of the cornerstones of our support.  We connected a youth-led organisation in Uganda with peers addressing similar challenges, and connected academics in Germany who were investigating disinformation to a group researching information disorder in Brazil.  We connected someone working to create an open data portal in Haiti with the NYU Global Justice Clinic Team, who are working with communities in Haiti to collect and monitor data. 

We participated in various community spaces facilitated by peers, including Promising Trouble, where we discussed questions related to knowing when and how to choose the right technology, and how to plan for long term sustainability when incorporating technology into projects.

We also got the chance to engage with a lot of young social impact leaders from the MCN partner network! Many of them were creating new and exciting projects and were keen to learn how to use data and technology to empower their communities and advocate for social justice in their countries. 
As we start up a new year, we continue committed to providing impactful support to our global partners. Sign up here if you’re interested and stay tuned to our blog for more insights, stories, and updates!

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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