Innovation Challenge 2017: These are the Finalists

Civil Rights Defenders’ Innovation Challenge 2017 has closed its second round and is about to ender its third and final phase. Out of the original 28 applicants, eight successful innovative finalists remain in the running to win this year’s challenge.

“The more ideas the better”

innovation-200x200The Innovation Challenge, which was launched within the framework of our Human Rights Innovation Initiative, is designed to each year focus on different themes within the field of civil and political rights. In the 2017 edition, we asked the applicants to share innovative ideas that will either enable creative reporting or improve security of human rights defenders and organisations.

“Our goal is simple, yet challenging: to present ideas that could become important tools for protecting human rights defenders at risk and making their work more effective. The more ideas that are developed, the better,” said Civil Rights Defenders’ Executive Director Robert Hårdh ahead of the launch.

Read about the first round facts in our Innovation Blog.

Meet the finalists

The ideas that have been submitted to this year’s challenge have covered a wide spectra of issues, themes and regions. Civil Rights Defenders recently had the opportunity to speak to some of the successful applicants. Three of the finalists have requested to remain anonymous due to security concerns and will therefore not be highlighted in this article.

Marijana-web-200x200Marijana Maric is the Executive Director of the Serbian organisation Initiative for Inclusion VelikiMali. Applying within the theme of creative reporting, she has submitted an idea to use animated videos for advocacy.

When reaching out with our message in a more creative way, more people will listen. We know that for-profit companies already use similar methods, so why should not non-profits who work for the protection of human rights do the same? We have such strong messages and they need to be heard, said Marijana.

Read the longer interview with Marijana Maric here.

Charlie-web-200x200Charlie Harding, the Director of Product at the Kenyan non-profit tech company Ushahidi, has submitted his application within the theme of HRD security. The idea started to take shape a couple of years ago after Nairobi, where several Ushahidi staff are located, became the target of a terrorist attack.

It was a real coordination nightmare to make sure that everyone was safe and we realised that this problem needed to be solved so that it does not happen again, to us or other organisations. We then came up with the idea to build a team emergency check-in app location that would reach you on whatever channel you prefer to speak on and then coordinate all responses onto one central location, Charlie explained.

Read the longer interview with Charlie Harding here.

Jenny-web-200x200Describing herself as an entrepreneur and a “tech-nerd”, Jenny Pettersson strives to engage in projects that can make a difference in society. Under the theme of creative reporting Jenny’s idea is to create a network application for LGBT-girls, activists, and organisations.

Over the years, I have spent a lot of time working in projects that have not engaged me to the full extent. I felt like I wanted to move forward in a different direction and do something else, something real. I guess that one could say that I want to make a difference. The app, which is called LesBeSocial, will be almost like a Facebook for LGBT-girls, said Jenny.

……………………………–……………Read the longer interview with Jenny Pettersson here.

Mathias-web-200x200Mathias Friman is, according to himself, a proper “IT-nerd” and a strong believer in the freedom of expression. Intent on improving HRD security and freedom of expression, Mathias is looking to come up with a user-friendly way for journalists, HRDs and others to communicate anonymously online.

I believe that the foundation of a democracy is to create an honest conversation about the challenges that our society is facing. Thus, there needs to be a possibility for people to write completely anonymously and report on issues without having to worry about the risks. If everyone has the chance to be anonymous, everyone has a chance to contribute to the debate, said Mathias.

Read the longer interview with Mathias Friman here.

Mohammad-web-200x200Mohammad Issa works at the Palestinian NGO Yes Theatre for Communication among Youth. Within the theme of creative reporting, Mohammad has submitted an idea aimed at training human rights defenders to produce animation videos to inform about their situation.

We are intent on creating a communication process that facilitates a good understanding. We need to make things easier and we believe that animation is a tool that could help human rights defenders communicate their situation both locally and globally, said Mohammad.

…………………………………………..Read the longer interview with Mohammad Issa here.

The Human Rights Innovation Initiative is financed by the Swedish Postcode Lottery.

The Human Rights Innovation Initiative is financed by the Swedish Postcode Lottery.

Categories: News.
Tags: creative reporting, HRD security, Human Rights Innovation Initiative, Innovation, and Innovation Challenge.
Campaigns: Innovation.