Showing posts from March, 2012

Recruiting Geeks for Human Rights!

Scientist / Data Analysis Engineer / General Techie Want to help save the world with your code? Like going to hackathons and wish you could get paid to work on a good cause full time? Want to help assemble evidence used to convict dictators of war crimes? We're Benetech's Human Rights Data Analysis Group, and we're hiring right now ! What we do: Benetech's Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG) develops database software, data collection strategies, and statistical techniques to measure human rights atrocities. This technology and analysis is used by truth commissions, international criminal tribunals, and non-governmental human rights organizations around the world. We help the human rights movement speak truth to power, because we believe each story of human rights abuse is a tool for justice. Check out recent press coverage of our work, featuring the head of our human rights team, Dr. Patrick Ball, in Foreign Policy magazine and NPR's On The Media . What yo

The First Global Martus Users Group Meeting

Guest Beneblog by Vijaya Tripathi The first ever Martus users group meeting took place earlier this month in Chiang Mai, the capital of Northern Thailand. Martus is Benetech's free and open source software package designed for human rights activists to collect stories and data about human rights abuses. For me personally, the meeting was a rare experience. I have led Martus outreach and training for the past 4 years and worked with human rights defenders all over the world, but because of the project-specific nature of our work, I interact with each of our partners separately. This global Martus meeting brought together individuals who use Martus to address different human rights documentation and security needs in widely varied projects, to share their successes and challenges with the software. It was surreal and incredibly exciting to see these inspiring people, my colleagues and friends, assembled in one place to launch the next generation of Martus. Our mandate, broadly speaki

Supporting Artists With Disabilities

For the past ten years, Benetech’s Bookshare library has provided accessible books for people with print disabilities. Bookshare helps people who cannot read standard text participate in the world of ideas. This recent holiday season, Benetech began supporting an innovative organization that helps people with disabilities develop their creative abilities and become working artists. During our holiday party, we displayed thirty pieces of art provided by Creativity Explored , a San Francisco-based nonprofit arts organization. Creativity Explored works with more than 120 artists with developmental disabilities, providing services that help these artists create, exhibit, and sell their art. Benetech worked with Creativity Explored to select a variety of paintings, drawings and prints. After admiring this collection of art at our holiday party, our staff cast votes for their favorite works. Benetech has now acquired quite a number of pieces of lively, playful, evocative art that will be di

Hosting Harkin at the Hub

Gather a group of social entrepreneurs to brainstorm ideas to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities, and you will harvest an array of innovative solutions. Share these ideas during a vibrant conversation with the number one champion in the Senate for people with disabilities, and you can count on a disability rights advocate who is prepared to mobilize support and resources to promote policies that will create an employment environment in which these cool innovations remain inspirational but become unremarkable. Recently, I had the pleasure to host Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) for exactly such a meeting of minds with ten fellow social entrepreneurs. I’m happy finally to get an opportunity to reflect here on that important event. Senator Harkin is a longtime advocate for people with disabilities. His signature legislative achievement is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. This landmark federal law, known as the “Emancipation Proclamation for people w