[Announce] Human Rights Tools
announce at comm-org.wisc.edu
Sat Oct 24 16:04:54 CDT 2009
From: Human Rights Tools <editors at humanrightstools.org>
Today we have no less than FIVE interesting tidbits to read and watch...
and also to forward to your friends and colleagues who share your
passion for human rights work.
This may be the first newsletter for some of you... so you should know
that we don't write very often, only when we have something to share. So
appreciate this latest edition, you may not get another for a loooooong
ONE: Join an on-line dialogue on "Geo-Mapping for Human Rights", October
28 – November 3, 2009
Have you heard of these online dialogues yet? New Tactics regularly
organises these online one-week sprints, on practical topics like shadow
reporting, and engaging pro bono lawyers. The discussions are led by
experts, and once you've signed up you can also interact and ask all the
questions you want, and share your own experience. Or just lurk!
The next one is starting reaaaaally soon, so if you're interested in
Geo-Mapping, sign up to join without any delay!!!
New Tactics is pleased to feature 'Geo-Mapping for Human Rights,’ as the
topic of our October featured online dialogue. Join New Tactics, our
co-moderator, Christian Kreutz, and our featured resource practitioners
from October 28 – November 3, 2009 in a conversation about the ways in
which geographical mapping has been used to share critical information,
promote transparency and engage communities.
With the growing use of satellite imagery and easy-to-use technology,
geographical maps are being used more often by human rights
organizations. These maps can help an organization map crises, places of
heritage, visualize data, monitor the impact of conflict, uncover
critical evidence, and more! The goal of this dialogue will be to take
the stories shared by practitioners with experience using these tools
and tactics and draw out lessons to enable other organizations to
strategically apply these resources.
Our featured resource practitioners include:
Lars Bromley, director of the Geospatial Technologies and Human Rights
program at the AAAS, United States
Patrick Meier, of Ushahidi, United States
Jason Guberman-Pfeffer, founder of the Diarna Project, United States
Michael Graham, of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the World Is
Witness project, United States
Sandra Sudhoff, Calum Davey, Yann Rebois and Bernard Wright of CartONG,
Gillo Cutrupi, GreenPeace Community Manager, Italy"
More info and previous dialogues:
So a big thanks from all of 3700 of the Human Rights Tools readers, to
Kristin Antin, the online community builder at New Tactics, for her
great and useful work.
TWO: The first Crisis Mapping Conference just ended
OK, so as we're still on the theme of mapping... we'd like to inform you
that you probably just missed the first International Conference on
Crisis Mapping, held in Cleveland from 16 to 18 October. Tough luck!
The blurb: "The purpose of the 3-day conference was to bring together
the most engaged practitioners, scholars, software developers and
policymakers at the cutting edge of crisis mapping to define the future
of the field along with best practices and lessons learned. Over 60
organizations were represented and multiple partnerships were formed on
specific projects during the conference."
The website: http://crisismapping.ning.com/page/iccm-2009
Why is crisis mapping relevant to human rights? Well its essentially a
fresh look at the process with which we monitor the human rights
situation and document violations... the familiar process of collecting
data, processing it, analysing it, and disseminating it... but with a
focus on a emerging set of mapping tools and technologies to support
this process. You can read about crisis mapping on Patrick Phlippe
Meieir's blog "iRevolution", he has really done a great job of framing
this emerging field:
So you probably missed the Conference... Well you can read about crisis
mapping on Patrick Phlippe Meieir's blog "iRevolution, download the
slideshows, and in the coming days also watch the videos of the
Next years conference is already set, so don't miss it this time!
THREE: Videos to watch: the Soul of the New Machine
OK, you'll have to wait a few days to watch the video of the above
conference.... We anticipated your frustration: in the meantime we have
some other ones for you to watch.
In May this year, the Human Rights Center UC Berkeley organised a series
of panel discussions, called "Soul of the New Machine", and luckily they
were filmed and put online at Fora TV.
You can find the whole collection here:
.. and also on the Human Rights Center's website:
You'll find a lot of valuable ideas and experience and passion in what
these speakers have to say, although not all of them may have Obama's
Blogging for Human Rights: http://fora.tv/2009/05/05/Blogging_Human_Rights
Documenting violtions with databases:
As you can see, there's even a panel on satellite imagery, in case you
can't wait for the New Tactics dialogue (or to prepare for it...).
We really find it useful to tape presentations so that they can be
shared widely over the web. If you're organising a conference or event,
don't forget to tape it and post it online: http://hub.witness.org/ ...
and let us know of course at editors at humanrightstools.org.
FOUR: Call for Proposals: Build useful transparency and democracy
websites for Central and Eastern Europe
We're cross-posting a very interesting call for proposals from our
colleagues at mySociety... so if you have an idea for a web tool to
track transparency and democracy in your country, and if you happend for
be from Central and Eastern Europe, well it could actually get funded!
Learn more about their fascinating work here, just explore some of the
websites they've created, some amazing ideas:
You may remember, we interviewed two mySociety developers last year:
Now here is their call for proposals:
mySociety has teamed up with the Open Society Institute (OSI) to help
people in Central and Eastern Europe build transparency and democracy
websites suited to the needs and realities of their countries. In the UK
mySociety runs a variety of sites such as TheyWorkForYou.com,
FixMyStreet.com, and our Freedom of Information website
WhatDoTheyKnow.com. As a result of running these, we know that there are
lots of people outside the UK longing to build similar sites that help
increase transparency and accountability in their own government
We have now launched a Call for Proposals for participants in Central
and Eastern Europe, similar to the one we recently ran in the UK. The
big difference is that this time we’re not looking for projects that we
will build. We’re looking for projects you want to build, but that for
lack of funds or lack of the right skills, you can’t get started
yourself, so could use our help.
Over the coming months we will be selecting a series of projects to fund
and mentor — up to ten in total. At each of four monthly intervals,
starting November 15th, OSI and mySociety will convene to consider and
choose from the proposals submitted so far. To help us understand
project strengths and weaknesses in the given local or national context
we can draw on the knowledge of regional OSI staff, but we’ll also be
paying very close attention to the public comments on the submissions —
so please join in the discussion. The shortlisted projects, and the
people behind them, will then undergo a formal vetting process, during
which project funding details will be requested (but we can help you
with that if you’ve no previous experience of budget planning).
mySociety will work closely with the winning projects to develop
specifications for the launch version of the tool, advise on technology
choices and usability decisions, help hire suitable technical talent if
needed, and help
connect winners to the nascent but growing international network of
transparency and accountability website builders.
It’s crucial to note that this call isn’t solely for existing NGOs: the
process is absolutely open to submissions from individuals or groups
with no prior direct experience of working in the transparency and
accountability sector. Experience from around the world suggests that
some of the best websites in this field have been set up by individuals
with no specific NGO background, such as New Zealand’s
TheyWorkForYou.co.nz. Others are run by NGOs with strong track records —
we will not discriminate either way. We will, however, look most
favourably on applicants who already have access to the advanced
programming skills required to build sites like this.
The criteria are simple, though demanding:
1. The projects have to generate some kind of meaningful transparency,
accountability, or democratic empowerment of another kind.
2. The projects must seize the unique benefits that the Internet brings
with it, such as scalability, two way communication, easy data analysis
and so on.
Projects will be required to follow Free/Open Source licensing and
development practices and to adhere to appropriate Open Data principles.
Projects making use of mobile communications tools will also be
considered. And although projects will obviously be delivered in
appropriate local languages, proposals through this website must be in
If you are based in one of the eligible countries and have an idea for a
project (or, even better, more than one!), please submit a proposal.
Even if you don’t, please help us spread the word! Tell everyone you
know about this. Blog it. Link to it on Twitter or Facebook. Go to local
events and make sure everyone knows about it (or ask us to come talk
about it) — just talking about it could be the difference between
someone building a KildareStreet or an OpenCongress in your country and
them never getting started. For more ideas on how to help, please join
our mailing list, or follow us on Twitter.
Deadlines: it’s a rolling call: there are four monthly deadlines from
November 15th. The timeframe for implementation will likely be different
for each project: that’s something we will discuss at a later stage.
AND FIVE: Jobs
The recession may still be raging, but you wouldn't know it from looking
at our job listings... there seem to be more jobs than ever:
Also a whole raft of jobs at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights:
So if you want to work in human rights and in Canada, this is your chance.
This museum is currently under construction, so there's not much you can
see, but at least there's a nice webcam to watch the build (and see what
the weather is like in Winnipeg):
Its not really clear to us what this museum will hold... the website
doesn't tell us much and they probably don't have set ideas yet. What
would YOU put in a human rights museum? Do you know of similar museums?
Well thats all for this edition! Again, if you enjoyed it or found it
useful... then please share.
And... very importantly... if you know of something that we should write
about... a new tool, or manual, or online resource, or conference with a
practical and practitiner-oriented focus... then write to let us know!
Write to editors at humanrightstools.org
Best regards, and good luck in your efforts to promote and defend human
Editor, Human Rights Tools
editors at humanrightstools.org
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