Like any tool, technology cannot create change merely by existing; some people have access to it, many don’t, and there are still problems in the world. The space between the tool and the know-how to use the tool is where ChangeStream Media and organizations like it come in. Digital Democracy (Dd) is another organization that believes the use is more important than the existence of technology. Dd works to bring technology to marginalized communities, and to use that technology in aid of democracy and social change.
Dd works with community organizations and technology companies in countries with repressive regimes and countries in crisis or transition. The organization calls itself a “technology agnostic” — that is, they have no fixed ideas about what programs or tools should be used, so their approach to every problem can be individually assessed and tailored solutions can be designed using the most fitting technology.
Digital Democracy has worked on a wide variety of projects around the world, including Haiti, where ChangeStream Media is headed in November. Their Project Einstein is a digital literacy education program that’s teaching youth digital photography skills in several countries. They also helped Haitian women start the blog Fanm Pale, or Women Speak, which documented life in tent cities in Port-au-Prince and discussed current political events. The anonymity of blogging empowered these women to tell stories about their lives they might not otherwise feel safe sharing; this is one example of the way Dd tailors its use of technology to particular situations.
Digital Democracy publishes reports about its work, so if you’re interested in knowing more you’ll have plenty to read. You can find these on the website along with other media and news, and we think this great organization is definitely worth taking a look at!
–Post by Anna Zola Miller