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Digital Democracy

Educating 21st Century Citizens

Access to mobile phones and the Internet is dramatically increasing around world.
How can these tools be harnessed for positive social change?

Digital Democracy is a non-profit organization based in New York city that works
globally to empower marginalized communities. Working directly with grassroots
organizations and technology groups, we build their capacity and raise their profiles.
Emphasizing the need for new media literacy, we prepare communities with the tools
they need to be informed and engaged citizens in the 21st century. 
Co-Founders Mark Belinsky & Emily
Ddʼs programming promotes communication, education and participation.  Jacobi presenting at US Congress

Handheld Human Rights


Handheld Human Rights uses mobile tools to make human rights data
accessible and actionable. Using mobile phones, digital pens and open
source platforms for secure communication and mapping, the program helps
human rights groups communicate internally as well as promote their work
internationally to lawyers, advocates and community organizations. 
• Launch in Southeast Asia: In fall 2009, Dd trained Burmese techies
and human rights workers based in Thailand. To date, hundreds of
human rights abuses have been mapped. Next, we will expand the
platform to users in Bangladesh, India, China and inside Burma.
• Election monitoring: Partnering with grassroots organizations,
weʼve adapted HHR for citizen reporting on elections, including
deployments of the Ushahidi platform in the Philippines and Ethiopia.
• Combatting violence against women in Haiti: In spring 2010 we
began working with Haitian women to address an epidemic of rapes
in post-earthquake camps. Adapting HHR to record incidents of
gender-based violence, our program supports the work of womenʼs
organizations addressing this crisis.

Peace Mapping
Using open source tools, our peace mapping programs strengthen the work
of peace initiatives. Starting with a pilot program in Kenya, Sisi ni Amani - We
are Peace in Swahili - inverts the crisis mapping paradigm by identifying and
mapping peace initiatives in the country. Launched in summer 2010, the
program includes photography trainings and peace workshops to network and
promote the work of peace leaders in advance of the 2012 Kenyan elections.

Digital Literacy
From youth in a refugee camp to students in New York City public schools,
digital literacy is critical for all young people to navigate their world in the
21st century. Project Einstein is our educational program that teaches digital
literacy, including exposure to different tools, security and new media
production. Beginning with digital photography trainings in Bangladesh and
South Africa, the program has expanded to work with refugees in Thailand,
youth in Haiti & Kenya, and indigenous communities in Guatemala.
• Digital penpal program: In fall 2010 we are launching phase two of
the program, connecting Burmese refugee youth in Indianapolis,
Indiana to peers in a refugee camp in Thailand. By connecting
classrooms globally, the program facilitates dialogue and cross-
cultural understanding.
Digital Democracy
Educating 21st Century Citizens

Accomplishments
Since launching in Fall 2008, Digital Democracy conducted research and trainings
on four continents, won two major awards and launched programming in the
Americas, Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Dd staff conducted technology
and security trainings with journalists and bloggers from repressive regimes and
have provided computer skills certification for students from Thailand, Singapore
and Burma. Young people on 6 continents have received training with Project
Einstein photography curriculum. In fall 2009, Dd submitted written testimony to US
Congress in the Helsinki Commission briefing on "Twitter vs. Tyranny" and in Jan.
2010 were invited to attend Secretary Clintonʼs speech on “Internet Freedom.”

Partnerships
Digital Democracy bridges the divide between international tech organizations and
groups operating on the ground. Our partners include:
• Local human rights groups in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean & Eastern Europe
• The All Burma IT Students Union & Burma Information Technology Team
• Grassroots womenʼs organizations in Haiti as well as the New Media Advocacy
Project, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, Madre and Partners in Health
• International tech organizations like Ushahidi, MITʼs Center for Future Civic
Media and Eyebeam (Art + Technology Center)
• Media groups like Witness and Blip.tv.

Presentations
Digital Democracy has presented findings to the Womenʼs Commission for
Refugees and Children, US Institute of Peace, Upgrade! series on art & technology
and the Level Playing Field Institute. Dd staff have presented at a number of
universities including Harvard, Tufts, New York, Columbia and American University.

Conferences
Digital Democracy has presented research and programming at conferences
worldwide including the US State Departmentʼs Haiti Tech Meetup; United Nationsʼ
Web4Dev; Alliance of Youth Movements; MobileActive '08 in Johannesburg, South
Africa; FooCamp; Computers, Freedom & Privacy; Tides Momentum Leadership
Conference. Handheld Human Rights won third place at UC Berkeley Human
Rights Center Soul of the New Machine & a social justice award at N2Y4.

Fiscal Sponsor
Digital Democracy incorporated as a non-profit organization November 20th 2008.
We have fiscal sponsorship (501c3 status) through the Institute for Multi-Track
Diplomacy. IMTD is an organization with over 20 years of experience in the sector,
promoting a multi-pronged approach to peace building and conflict resolution.

Support
Digital Democracy is supported by a 14-member Advisory Board and generous
contributions from individuals, corporations including Palisade Films, Google Apps,
Salesforce & Nokia/WomWorld, and private foundations, including the Arca
Foundation, Clowes Fund and the French-American Charitable Trust.

Digital Democracy
109 W 27th St, 6 fl | New York, NY 10001 USA
+1-347-688-DDEM [3336] | info@digital-democracy.org | Twitter @DigiDem | www.digital-democracy.org

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