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Activities

This page provides a brief summary of the core activities of the Program on Liberation Technology. In addition, the Program is also involved in other minor projects and conferences from time to time. 

 

Teaching

Designing liberation technologies

Our innovative course ‘Designing liberation technologies’ teaches design thinking to students through practical projects on problems faced by people in Kenyan slums. Following the course, we have supported the implementation of promising projects, such as ones on women’s safety, finding clean water and helping people recover documents destroyed by fire and other hazards. The course is taught by Professors Terry Winograd and Joshua Cohen. To read more click here

 

Tech for Accountability Lab, a Massive Open Online Course 

Program on Liberation Technology, in collaboration with the National Democratic Institute (NDI), will be offering an open online course on the use of technology to promote transparency. This action-oriented course will feature leading organizations and researchers in the field, who will discuss the use of technology to promote transparency in diverse domains such as political financing, elections, grassroots corruption and procurement. In addition, it will also feature diverse range of technologies that are currently in use with a discussion of their strengths and limitations.

 

Research

Combatting Corruption with Mobile Phones

Our flagship research project, ‘Combatting corruption with mobile phones’, hopes to fight corruption in welfare programs accessed by the poorest in India. Inspired by India’s right to information movement, the project seeks to provide timely information to beneficiaries of anti-poverty programs so that they can identify corruption and act on it with the support of civil society organizations.

 

Mobilizing Equity

India’s constitution mandates that at least 1/3rd of all the villages should be governed by women . This provision, which started in the 1990s, has brought many women into public life, but often without the administrative or political experience to exercise their formal authority effectively. We are collaborating with a civil society organization that supports 500 women presidents in the state of Maharashtra through face-to-face trainings. We plan to complement their effort by setting up a phone-based listserv that will enable the presidents to communicate with each other on practical concerns with a radical potential to improve their effectiveness in governance.

 

Conferences

The Program on Liberation Technology has organized a series of conferneces to understand how information technologies are affecting human rights, development and democracy in the contemporary world. The two focus areas so far have been to understand how technologies are being used by authoritarian regimes to quash dissent, and how technology could be used to reduce corruption and improve governance.

Technology, Accountability and Democracy in South Asia and Beyond, Jan 2014

Coalition Against Corruption Summit, Jan 2014

Right to Information and Transparency in the Digital Age: Policy, Tools and Practices, March 2013

Liberation Technology in Authoritarian Regimes, Oct 2010

 

Seminar series

The Liberation Technology Seminar Series features speakers covering topics pertaining to law, policy, technical innovation, impact evaluation, etc. The seminars are offered as one credit course to Stanford students in the Fall and Winter quarters each year and are open to public. Webcasts from the series can be found here

 

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