Date March 1-7, 2015
My role: Researcher and project consultant for the initial stage of the project
Problem: In this project, I worked with the Science and Human Rights Team at Amnesty International on a new program called Alt-Click, a project that aims to garner the testimonial potential of millions of human rights activists throughout the world. Alt-click seeks to offer activists a platform to report human rights violations using new digital technologies, such as social media and GIS systems.
Process and Deliverables: As part of the research project, I conducted interviews with Amnesty International staff, including the Alt-Click project coordinators, in the DC and London offices. I also used comparative analysis to research similar organizations and projects. The final deliverable was a technical report detailing main phases of the project, as well as the challenges that such an endeavor is likely to face. I also wrote a set of recommendations for the smooth implementation of a pilot project.
I organized findings and recommendations in accordance with the following three major stages to be considered in order to ensure the smooth implementation of the project:
- The Collection Stage, that is, the acquisition and collection of data, in this case videos, tweets, and other such textual and visual resources documenting human rights violations;
- The Processing and Validation Stage, that is, the validation, cleaning up of data, and other appropriate verification of information;
- The Preservation Stage, the management and storing of validated data
My recommendations include ethical considerations about user privacy, data confidentiality, accuracy of information, and contributors’ safety. In my report, I also highlight technical issues such as system encryption and security, as well as scalability of the crowdsourcing platform. Final report can be shared upon request.
The most exciting part of my work at Amnesty International was meeting and interacting with software developers who create crowdsourcing tools and online platforms for crowdsourcing projects.