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Welcome to the Amnesty Refinement Phase

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Welcome to the Refinement phase of the Amnesty Challenge. Together we're tackling the issue of unlawful detention, looking at how technology solutions can support the supporters of those detained.

We have seen a wonderful collection of inspirations and concepts emerge, addressing everything from covert tracking of individuals at risk to online platforms that provide support for friends and loved ones.
After getting your thoughts through comments and applause, our expert panel of OpenIDEO and Amnesty International team members discussed many of the concepts and nominated a short list of 16 concepts to go further into Refinement.
There are many many worthy concepts, some of which you may see strands of in future Amnesty campaigns. For the purposes of this challenge, we focused on the guidelines set out by the brief of technology-based solutions.
Over the next week we're asking these teams to continue to refine their concepts. Our Amnesty Challenge Expert Panel will be looking in from time to time and leaving their valuable feedback for the concept teams.
We hope to see prototypes, lo-fi or digital, and evolutions of these ideas from the teams and the wider OpenIDEO community. Please lend a hand to make these ideas viable, desirable and feasible.
To help you in this process, here are the evaluation criteria we will be using in the next phase.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Technological viability: Can this concept be developed using existing technological tools and at a relatively low cost, will it work in areas with a limited technology infrastructure?
  • Scalability: Is this concept practically applicable across multiple regions without extensive adaptation; will it be pertinent to a wide group of people affected by diverse issues?
  • Maintenance and continuation: Is this a concept that could be sustained over a long period of time?
  • Usability: Is this concept ‘friendly’ to a diverse range of users, including those with limited literacy and technological skills?
  • Awareness raising and information sharing: Does this concept help to raise awareness/educate people on the issues of unlawful detention?
Also take a read of our Guiding Principles for this challenge.

Expert Panel

Sara Mac NeiceDeputy Director, Campaigns, Amnesty International

"I work as the campaign manager for Amnesty International's Security with Human Rights campaign and am delighted that we are partnering with OpenIDEO in this exciting challenge."

Owen Pringle Director of Digital Communications,  Amnesty International

"Having spent nearly half my life watching digital technology utter its first words, take its first steps, develop friendships, courtships and scoot off to college, it's great to see it graduate to being utilised for social good."

Denis Krivosheev Researcher, Amnesty International

"Happy to contribute from my experience as researcher on Russia - I guess my main value is in terms of identifying the challenges (too many things appear too difficult in Russia, particularly when it comes to human rights) and suggestions that are/aren't likely to have an impact."

Tristam Sparks Interaction Design, Amnesty International

"Silence is compliance."


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Join the conversation:

Photo of kelly hasan

It has been such a great journey with this website.

Photo of Saeed Falahi

I'm a human right defender and have organized various campaigns. I would like to say on the ground of personal experiences that digital technology is a back bone of all sorts of activities,and particularly in the cases of human rights activism, we are completely depend on the various tools of modern technology, without that no one can do more effectively.

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Hi, I'm not sure if this is the right place to raise this, but here goes. None of my challenges made it to the refinement stage, and thats fine, however there are elements of some 'rejected' concepts (not necessarily mine) that might be useful in refining those that were successful. Normally we would seek to discuss incorporation of these elements with the owners of successful concepts but I am curious to know if some concepts were rejected because they are already substantially covered by Amnesty's existing practices or technology. Knowing this would help (me) in determining how best to support the refinement process.

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Hi Paul, it's hard to say without specific examples, but I can tell you that some of the ideas submitted were rejected on grounds of them not answering this brief in particular, although they could be useful in a broader human rights context. With this in mind, we'd encourage the use of ideas from rejected concepts to build on those shortlisted. The use of technology for this kind of intervention is relatively new to Amnesty International, so it's unlikely that our existing technology practices would preclude us from adopting a specific idea. In any case, the winning concept may be something that Amnesty helps to establish then passes over to a community of users for ownership and further development, with Amnesty taking only a minimal role in the future direction of the tool. On the other hand, there may be a need for Amnesty to take more hands-on role. It really depends on the concept selected. Hope this helps.

Photo of Paul Reader

Thanks for that. I guess I was thinking about the low-tech aspects which I imagined might both be more common in many areas of concern to Amnesty and possibly even vital as a better than nothing approach in awkward circumstances.