90 mins

Open source investigations for human rights: Part 1

Amnesty International
This course provides an introduction to methods and best-practice of open source research, and the ways that these new methods of information gathering can be used for human rights reporting and documentation.
About this course:
The global proliferation of smart phones containing cameras along with modern technology have led to rapid changes in the way that information about human rights abuses is captured and disseminated - whether it be videos recorded on mobile phones and shared on social media or satellite images showing environmental change. As a result, the ability to make use of this digital content has become a critical skill for human rights researchers and advocates. This course is designed to equip lawyers, human rights advocates, journalists, data scientists, and other activists with the tools and observational skills needed to monitor and report on human rights violations in the digital age.
What do I learn:
This introductory course is intended to provide human rights practitioners with an overview of how to discover, analyse and verify open source content for use in human rights advocacy or legal accountability. It will also discuss the challenges of working with open source content, including information about ethical concerns, resiliency and tips for mitigating the impact of vicarious trauma.
What do I need to know:
This course is useful for anyone with an interest in using open source information and research techniques to monitor and report on human rights violations.


Sam Dubberley

Sam Dubberley is the head of the Crisis Evidence Lab and manager of the Digital Verification Corps in the Crisis Response Programme at Amnesty International. He is the co-editor of the book ‘Digital Witness: Using Open Source Information for Human Rights Investigation, Documentation, and Accountability’ and is a fellow of the University of Essex Human Rights Centre.

1.1 Introduction to the course
1.2 What is open source investigation?
1.3 How is open source investigation used in human rights advocacy?
1.4 Interview with Amnesty expert talking about specific use cases/value of open source
1.5 US protests case study
2.1 The basics of verification & why it matters
2.2 Developing a verification mindset
2.3 Verification puzzle: who, what, where & when?
2.4 Overview of basic tools used in verification
2.5 Quiz: identify clues to answer basic questions about set of images
2.6 How Amnesty uses verification
3.1 Identifying what needs verification
3.2 Checklist for verifying content
3.3 Establishing a workflow
3.4 Case study: Libya debunk
4.1 Setting up a workstation: getting ready to verify information
4.2 Ethical concerns about using open source information
4.3 ‘Blind spots’ of open source evidence for human rights investigations
4.4 Online safety and digital security
5.1 What is vicarious trauma?
5.2 Why is it important to know about vicarious trauma?
5.3 Psychosocial mitigation tips
5.4 Technical mitigation tips
5.5 Quiz: vicarious trauma and mitigation
6.1 Wrap up video

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