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Tools for Activists

A collection of tools for activists working on Burma.


National Human Rights Commission Advocacy Toolkit

  • Briefer about how Burma’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) violates the Paris Principles, which lay out the minimum conditions that must be met for a National Human Rights Institution to be considered independent and effective in protecting and promoting the rights of the people. Includes information on the leading members of the NHRC. Download in English or Burmese.
  • Leaflet about the NHRC and how it does not comply with the Paris Principles, therefore making it not a functional, independent or transparent institution accessible to victims of human rights violations. Includes ways for people take action and file a complaint. Available in English or Burmese.
  • PowerPoint presentations about National Human Rights Institutions and the Paris Principles in English and Burmese; and the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission in English and Burmese.

Advocacy and Campaigning

  • Campaign to End Impunity in Burma – Advocacy Toolkit Produced by the Burma Lawyers’ Council in May 2011 to educate a broader audience about the goals and messages of the campaign and to generate ideas about how others can become involved.
  • VSO: Tools for Change training manual (English) This advocacy training manual was developed by the VSO Thai-Burma border programme for use by individuals, leaders, communities and organizations. It covers the whole advocacy process from planning through to evaluation of the advocacy strategy, including: selecting the advocacy issue and goal; empowerment and coalition building; self-assessment of strengths and weaknesses; analysis of the context in which the advocacy will take place; and determining the advocacy audience and message. Also available in Burmese and Karen.
  • 10 Tactics for Turning Information into Activism A website that provides original and artful ways for rights advocates to capture attention and communicate a cause. It includes a 50-minute film documenting inspiring info-activism stories from around the world and a set of cards; with tools tips and advice, for you to work through as you plan your own info-activism. *** NEW *** Now available in Burmese here.
  • Message-in-a-box: Tools and Tactics for Communicating your Cause Message in-a-box gives you everything you need to make and distribute your own media. This website covers A Strategy for Making MediaPrintImages, AudioInternet, Video, and Mobiles. Each section includes information, references, links and inspiring case studies that show how the right tools and tactics can be used to make media with impact. Message in-a-box also provides open source software tools to make our own media and video and text ‘how-to’ guides that tell you how to do this.
  • Amnesty International Campaigning Manual Primarily written for Amnesty International campaigners, this manual is useful for all those involved in human rights campaigning organizations.

Non-Violent Strategy

  • From Dictatorship to Democracy A manual of strategic non-violent action by Gene Sharpe. It was originally written in 1993 as an analysis of effective non-violent resistance in Burma. It has been used by activists around the world, bringing down dictators in countries such as Serbia and most recently, Egypt. The book was originally written in Burmese and English and has since been translated into 25 languages including Chin, Kachin, Karen and Mon. Read more and download different versions here.

Miscellaneous

  • ND-Burma: Human Rights Documentation Manuals A series of manuals by ND-Burma on how to effectively document different kinds of human rights violations in Burma, including the recruitment and use of child soldiers, forced labour, arbitrary arrest and detention, rape and other forms of sexual violence, human trafficking, forced marriage, forced prostitution, obstruction of freedom of movement, forced relocation, obstruction of freedom of expression and assembly, killings and disappearances, violations of property rights, and torture and other forms of ill-treatment.
  • Learning to Listen (English and Burmese) A manual about developing oral history and oral testimony projects with people in or from Burma. The manual gives a basic introduction to the planning, implementation and assessment of oral projects, as well as guidelines on dissemination and preservation of oral and visual materials.

Social Media

  • Quick ‘n Easy Guide to Online Advocacy A guide that presents advocates with a collection of popular online services that can be used for advocacy quickly with little to no technical support.
  • A DigiActive Guide to Facebook Activism A quick introduction on how to use Facebook in your activism campaign and includes real-life examples of Facebook activism campaigns from Egypt, Burma, and Morocco.
  • A DigiActive Guide to Twitter Activism A guide that explains how to use Twitter and shows how it has been a valuable tool for digital activism in five case studies from around the world.
  • Blog for a Cause! The Global Voices Guide of Blog Advocacy This manual is intended to explain how activists can use blogs as part of campaigns against injustice around the world. It includes the topics of circumventing internet filtering, anonymous blogging and effective use of Internet-based tools in campaigns for social and political change.

Technology and Secure Communications

  • Digital Security An guide with essential information to understanding and using digital technologies, such as computers, the internet and mobile phones. *** NEW *** Now available in Burmese here.
  • Security in-a-Box A comprehensive resource for activists and human rights defenders, including a How-to Booklet, which addresses a number of important digital security issues, and a collection of Hands-on Guides, each of which includes a particular freeware or open source software tool, as well as instructions on how you can use that tool to secure your computer, protect your information or maintain the privacy of your Internet communication.
  • Mobiles in-a-box: Tools and Tactics for Mobile Advocacy A collection of tools, tactics, how-to guides and case studies designed to help advocacy and activist organisations use mobile technology in their work.
  • Leaping Over the Firewall: A Review of Censorship Circumvention Tools A short report by Freedom House that summarizes the
    characteristics of a number of tools that can be easily used to circumvent the blocking and monitoring system in Burma, and will help users choose the right tool for their situation.
  • How to Communicate Securely in Repressive Environments: A DigiActive Guide for Improving Digital Security A very thorough list of ways to stay safe and protect your data while taking part in digital activism in repressive countries.
  • Survival in the Digital Age A series of four animated films featuring ONO the robot, covering security and privacy issues related to email, mobile phones, web browsing and using the internet in public spaces. Using his special power to see behind information, ONO is on a mission to reveal the digital traces we unknowingly leave behind and the ways we expose ourselves in our daily interactions using the internet, email and mobile phones. With ONO’s help, you can understand the risks and minimising them when you use new technologies. *** NEW *** Now available in Burmese here.