Around three and a half billion people around the world have access to the internet today. Given this prevalence of internet and technology, the way people interact with the world is drastically different to how it was ten years ago. We can do things like go to university without leaving the living room, earn money from our homes, and we don’t need to pick up a newspaper or go to a library to read a book or find out the daily news. The way activists, organisations and other social change agents go about their work is similarly changed. The Engine Room is a not-for-profit organisation helping people and organisations who promote equality, justice, human rights, good governance and accountability to make the most of data and technology to increase the impact of their work.
The Engine Room believes that every organisation should have the capacity to consider and manage its own technological strategies. It supports its partners to: make informed technology and data decisions; support the effective use of data and technology for people’s empowerment; cut down on wasteful costs in civil society’s adoption of technology and data; and share research about the latest tools and methods that are being used for social change. “The Engine Room has worked with great integrity and commitment to maximise the impact of its research in influencing positive change in the world,” says Duncan Edwards from the Institute for Development Studies.
Since 2011, the Engine Room has supported more than 200 organisations from around the world. It helped Médecins sans Frontières improve its organisational responsible data sharing policy so that the vital information it collected during fieldwork could be better organised and put to use. It also helped ¿Quién Compró?, a group of Mexican journalists, to publicise available data on politicians’ expense reports and supported Amnesty International to use micro-tasking as a meaningful way to combat human rights abuses. These are just a few examples of the way the Engine Room is changing the way the human rights field interacts with technology.
The Engine Room has been an Oak partner since 2014. To find out more about its work visit its website here.