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Supporting CSOs in Digital Archiving

Digital archiving is crucial to the work of civil society organizations (CSOs) in helping them to document past and ongoing human rights violations and better utilize information to support transitional justice mechanisms and community-based truth, justice and memory initiatives. However, many organizations with the potential to create and sustain significant digital archives are unable to do so. Due to a lack of capacity and resources, CSOs may be unable to effectively archive, store and share their documentation, resulting in a risk that this valuable information could be lost or simply rendered ineffective in pursuing larger goals related to truth-telling, accountability and remembrance.

Resources

The following tailored resources and guides provide practitioners, academics, and activists with concrete strategies and tools to support the development of digital archives while seeking truth, justice, and accountability in periods after conflict.

At the end of this page, you can find the recordings of GIJTR’s virtual exchange, “Supporting CSOs in Digital Archiving,” held between June 15-17, 2021.

The following tailored resources and guides provide practitioners, academics, and activists with concrete strategies and tools to support the development of digital archives while seeking truth, justice, and accountability in periods after conflict.

At the end of this page, you can find the recordings of GIJTR’s virtual exchange, “Supporting CSOs in Digital Archiving,” held between June 15-17, 2021.

Documentation and Archiving Challenges

PILPG & Engine Room & Huridocs, 2020

Human Rights Documentation by Civil Society– Technological Needs, Challenges, and Workflows

This report aims to assist civil society organizations in documenting human rights violations by ensuring they have access to sustainable, tailored, and secure technological solutions. This resource is available in English.

Brianne McGonigle Leyh, 2017

Changing Landscapes in Documentation Efforts: Civil Society Documentation of Serious Human Rights Violations

The purpose of this article is to explore the changing landscape of civil society documentation of serious human rights violations, and what that means for standardizing and professionalizing documentation efforts.

IFLA & TASCHA, 2019

Development and Access to Information

The goal of this report is to provide an exploration of access to information as a driver of development. In doing so, it seeks to inform decision-making about the implementation of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is designed to be applicable at all levels about how best to build stronger, fairer, more sustainable societies. This report is also available in Portuguese. Please, see the resource below.

Alexa Koenig et. al, 2021

Digital Lockers: Archiving Social Media Evidence of Atrocity Crimes

This report provides an overview of various models that have previously been used to archive social media content and other digital information.

IFLA & TASCHA, 2019

Desenvolvimento e Acesso á Informação,

Este relatório fornece mais evidências, exemplos e análises dessa contribuição e do papel das bibliotecas na sua concretização. Ele está explicitamente focado na Agenda de 2030 das Nações Unidas e em seus Objetivos de Desenvolvimento Sustentável (ODS), que fornecem tanto uma afirmação da importância do acesso à informação para o desenvolvimento, quanto um marco para se pensar sobre como realizar seu potencial.

Documentation Guides from Civil Society

PILPG, 2016

Handbook on Civil Society Documentation of Serious Human Rights Violations

The Human Rights Documentation Toolkit is a multi-sector and interactive online portal accessible to human rights documenters on the ground, providing them with existing documentation resources, best practices, and ongoing support from other documentation stakeholders.

The Advocates for Human Rights and US Human Rights Network, 2011

A Practitioner’s Guide to Human Rights Monitoring Documentation, and Advocacy

The purpose of this manual is to provide step-by-step guidance for advocates who want to use human rights monitoring, documentation, and advocacy in their social justice work. This resource is available in English.

ICTJ, Louis Bickford, Patricia Karam, Hassan Mneimneh and Patrick Pierce, 2009

Documenting Truth

This report shares lessons learned from the Documentation Affinity Group (DAG), established in 2005 as a peer-to-peer network of local action organizations across the globe, with a primary focus on human rights documentation.

The Advocates for Human Rights, 2015

Human Rights Tools for a Changing World

This paper reviews some of the leading international criminal cases involving digital evidence, with a particular focus on the ICC, and identifies four types of evidentiary considerations specific to digital evidence: (1) authentication; (2) hearsay; (3) provenance (chain of custody); and (4) preservation of evidence.

Search for Common Ground, 2014

Human Rights Monitors’ Guidebook

A tool for monitoring, documenting and reporting human rights violations in Nigeria.

AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition, 2012

Human Rights Project: Guidelines for Scientists and Human Rights Organizations

These guidelines provide a framework for managing expectations and facilitating collaboration between scientists and human rights organizations

Documentation Methodology and Data Management

Huridocs, 2001

Events Standard Format

This is a tool for documenting human rights violations, describing Huridocs' methodology for using the "violations" approach to the monitoring and documentation of violations. This resource is available in English.

Huridocs, 2010

How to record the names of persons

These "Guidelines for Recording the Names of Persons" are intended to provide a set of standard rules for use when completing any of the HURIDOCS Standard Formats for the recording and exchange of information on human rights.

Huridocs, 2010

Controlled Vocabulary

As part of the pursuit of justice and accountability, human rights defenders need to create and manage often large collections of information. This includes documenting evidence of ongoing or past human rights violations, compiling libraries of human rights law, or monitoring a human rights situation for the purposes of reporting. This resource will support your work on finding methodologies, guides, frameworks for documentation purposes.

Oxford Research Group, 2012

Towards the Recording of Every Casualty

This policy paper argues that comprehensive recording of the deaths of individuals from armed conflict can and should be done. The paper demonstrates this from the results of detailed research by Oxford Research Group (ORG) into the work of forty organizations and individuals who record the casualties of different conflicts across the globe.

American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2001

Who Did What to Whom?

This handbook focuses on supporting human rights organizations in telling the truth by using an information management system to maintain systematic control over the various pieces of human rights stories they receive.

Patrick Ball, Herbert F. Spirer, Louise Spirer, 2000

Making the Case

This collection of papers aims to share experience and lessons learned from investigating large scale human rights violations using information systems and data analysis.

Tech Tools

PILPG & Engine Room & Huridocs, 2020

Tech Tools for Human Rights Documentation

This short report has been excerpted and adapted to focus solely on specific tools and their development in the human rights documentation space. This resource is available in English.

The Engine Room, 2016

Technology Tools in Human Rights

This is a scoping study on how human rights defenders (HRDs) are using technology tools to communicate, analyse and manage information, identify new incidents and archive data. It aims to help understand the realities of tool use and identify HRDs’ needs as they stand.

SecDev and PILPG, 2015

Human Rights Documentation Toolkit

The Human Rights Documentation Toolkit is a multidisciplinary, interactive online portal providing human rights documenters with existing documentation resources and tools, broadly accepted practices, and ongoing support from other documentation stakeholders.

Syria Justice and Accountability Centre, 2020

Violations Database: SJAC’s Database Software

SJAC’s goal is to provide human rights documenters all over the world with open-source software that will allow them to safely and securely preserve and analyze evidence of human rights violations.

Huridocs, 2018

Uwazi Reveal

Uwazi is a flexible database application designed for human rights defenders to capture and organize collections of information. This web-based platform, developed by HURIDOCS, can be customized for a variety of needs. The code is available on GitHub.

Artefactual Systems

AtoM installation

AtoM stands for Access to Memory. It is a web-based, open source application for standards-based archival description and access in a multilingual, multi-repository environment.

Digital Security

John R. Vacca, 2017

Computer and Information Security Handbook

This book offers deep coverage of an extremely wide range of issues in computer and cybersecurity theory, applications, and best practices, offering the latest insights into established and emerging technologies and advancements.

Richard T. Watson, 2007

Information Systems

This electronic textbook illustrates the ways in which Information Systems (IS) is integrated into organizations, strategies to support knowledge workers, and the importance of IS to an organization’s success.

Aida Ashouri, Caleb Bowers and Cherrie Warden, 2013

An Overview of the Use of Digital Evidence in International Criminal Courts

This paper reviews some of the leading international criminal cases involving digital evidence, with a particular focus on the ICC.

Directives and Protocols from International Organizations

ICTY, Secretariat, 2015

ICTY, Directive On Judicial Records

United Nations policies on record-keeping applied in the ICTY. This resource is also available in French. Please, see the following resource.

ICTY, Secretariat, 2015

Directive Relative aux Documents Judiciares

Les politiques des Nations Unies en matière de tenue de dossiers sont appliquées au tribunal international.

The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, 2014

International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict

This International Protocol was introduced in June 2014 to help overcome the barriers to prosecution, by setting out clearly and comprehensively the basic principles of documenting sexual violence as a violation of international law. The International Protocol has so far been translated into 9 languages and used by lawyers, police, medical personnel and NGOs to gather evidence and investigate crimes to help strengthen prosecutions in at least a dozen countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America.

OCHCR and University of California, Berkeley , 2020

Berkeley Protocol on Digital Open Source Investigations

A Practical Guide on the Effective Use of Digital Open Source Information in Investigating Violations of International Criminal, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

Digital Information Standards

Global Rights Compliance, 2017

Standards of Digital Evidence

The following report aims to contribute to the dialogue on how best to respond to the challenges of digital evidence by outlining best practices when handling and collecting digital evidence. This report is available in English.

Archivo General de la Nación, 2015

Compilación Normativa de Orden Nacional

El Archivo General de la Nación presenta este instrumento elaborado con el propósito de dar a conocer el desarrollo normativo en Colombia mediante la compilación de normas de orden nacional, en materia de Documento Electrónico, Firma Digital, Interoperabilidad y SGDEA, en un periodo de tiempo comprendido entre 1995 a 2013, permitiendo de esta manera establecer un referente normativo que contribuya a la ampliación del conocimiento y de elementos para fomentar una mejor aplicabilidad de la normatividad vigente.

Archivo General de la Nación, 2015

Estándares de Gestión Documental

El Archivo General de la Nación en desarrollo de la Ley 594 de 2000, de la Ley 1712 de 2014 y del Decreto 2609 de 2012; presenta el siguiente documento que es el resultado de la identificación de normas técnicas internacionales y nacionales elaboradas en el marco del Sistema Nacional de Archivos.

Witness, 2017

Activist Guide to Archiving Video

Archiving video is an essential but often overlooked component of video advocacy. Learn about best practices for organizing, storing, preserving, and sharing your footage. Find this resource also available in Arabic, Portuguese and Spanish. For those languages, please see the next row of resources.

Witness, 2013

Guía para Activistas para Archivar Video

Esta es una versión en PDF de la Guía del activista para archivar videos, recursos elaborado por activistas de derechos humanos, ONG, colectivos de medios y activistas ciudadanos. La guía ofrece pasos prácticos para gestionar, almacenar, difundir y preservar videos.

Witness, 2013

Guia de Arquivamento de Vídeo para Ativistas

Apresentando consistente base conceitual e ao mesmo tempo imediato caráter prático, o Guia pretende ser uma poderosa ferramenta para ativistas, estudantes e organizações ligadas a direitos humanos fazerem uso do vídeo como um instrumento de prova jurídica, bem como um documento de potencial importância histórica.

Witness, 2013

دليل الناشطين لأرشفة الفيديو

هذه نسخة بصيغة PDF لدليل الناشطين لأرشفة الفيديو، مصدر تم تطويره لكل من الناشطين والمنظمات غير الحكومية والمنظمات الإعلامية والنشطاء من المواطنين. يقدم هذا الدليل خطوات عملية لإدارة وتخزين ومشاركة وحفظ مقاطع الفيديو.

Sunsetted Tools

HRDAG, 2003

Information About Martus

Martus is a free, open-source, secure information collection and management tool that empowers human rights activists to be stronger in their fight against injustice and abuse.

Huridocs, 2010

Information about OpenEvSys

OpenEvsys, shorthand for Open Events System, is an open-source database application developed by HURIDOCS. This platform was developed on the Events Standard Formats for recording human rights violations and the “who did what to whom” data model.

Archival Standards and Protocols

Centro Nacional de Memoria Histórica, 2011

Protocolo de Gestión Documental

El “Protocolo de gestión documental de los archivos referidos a las graves y manifiestas violaciones a los Derechos Humanos, e infracciones al Derecho Internacional Humanitario, ocurridas con ocasión del conflicto armado interno” es un documento publicado por el CNMH y el Archivo General de la Nación (AGN), cumpliendo con las disposiciones de la Ley 1448 de 2011 o Ley de Víctimas y Restitución de Tierras, que establece los criterios y las medidas que se deben seguir para la identificación, protección, y garantías de acceso a la información de archivos de derechos humanos, memoria histórica y conflicto armado.

International Council on Archives, 2000

ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description - Second edition

This standard provides general guidance for the preparation of archival descriptions. It is to be used in conjunction with existing national standards or as the basis for the development of national standards. Available in 16 languages.

International Council on Archives, 2003

ISAAR (CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families

This standard provides guidance for preparing archival authority records which provide descriptions of entities (corporate bodies, persons and families) associated with the creation and maintenance of archives. Available in 14 languages.

International Council on Archives

International Standards

This website provides access to a collection of international standards compiled by the International Council on Archives.

Regional Studies on Digital Archiving

The Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), 2021

Supporting CSOs in Digital Archiving -- Practices of CSOs in the Former Soviet States: Belarus, Georgia, and Ukraine

Created with support from GIJTR, this report analyzes best practices and persistent challenges in digital archiving among CSOs in Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine.

Memoria Abierta, 2021

Digital Storage Support for CSOs

Created with support from GIJTR, this report analyzes best practices and persistent challenges in digital archiving for Latin American NGOs working to defend human rights.

Virtual Exchange Recordings

The Virtual Exchange will provide GIJTR project partners, CSOs and other key stakeholders with an occasion to share the preliminary findings of the research conducted in the first phase of the project and preview the themes to be addressed in future resources and knowledge products produced by GIJTR partners on digital archiving.

The Virtual Exchange will provide GIJTR project partners, CSOs and other key stakeholders with an occasion to share the preliminary findings of the research conducted in the first phase of the project and preview the themes to be addressed in future resources and knowledge products produced by GIJTR partners on digital archiving.

Day 1: Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Keynote Address by Delkhwaz Haicy, Documentation Project Legal and Advocacy Officer at Yazda, Sweden.

Panel: Role of Digital Archives in Supporting the Pursuit of Truth, Justice and Reparations

Keynote Address by Delkhwaz Haicy, Documentation Project Legal and Advocacy Officer at Yazda, Sweden

Role of Digital Archives in Supporting the Pursuit of Truth, Justice and Reparations

Day 2: Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Panel: Innovations in the Development and Maintenance of Digital Archives

Panel: Persistent Challenges in Creating and Maintaining Digital Archives

Innovations in the Development and Maintenance of Digital Archives

Persistent Challenges in Creating and Maintaining Digital Archives

Day 3: Thursday, June 17, 2021

Keynote Adress: Digital Storage Support for CSOs, Memoria Abierta, Argentina

Panel: Advancing Memorialization and Education through Digital Archives in Post-Conflict Contexts

Keynote Address: Digital Storage Support for CSOs

Advancing Memorialization and Education through Digital Archives in Post-Conflict Contexts

Creating innovative approaches to our archives can help make them more interesting, more appealing to youth, with the aim to prevent another war.

Miguel Sisay

IT Coordinator, Memorial para la Concordia, Guatemala

Archives are fundamental to the construction of museums, memory sites, and the development of education on memory.

Veronica Torras

Director, Memoria Abierta, Argentina

There were almost 30 years of impunity. But at the same time, this was a period for human rights activists and organizations to seek the truth.

Alberto Fuentes

Archivo Histórico de la Policía Nacional (AHPN), Guatemala

There have been many instances where people have tried to destroy our work, but being part of a network allowed us to improve the ways in which we protect ourselves and our archives.

Gustavo Meoño

Coordinator of Memory and Human Rights, Fundación para la Democracia, Argentina

Even 25 years after the Bosnian war, it is important to continue archiving and documenting through different international and local institutions.

Velma Šarić

Founder and President of the Post-Conflict Research Center, Bosnia and Herzegovina

We must create innovative ways to share our archive so that future generations will be interested in accessing it.

Carlos Juarez

Coordinator of the Historical Archive Project, Mutual Support Group (GAM), Guatemala

The key to create, save, preserve and use archives in justice processes is creating alliances that allow us to grow and learn.

Carlos Henríquez Consalvi, “Santiago”

Founder and Director, Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen - MUPI, El Salvador