Digibak Bootcamp: The Activists’ Survival Guide to the SEA Digital Playing Field

Tech solutions. Human rights challenges. There seems to be a bottomless well of both and yet successful examples the former addressing the latter are comparatively sparse - especially in developing nations like the Philippines that need these solutions the most.

 

In the course of running Dakila’s Digibak program (more on this below), we have identified a concerning gap, one between those developing the solutions and those facing the problems.

Whether it’s gaps (or chasms) in culture, capacity, understanding, or access, the Digibak Boot camp is aimed to bridge them, bringing tech and human rights workers together to collaborate on technology, tools and strategies that are practical and practicable.

 


The Digibak Bootcamp gamifies the real-world challenges and processes faced by both human rights defenders and tech developers. Experts will be on hand, not to conduct lectures, but rather, to describe the playing field, explain the rules and demonstrate the tools (and maybe a cheat code or two!) to the participants - or in this case - players.

The majority of the session will be spent in the playing field, alongside, with or against other players who are stakeholders in the human rights and technology sectors, facing wild cards, roadblocks, power-ups and more. Whether players win or lose, the gamification of the work that they do may provide a new angle to solve an old problem, spark collaborations, inspire strategic thinking, increase understanding, and be just plain fun!

 

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Digibak - a portmanteau of “digital” and “tibak” (Filipino slang for “activist”) - is an ongoing digital activism program of Dakila, designed to empower human rights defenders in using digital platforms and technologies in their work.

 

Dakila has conducted trainings and consultations with over 250 human rights organisations and advocates in the Philippines since the launch of Digibak in 2011.

 

We hope to identify opportunities, gaps and achieve the beginnings of a comprehensive digital activism toolkit developed collaboratively by participants in the workshop. This toolkit as well as any new resources found can be hosted and further developed in the Digibak online platform where "players" from all sectors can further refine the tools and cheats and define the ever-changing playing field.

 

Past Digibak workshops and trainings have spawned successful campaigns. Among them, the Anti-EPAL campaign (EPAL is the Filipino slang word for “thick faced”, referring to politicians who use public resources to promote their political interests) which crowdsourced posts shaming politicians and drove them to remove their names and faces on government projects; and HR OnLine a media platform for human rights news.

We hope that the Digibak bootcamp can be the starting point of more projects such as these -- but on a wider scale.

 

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