Digital Democracy Makes use of Know-how to Assist Marginalized Communities

SEATTLE — Many individuals contemplate expertise comparable to smartphones, tablets and computer systems a necessity; however for a lot of human beings throughout the globe, these units are luxuries. Digital Democracy (DD), a company based mostly in Oakland, California, is on a mission to “empower marginalized communities to make use of expertise to defend their rights.” This group believes expertise must be used to lift extra voices into the highlight. By partnering with teams that signify communities throughout the globe, Digital Democracy helps marginalized teams with the strategic use of expertise.

Digital Democracy

Digital Democracy makes use of expertise to assist marginalized communities defend their rights in three major methods: direct implementation, instrument constructing and native to international engagement. The group trains communities to make use of fundamental digital instruments (cameras, telephones, knowledge assortment instruments) and conducts ongoing assist for his or her companions who use this expertise to defend their human and environmental rights.

Digital Democracy supplies instruments for communities in exhausting to achieve areas of the world. Distant communities face many threats together with oil contamination, unlawful land grabbing and compelled labor. DD builds technological instruments that may work offline and in excessive environments, and might doc authorities threats and map their land.

A 2015 TIME article discusses Digital Democracy utilizing drones to implement property rights in Guyana: “MacLennan— this system director for Digital Democracy, a non-profit targeted on empowering marginalized communities by means of the usage of expertise — spent a number of months working with the folks of Guyana to assemble a drone that they may independently fly, restore, and use as a “instrument of reflection” to start out neighborhood discussions on land use and useful resource administration.”

Quest to Elevate Worldwide Consciousness

DD creates expertise to lift worldwide consciousness about advanced points in foriegn international locations. Since 2008, Digital Democracy has labored with residents of Myanmar in addition to folks alongside the borders in Thailand, India, Bangladesh and China to carry consciousness to the ethnic violence, compelled labor and political incarceration in Myanmar.

By working with neighborhood companions All Burma IT Scholar Union, All Burma Monks Alliance and Burma Info Know-how Staff, DD has co-created mapping and media options. They helped create Handheld Human Rights, an internet instrument that helps organizations talk and monitor particulars of human rights violations.

Utilizing Tech for Good

Digital Democracy makes use of expertise to assist marginalized communities defend their rights, comparable to harnessing devices to deal with gender based mostly violence in Haiti. Within the wake of the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, many circumstances of rape and violence elevated exponentially in tent camps round Port-au-Prince. Between 2010 and 2013, DD introduced technological coaching to ladies in Haiti to assist their combat towards gender based mostly violence.

Their neighborhood companions in Haiti included Fee of Ladies Victims for Victims, Ladies Victims Get Up Stand Up, and Nationwide Coordination of Direct Victims. Digital Democracy helped construct a safe system to gather gender-based violence knowledge; in two years, over 1,000 incidents have been reported to the police and authorities. DD additionally helped launch Haiti’s first emergency hotline for gender-based violence. Additionally they helped co-create media options that enabled Haitian ladies to doc their experiences by way of journalism, pictures and running a blog.

Creating Change

In November 2017, Digital Democracy obtained a $525,000 grant from the Leonardo Dicaprio Basis — a basis based by actor Leonardo Dicaprio — which focuses on wildlands and ocean conservation and restoring stability to threatened communities. This grant helped Digital Democracy launch their offline mapping instrument, Mapeo.

This app makes it straightforward for people or groups to create maps and manage information. Mapeo is constructing with indigenous communities within the Amazon, who want a neater solution to create and edit their very own maps to defend their lands and tradition. Digital Democracy makes use of expertise to assist marginalized communities defend their rights, with devices comparable to Mapeo.  

Change doesn’t come from expertise, it comes from how folks use expertise. By having core values comparable to self willpower, autonomy, accessibility and social justice, Digital Democracy is ready to assist create a extra equal world.

– Ariane Komyati
Photograph: Flickr

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