Area of Work IV: Service to the Human Rights Community

The Service to the Human Rights Community working group strengthens communication between the scientific, engineering and health communities and human rights organizations to identify human rights efforts that could benefit from scientific approaches, tools and technologies, and then assist in making these accessible to human rights practitioners.


Current Projects

Call for Volunteers

The Service to the Human Rights Community working group has undertaken to create a software package which would enable human rights organizations more easily to provide meaningful program evaluations, using a “Turbo-Tax”-like format. Such a computer-assisted evaluation package could both reduce the work load involved in conducting program evaluations and improve the scientific strength of such evaluations. One possibility that is being envisioned is a Python (open-source) program with two parts: 1) a generic section which would be common to most human rights program evaluations and 2) specialized tabs which would be tuned to the specific needs of each group. In order to develop a useful product, working group members seek to work in partnership with a small group of human rights organizations and with program evaluation experts to develop the software. With success the approach will eventually be extended to more human rights organizations in the future.
We are looking for human rights practitioners who would be willing to partner with us in this effort to make program evaluations easier. We anticipate that the task would require three to four meetings with each partner spread over the nine to twelve months of development activity to develop the specifications for the programming and to test the finished products. All the resources for the development of the software will be provided by the working group and the final product will be made readily and freely available to the partner human rights organizations. We are also looking for help from any evaluation experts who could offer support to make this challenging endeavor a success.
Interested? Please contact Theresa Harris at by January 15, 2016.

Trainings on scientific methods and technologies for human rights work
Co-host trainings with AAAS’s On-call Scientists initiative aimed at increasing human rights practitioners’ skills in applying science and technology and contributing to the awareness among human rights organizations of the volunteers and skills available through On-call Scientists.

Indicators: Right to Enjoy the Benefits of Scientific Progress
Develop a tool to assist human rights organizations in monitoring government compliance with their obligations under Article 15 (ICESCR), the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications.

Past Projects

Human Rights Projects: Guidelines for Scientists and Human Rights Organizations
A guide to facilitate partnerships among scientists, engineering, health professionals and human rights organizations.