I’m delighted to share here how we’re able to improve the lives of people, at home and in Sub-Saharan Africa, with support from the Android donation program—a fantastic social initiative from Google. To date, we’ve received several hundred used, fully functional Android phones and tablets from the program for deployment across our Human Rights and Global Literacy programs. Thanks to these phones, we’re able to put our software-for-good applications directly in the hands of individuals who face difficult challenges and for whom the availability of such devices makes a big difference.
Technology is transforming innovation at its core and our team at Benetech does quite well in leveraging this “innovation at warp speed” for social good. 2013 has been an incredibly busy and productive year for us. I’m excited to share highlights from our work and its significance for the multitudes we serve.
How can journalists better protect their information, themselves and the sources, victims and witnesses who trust them with their stories? How can mobile technologies help journalists working in conflict areas to quickly alert national and international support organizations when they or colleagues are injured, arrested, kidnapped or killed? These are some of the questions our Human Rights team is considering these days, as we’re moving forward with building the next generation of Martus technology. These were also some of the questions addressed by a team of technologists and journalists at the July 2013 TechCamp workshop in New York City, which I attended as a representative of Benetech.
In recent years, the possibilities of what can be achieved with human rights fieldwork and advocacy has expanded as the worldwide use of mobile phones has increased and significant advances have been made in Internet and mobile technology. We’re excited to share that our Human Rights Program has been awarded a two-year, $2.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) to realize some of those possibilities.
Benetech’s Human Rights Program, as the lead partner in a consortium that includes The Guardian Project and Internews, has been awarded a two-year, $2.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) to enhance and expand our suite of digital security tools. Named “On the Frontier of Secure Technology for Human Rights Monitoring,” it is the largest individual grant in the history of Benetech’s Human Rights Program.