Government and corporate misuse of technology has had a devastating impact on our basic rights and fundamentally undermined democracy. The DADI Foundation was established to reframe technology’s role, supporting its use as a tool in the protection of human rights and democracy rather than as a weapon against them.
The DADI Foundation is delighted to announce HURIDOCS as the winner of their first Challenge Award.
HURIDOCS (Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems, International) will be using the award, as well as expert tech support and mentorship, to develop Uwazi Reveal - a platform which addresses the triple challenge of functionality, usability and security faced by human rights defenders across the world.
Uwazi Reveal will enable activists to collect, preserve, analyse, and visualise vital human rights information. It will protect those seeking to expose human rights abuses in some of the world’s most dangerous and opaque states at a time when global press freedom has declined to its lowest point in 13 years and when 45% of the world’s population lives in countries where the media environment is designated as Not Free.
“We are keenly aware that frontline defenders need more than analytic power: they need ease of use and robust security. The Foundation’s support will enable us to develop a groundbreaking tool in the global fight for freedom and justice.“ – Friedhelm Weinberg, HURIDOCS Executive Director.
Human rights defenders often find themselves on the wrong side of the information divide, as targets of intimidation, surveillance, and violence. They frequently work in hazardous conditions with limited resources and technical skills, and the information that they obtain remains scattered, trapped, or insecure. HURIDOCS supports human rights defenders working in every region of the globe by creating pioneering software solutions that ‘move the movement’.
Uwazi Reveal will give human rights defenders swift, deep insight into their documents and data. They will be able to use original evidence and social media sources, explore their data to see if they support hypotheses about accountability and chain of command, and probe and present their information using maps, charts and graphs. It will feature machine learning functionality enabling users to extract information efficiently and discover patterns in semi-structured or unstructured data. This functionality will be teamed with high levels of usability and with robust security to ensure that data is secured and users protected - vital in such dangerous environments.
The technology is being co-designed with HURIDOCS’ partners, infusing it with defenders’ unique understandings. In addition to this, the source code will be openly available under the MIT license to encourage broad uptake by human rights organisations.
Funding from DADI Foundation will enable the consultation process of the project, to work out the needs of users in countries as varied as Libya, Syria, Sri Lanka, Burma and Turkey. It will go on to fund the development of the tool - responding to the points identified in the needs-gathering conversations.
Uwazi Reveal will provide human rights defenders with a vital tool to document violations, generate reliable conclusions from collected data, and hold perpetrators responsible for their crimes.
“We are delighted to be working with HURIDOCS as the recipient of our first grant. By providing a safe, usable platform, Uwazi Reveal paves the way for greater accountability, protecting and empowering human rights defenders to hold governments to account.“ – Jennifer Martin-Nye, DADI Foundation Chief Executive.