Since the launch of the project in May, 2019, a lot of things happened – fascinating conversations about the nexus of digital technology and human rights have taken place with inspiring people in Uganda. Since July, increased collaboration began with Pollicy, a Kampala-based group of data scientists, creatives and academics looking to innovate government service delivery across Africa.
On October 1st, a kick-off event on the Digital Human Rights Lab together with betterplace lab, Pollicy and GIZ Uganda took place. The Digital Human Rights Lab is a virtual and physical space offering an opportunity for interested professionals working in the different fields of human rights protection to share their ideas concerning digitalization, human rights and digital security aspects.
Launching the Digital Human Rights Lab
At the launch, more than 30 human rights activists came together in Kampala and started conversations about digital human rights. The energy in the room was promising, as participants showed eagerness to discuss topics, ask questions, and get together in groups to co-create on digital human rights.
During the day lightning talks about various topics about digitalization and human rights emphasized important key messages. The speakers reminded participants about the essentials of developing and (re-)designing digital infrastructure. Data protection and privacy are at the center of designing digital infrastructure. This should be replicated when working at the intersection between digitalization and human rights. A key take-away from the event was the emphatic need to always co-create with the user as much as possible, while still implementing the needed security protocols for data protection and privacy.
Together, participants provided unique perspectives on the varying issues of digital human rights within the lens of a developing society, whilst developing relationships for future collaboration. The universal openness and gentleness experienced during the kick-off event and on the trip left us impressed.