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Course 3E: Use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for Human Rights Work
3 June - 4 August 2002

Facilitator: Frank Elbers

HREA is offering a new distance learning course on the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for human rights work. This is a dynamic new field where success is dependent upon skill development and practical experience. Participants will be introduced to proven methods of using ICTs (mainly the Internet) to promote their human rights work. Students will become equipped with the knowledge and tools to more effectively design and implement listservs, web sites, databases or multi-media for advocacy campaigns, training and information management.

This course involves 40 hours of reading, on-line working groups, interaction with students and instructor/facilitator and assignments, and is offered over a two-month period, beginning on 3 June 2002. E-mail will be the main medium for the course, although participants will need to have periodic access to the Web. The course is based on a participatory, active learning approach, with an emphasis on peer-to-peer learning.

The course is intended for staff members of human rights and social justice organisations who are responsible for information and communication (i.e. information officers, webmasters/webweavers).

Participants are expected to come to the course with ideas about how their organisation can integrate or further develop the use of ICTs within the organisation. Participants will do the required reading, prepare interim and final assignments and participate in group discussions. In addition to the facilitation by Frank Elbers, there will be presentations by representatives of international and national human rights organisations who have innovatively used ICTs. Participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance upon completion of the course.

Course outline

Week 1. Introduction of participants, logistics and familiarising with course technology
Week 2. Assessment of use of ICTs in participants' organisations (for information management, research, information dissemination, advocacy, education & training)
Week 3. Assessment of use of ICTs in participants' organisations (continued)
Week 4. ICTs and policy issues (e.g. copyright, intellectual property, privacy, freedom of speech, right to information, security)
Week 5. New emerging technologies (e.g. XML, HTML e-mail, peer-to-peer technologies)
Week 6. Software and hardware issues
Week 7. The power of listserv technology
Week 8. Using the WWW more effectively
Week 9. Designing an ICT development plan

About the instructor/facilitator

Frank Elbers is Deputy Director of Human Rights Education Associates (HREA) and coordinates distance education programming. He has been responsible since 1998 for the implementation of HREA's web site and the on-line Resource Centre and Learning Centre.

Before joining HREA, Frank worked for the Anne Frank Foundation (the Netherlands), the Netherlands Helsinki Committee and SATELLIFE, an international development organisation that promotes the use of ICTs by health professionals in developing countries. Frank has conducted ICT trainings and workshops for Education Development Center, the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights and UNESCO. He is moderator of the HURIDOCS-Tech listserv on the use of new technologies for human rights work and has facilitated various on-line working groups for the United Nations Development Fund for Women's (UNIFEM) on women's human rights.

Who should apply

The course is intended for staff members of human rights/social justice organisations who are responsible for information and communication policy/programmes. Candidates should have a good written command of English and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use.


The course tuition fee is USD 350 and needs to be paid in full by 31 May 2002 in order to guarantee a place in the course. Payments can be made with international money orders, checks in US Dollars, via bank transfer, or with major credit cards. Unfortunately, HREA cannot offer scholarships for this course.


The application deadline for this course was Friday, 31 May 2002. We are no longer accepting applications.

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