Whether we are advising a human rights organisation one-on-one or developing a resource for the human rights movement at large, we at HURIDOCS approach the task with the following values: collaboration, purpose, safety, humanity and adaptability.
We listen, ask questions, seek feedback and co-create solutions with our partners — because contextual knowledge is just as crucial for lasting impact as effective documentation technology. When a useful strategy or technological development arises during the course of a project, we take strides to make it openly available, because the human rights movement is strengthened by exchange.
Information management is not an end unto itself. Evidence, law and research are tools to achieve real-world impact for human rights. That’s why we support our partners to clearly define the goal of their project—how will it advance human rights on the ground?—to ensure that the technologies or strategies selected always serve that ultimate purpose.
Human rights defenders frequently work with sensitive information or in risky environments — or collaborate with someone who does — so safety is of the utmost importance. We guide our partners through participatory threat assessments, recommend context-appropriate measures to stay safe, and regularly audit our own tools for vulnerabilities. All of the software that we develop is open source, meaning the code is available for anyone to examine.
We believe that information solutions are most valuable when they are designed with people’s goals and behaviours in mind. Furthermore, technology exists in service to human rights defenders, not the other way around. As such, real-world interactions are at the heart of everything we do. We develop solutions and evolve our tools based not on assumptions, but on the ways that human rights defenders actually put them to use.
At HURIDOCS, we practise the agile methodology of software development and project management. This means that we iterate to find a solution and adapt to changing conditions, even if it results in deviating from the original plan. Why? Because when we incorporate newly discovered information or lessons learned along the way, we obtain better results for our partners — and for the human rights movement.