Who Funds Us

The Engine Room is a 501(c)(3) registered charity in the United States. You can find our IRS determination letter here. Below is a list of the organisations and foundations that fund our work. You can find our gift acceptance policy here.

2018

Columbia Law School (CCSI) – The Engine Room supported CCSI to critically engage stakeholders in the next phases of developing openlandcontracts.org through research. The research sought answers about how to engage international and local land and human rights community members who are most inclined to use openlandcontracts.org.

Ford Foundation – we worked with Internet Freedom team at the Ford Foundation to examine how civil society receives organisational security support. We produced the report, Ties That Bind, as a result of this work.

GIZ – We supported German organisation GIZ to develop a set of Responsible Data Guidelines.

Global Dialogue and Ariadne – Informed by our responsible data work, The Engine Room developed a decision-making framework for grantmakers who want to share grants data for human rights projects, helping them think through the implications of sharing data about grants and/or grantees.

Hivos – The Engine Room supported Hivos with research and strategy development for the Digital Defenders Partnership (DDP), in order to better reflect the needs in the rapid response network and digital safety community.

Hivos Open Contracting Program – We provided strategic support to Open Contracting program as a whole, and gave direct support to Hivos partner organisations.

International Budget Partnership – TER supported the Open Budget Survey (OBS) program of the International Budget Partnership (IBP) in replacing its existing data collection infrastructure with a new platform.

Internews – The Engine Room supported two organisations in Latin America with organisational security audits using the SAFETAG framework. The organisations received recommendations on how to mitigate their risks, and abstracted learnings were shared back to the open source SAFETAG auditing framework.

International Migration Initiative at Open Society Foundations – We produced a short research report focusing on the responsible data challenges of tech-based interventions to assist migrant workers.

Open Society Justice Initiative – The Engine Room researched selected Open Society Foundations Shared Framework partners’ use of technology and data for legal empowerment and case management, producing a report describing country-specific and cross-cutting trends in technology and data usage.

Oxfam – The Engine Room worked with Oxfam on a research project to inform a responsible approach to the use of biometric technology in its programmatic work in the next three-to-five years.

Radio Free Asia and Open Technology Fund: We used community-focused research to better understand better how data that they hold on grantees could be used. We also supported their development of a Responsible Data policy.

Sigrid Rausing Trust – as part of an ongoing grant, Sigrid Rausing Trust provided The Engine Room with general support for our core operational work including financial, human resources management, strategy and growth as an organisation.

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation – The Hewlett Foundation provided funding for the expansion of our Matchbox Program.

Oak Foundation – In a continuation of an ongoing grant from 2016, the Oak Foundation provided The Engine Room with general support for our organisational development.

Omidyar Network and Yoti Foundation – Omidyar Network and Yoti co-funded a research grant for us to investigate the lived effects of digital identification systems in five different research sites across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

ONE Campaign: The Engine Room used design research to investigate and provide insights on how ONE can remove the barriers to using data for policy-making.

The B Team: We partnered with OpenOwnership, via the B Team, to gain a deeper understanding of how the issues of data privacy and data protection relate to the disclosure of information about companies’ ownership structures through a research project and presentation.

2017

Stanford PACS – Together with a cohort of organisations made up of the Center for Democracy and Technology, SIMLab, ourselves and the Future of Privacy Forum, we received a Digital Impact grant to investigate gaps and challenges facing civil society in practising responsible data.

350.org – We worked with 350.org to develop baseline security training materials and support them in creating a security team that can help 350.org address organisational security challenges in the future. 350.org also worked with a security firm who focused on the initial audit and policy creation. 

NRGI – We conducted conducting a review of NRGI’s open data-related activities in a range of countries, as part of a research project to inform the drafting of an NRGI Data Strategy.

Open Society Foundation – The Open Society Foundation provided The Engine Room with general support for our organisational development including operational, financial, human resources management, strategy and growth.

The Ford Foundation – A research project to identify the existing capacity of digital security experts, civil society organisations and funders in three geographic regions and communities around the world, with a goal of providing some recommendations to philanthropy on strategies to address the digital security needs of the communities we serve.

Sigrid Rausing Trust – Sigrid Rausing Trust provided The Engine Room with general support for our core operational work including financial, human resources management, strategy and growth as an organisation.

SimSim – The Engine Room helped SimSim in Morocco redesign the organisation’s website, Nouabook – a platform that tries to increase dialogue between MPs and citizens – in a way that was more mobile and user friendly, and more actionable for the organisation’s target groups. We did this through needs assessment, user research, front end design and support with the web development of the new platform

2016

ICRC – We worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to research opportunities and risks for humanitarian organisations that are considering using messaging apps in situations affected by armed conflict.

Omega Research Foundation – We supported the Omega Research Foundation by helping to develop a business case for improvements to their infrastructure that would allow them to better share the data they collect. Omega.has worked for years collecting evidence on the manufacture, trade and use of military, security and police (MSP) technologies.

Amnesty International – We worked with Amnesty International to develop technical approaches to improving the use and security of the Individuals at Risk database. This database is part of Amnesty International’s campaign to provide urgent assistance to those facing persecution, to pressure governments to respect fundamental rights, and to mobilise a network of people around the world to participate in these efforts..

Amnesty InternationalWe worked with Amnesty International and Benetech to examine data as part of human rights documentation and research.The project aimed to better understand how data becomes part of the universe of human rights documentation, how it can enhance documentation processes and how currently it is (and is not) used or understood.

Sigrid Rausing Trust – Sigrid Rausing Trust provided The Engine Room with general support for our organisational development and growth.

Open Society Foundation – OSF’s Information Program supported the Responsible Data Forum and provided The Engine Room with general support for our organisational development.

2015

Magnum Foundation – The Magnum Foundation supported The Engine Room to design and facilitate a Responsible Data Forum Event for documentary photographers and photojournalists.  

Women Make Movies – We worked with Women Make Movies to provide technical and strategic support in order to gamify their Roll Red Roll project. Roll Red Roll aims to create awareness around sexual assault.

Zasto Ne – The Engine Room supported Zasto Ne by supporting the strategy and facilitation of a series of workshops for the Balkan Data Academy. The Balkan Data Academy’s goal is to build long-lasting connections and to build skills for data-driven transparency and accountability projects.

Asylos – The Engine Room once again worked with Asylos, this time by helping to design and facilitate a meeting of the organisation’s volunteers. Asylos is a pan-European network of volunteer researchers dedicated to ensuring the right to asylum.

The Restart Project – The Restart Project funded us to support the development of their Fixometer. This tool collects information about devices brought into the Restart Parties, with the goal of measuring the impact of repair versus buying new on CO2, e-waste etc.

Code for Pakistan – The Engine Room collaborated with Code for Pakistan to evaluate and improve their communications and other aspects of organisational culture. Code for Pakistan is a nonprofit focused on promoting civic innovation in the country in order to improve quality of life.

Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability (CRTA) – We supported CRTA to built the Data Centar, an open platform in Serbia that helps you find, liberate and make use of public data. CRTA is a group of activists and journalists that engages with both citizens and institutions in an effort for higher institutional and public officials’ accountability in Serbia through monitoring and oversight of their work.

SumofUs – We continued our worked with SumofUs in 2015 to help them strategically and systematically strengthen their organisational security. We have researched tool options and supported migration to more secure tools and processes. We have developed micromanuals for specific tools that they require their staff to use,  and provided high- level guidance to the security team to help them think through new challenges.

Tableau – Tableau supported a Responsible Data Forum event organised by The Engine Room that focused on responsible data issues in data visualisation. Tableau is dedicated to creating tools that help people understand the data they use and how to use it to solve problems.

Oak Foundation – Oak Foundation provided The Engine Room with general support for our organisational development.

International Human Rights Funders Group – The International Human Rights Funders Group funded a Responsible Data Forum event organised by The Engine Room that brought together program officers and grant managers to discuss and develop tools and strategies for responsible data in their work and the work of their grantees. IHRFG is a global network of donors and grantmakers committed to advancing human rights around the world through effective philanthropy.

MercyCorps – We supported an initiative of MercyCorps called The Electronic Cash Transfer Learning Action Network (ELAN) to develop tipsheets for their field team to tackle responsible data challenges in the wild. ELAN works to improve how electronic cash and electronic vouchers are used to assist survivors of natural disasters and conflict.

Medecins San Frontieres – We worked with MSF to assess and propose ways of improving their data sharing policy. 

HIVOS – Hivos supported The Engine Room’s responsible data work, specifically the research and development for the Responsible Data Reflection Stories. Hivos is an international development organisation that develops programs, engages in policy advocacy and researches a variety of topics.

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation – The Hewlett Foundation provided funding for The Engine Room’s Matchbox Program pilot with local organisations in Southern Africa and Latin America working to promote transparency and accountability. This grant was renewed in 2015 to expand the Matchbox Program.

Open Government Partnership – OGP funded The Engine Room to manage its assessment in Norway. OGP is an international organisation promoting multilateral initiative and seeking strong commitments from participating government institutions to promote transparency, increase civic participation, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to make government more open, effective, and accountable.

CIVICUS CIVICUS funded The Engine Room to collaborate on the DataShift initiative around the design and implementation of targeted support to organisations collecting and using citizen-generated data. CIVICUS is an international alliance dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society around the world.

2014

HIVOS – Hivos supported The Engine Room’s responsible data work, specifically including participation costs for the Responsible Data Forum in Budapest, and for the development of a Responsible Data Toolkit. Hivos is an international development organisation that develops programs, engages in policy advocacy and researches a variety of topics.

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation – The Hewlett Foundation provided funding for The Engine Room’s Matchbox Program pilot with local organisations in Southern Africa and Latin America working to promote transparency and accountability.

Oak Foundation – Oak Foundation provided The Engine Room with general support for our organisational development.

Open Society Foundation – OSF’s Information Program supported the Responsible Data Forum. The Forum is an effort to develop useful tools and strategies for dealing with the ethical, security and privacy challenges facing data-driven advocacy.

Oxfam Novib – In 2014, Oxfam Novib funded The Engine Room to conduct research on existing citizen feedback platforms, and their technical specifications as part of a larger project to build and support citizen feedback platforms. Oxfam Novib also funded The Engine Room to carry out research and provide direct support to Burundian local partners to better and more safely use technologies in electoral work. Oxfam Novib is a Dutch development organisation committed to building the capacity of its civil society organisation partners in developing countries.

Making All Voices Count (MAVC) – MAVC supported a 2 year research project to explore the factors that influence tool selection processes among voice and accountability initiatives in three African countries. The project is coordinated by the engine room and implemented by Accountability Lab in Liberia, Network Society (University of Witwatersrand) in South Africa, and Pawa254 in Kenya.

CIVICUS – In 2014, The Engine Room developed a feasibility study for CIVICUS, identifying opportunities and risks for supporting member efforts to use technology for monitoring national progress towards the post-2015 development goals. CIVICUS is an international alliance dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society around the world.

Rainforest Foundation – The Rainforest Foundation of Norway funded The Engine Room to research and support their partners to adopt of technologies for monitoring deforestation and land rights. They also supported us to explore the feasibility of developing a global monitoring platform that specifically targets the socially responsible investing community. The Rainforest Fund supports programs that cover a range of issues from protection of civil and political rights of indigenous and tribal peoples, to the promotion and defense of their social, economic and cultural rights.

HURIDOCs – The Engine Room worked with HURIDOCS to provide information management support for several NGO partners in Egypt. Alix joined HURIDOCS board of directors in 2014. HURIDOCS is an international NGO helping human rights organisations use information technologies and documentation methods to maximise the impact of advocacy work.

The Transparency and Accountability Initiative (T/AI) – T/AI funded The Engine Room to conduct qualitative research on the roles, activities and self-conceptions of social movements in the tech, transparency and accountability field, to understand how, when and how their work for social good can best be supported by the international support and funding communities.

Privacy International – In 2014, The Engine Room helped Privacy International design and pick participants for a one-day workshop with security trainers focused on how PI can help digisec trainers, and how digisec trainers can contribute to privacy research and advocacy. Privacy International is a UK charity committed to fighting for the right to privacy across the world through research, litigation, and advocacy.

Circle of Six – The Engine Room team will be working with the Tech4Good team (producers of the Circle of 6 app) to plan their sustainability and user outreach strategies for the coming year. The Circle of 6 app allows users to connect with their friends to stay close, stay safe and prevent violence before it happens.

School of Data – The Engine Room facilitated School of Data’s 2014 Summer Camp for its global team of fellows and initiatives. School of Data works to empower civil society organisations, journalists and citizens with the skills they need to use data effectively.

European Capability for Situational Awareness – The Engine Room provided strategic and technical support to the international consortium (led by Free Press Unlimited and iLab) who were contracted by the European Commission to produce a feasibility study for the development of an international monitoring platform for digital rights and violations of the freedom of expression online.

Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)- The Engine Room collaborated with PRIO on a research project on communicating risk in the digital age. PRIO is an independent peace studies institution that is researching the conditions for peaceful relations between nations, groups and individuals.

2013

Transparency International – TI funded The Engine Room to develop content for a toolkit to map audiences for transparency and accountability advocacy.

WeGov – WeGov funded The Engine Room to help it better surface and facilitate connections among advocates of government transparency and accountability who are using new technologies. This is made possible by a grant that WeGov received from Omidyar Network. WeGov is the international section of Personal Democracy Media (PDM), which is a media company working at the intersection of technology and politics. The Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm.

Internews – Internews contracted The Engine Room to investigate best practices in digital security training for human rights defenders and activists. Internews is an international non-profit organisation whose mission is to empower local media worldwide to give people the news and information they need, the ability to connect and the means to make their voices heard.

Open Government Partnership – OGP funded The Engine Room to manage its assessment in Norway. OGP is an international organisation promoting multilateral initiative and seeking strong commitments from participating government institutions to promote transparency, increase civic participation, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to make government more open, effective, and accountable.

2012

Transparency International – Transparency International (TI)funded The Engine Room to support its national chapters in the strategic integration of new technologies, both by providing direct support and facilitating the replication of tools and tactics among TI members.

Oxfam Novib – Oxfam Novib funded The Engine Room to conduct a TechScape module in 7 countries.

2011

Oxfam Novib – Oxfam Novib funded The Engine Room to create the Social Tech Census.

Access – Access provided The Engine Room with seed funding to convene founding advisors. Access defends and extends the digital rights of users at risk around the world. By combining innovative policy, user engagement, and direct technical support, they fight for open and secure communications for all.