The events of 2020 certainly took us by surprise. When we at HURIDOCS made our plans for the year, we couldn’t have ever guessed the global turmoil that was around the corner.
Like so many others around the world, we found ourselves grappling with disrupted travel plans, stay-at-home orders, shuttered offices, canceled child care, and intense feelings of uncertainty and anxiety.
At the same time, looking back on what was our 38th year of helping human rights groups to wrangle information, we got lucky. Ours is a digital and distributed organisation, which helped us to adapt to the quickly changing landscape and continue with our work as best as possible.
You can learn more detail about what we managed to accomplish in the HURIDOCS 2020 Annual Report.
Here’s a sneak peek of what’s inside:
We served even more human rights groups with information management support.
From Latin America and Asia to Francophone Africa, we helped organisations worldwide to document and manage collections of human rights information. The initiatives were designed to support advocacy, litigation and complaint management, and they touched on press freedom, women’s rights, workers’ rights, religious freedom, police violence, human rights policy compliance, and more.
We made strides in developing our flagship tool Uwazi, from launching new features to integrating machine learning.
Uwazi is a flexible database application, and throughout the year we moved towards our goal of making it a useful tool not only for organising collections of documents, but also for documenting and understanding data about human rights violations. In particular, we released several new improvements, such as CSV import and export and the ability to view entries in a table. With the help of a team of Google.org Fellows, we also made significant progress in our work on machine learning, deploying specially trained algorithms on a few of our partners’ databases to automate certain tasks and improve consistency.
We embraced change — but held firm to what matters.
With an eye to the future and an ear to the people we serve, we redesigned the HURIDOCS website and debuted a new visual identity that better communicates our values. In preparation for our next organisational strategy, we commissioned an external assessment of our activities to identify strengths, weaknesses and emerging opportunities for impact. And our budget grew, which allowed us to hire four new team members, launch a staff well-being support budget, and add to our organisational reserves.
We are grateful for all of our partners, funders and allies who persevered through the tumult of 2020 to make the world a better place. The challenges may not have ended with the turn of the calendar; nevertheless, we at HURIDOCS remain committed to helping human rights defenders in any way we can to pursue justice and accountability.
Here’s to an impactful and resourceful 2021!