About Us

We are a non-profit organisation with a distributed global team of experienced and committed activists, researchers, technologists and community organisers.

Our vision is for social justice movements to use technology and data in safe, responsible and strategic ways, while actively mitigating the vulnerabilities created by digital systems.

Since 2011, we have supported more than 800 organisations, big and small, from different corners of the globe, through pro bono partnerships and paid consultancies.

As a result of our work, humanitarian organisations have reconsidered using questionable technologies, more funders are managing grantee data in responsible ways, and many more activist groups have developed robust technical infrastructures and data management practices. 

We build evidence, strengthen capacity and connect communities & movements

What We Do

We work to shape the ways civil society uses and thinks about technology and data, in spaces like social justice movements, digital rights advocacy and humanitarian work. We also directly support individual practitioners and organisations:

  • For partners with limited resources, especially those based across Latin America and Africa, we offer two pro bono services: Light-touch support (LiTS) and Intensive support.
  • For those who have dedicated or stable funding, we offer paid Research and Consulting services

We identify trends at the intersections of tech, data, and justice-focused activism, we work closely with organisations who want guidance on their tech and data strategies, and we connect diverse communities and movements, holding spaces for knowledge exchange and organising.

Who we work with

We partner with groups whose work confronts power imbalances, injustice and rights abuses. Our partners vary widely and can include associations, foundations, small volunteer-based activist groups, umbrella organisations, humanitarians, movements, collectives, and more.

What we don’t do: 

  • We don’t work in contexts we know nothing about
  • We don’t build software. We may support partners in their efforts to build new tech, but we are not tech service providers.
  • We don’t work with groups who support violence, who are against the promotion of human rights, or who are explicitly or implicitly racist, homophobic, or xenophobic.

Our focus is on civil society and activism. We may collaborate with other sectors, but only if our partnership advances social justice.

Read our annual retrospectives

Each year, The Engine Room publishes an annual retrospective, highlighting the work of our partners, our team and the field. Explore years past below.

2022 |  2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016

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