Capacity Building


This draft module was intially designed for CIVICUS, to support their partners in the Speak! Campaign. We are thankful for the invaluable contributions of the team at CIVICUS: Hannah Wheatley, Frances Topham Smallwood, Soledad Gattoni and Stephanie Brancaforte. We are also grateful for all the guidance we’ve received on designing […]

A Draft Module on Listening and Learning for Event Design



FabRider marked its sixth anniversary this year. We continued our learnings integrating user-centred design and co-creation approaches, developing social learning curriculum, enabling data literacy and supporting the development of networks of practice, in service to improving social change efforts. We did this via collaborations with 360Giving, Aspiration, Centre for Economic and Social Rights, Civicus, the Democracy Club, Global Voices, Idea in a […]

What we learned in 2018



Outside, the air was thick with toxic smoke from the Camp Fire, with warnings to limit exposure.  Inside, it was Aspiration’s 15th Non-Profit Developer Summit and people were invested in being there.  It was the largest #NPDev yet, with over 150 registrants and it seems the smoke didn’t deter people […]

What We Learned at NPDev 2018


FabRiders’ Network-Centric Resources project helps resource developers understand how to develop people-powered and participatory resources and establish assets for networks and communities that share ownership, enable contribution and support collaboration.  A ‘build it and they will come’ approach is likely to end up with unused and unloved content. Being deliberate […]

Designing EFF’s Security Education Companion, Online Discussion Notes


The discipline of iteration and testing have been the most important processes to our work at FabRiders. A final product is never produced, whether it’s a how-to guide or a project plan, without distributing lots of drafts and incorporating lots of feedback. All our work is a prototype, as even […]

What We’ve Learned by Prototyping Workshops



Assuring the evidence used in your social change campaign engages rather than alienates. This training is for activists and advocates who want to integrate data into their campaign or improve the ability of their campaign data to engage their stakeholders. Overview Campaigns will only win when we capture the hearts […]

Effective Data Tactics in a Post-Fact World


2016 wasn’t all bad. Here at FabRiders, 2016 was a great year of learning. Every event and project that goes by we find ourselves building and sharing on a body of knowledge that is contributed to and enabled by a fantastic set of partners and allies. Despite all the setbacks faced last year, we are […]

Building a Better 2017


Our journey learning about effective workshop session design began in the mid-90’s, when we were helping activists and community organisers in the United States understand how to harnass the potential of the Internet. What we’ve learned about session design has largely been achieved through a combination of trial and error (evaluating […]

Tips for designing an effective workshop session



This is a day-long training that we’ve run in at least a dozen countries for a variety of individuals involved in social change at various levels of ‘data literacy.’  Big thanks to all the participants that have provided feedback, along with: School of Data for all their curriculum on data literacy, […]

A Data Strategy Workshop Curriculum


During this webinar which took place on April 28th, 2016, and was cohosted by Dirk Slater, FabRiders and Nic Sera-Leyva, Internews, we discussed: Step Zero, what to consider before you even start planning a digital security training Setting Expectations, both with participants but also with organisers. Learn About Your Participants […]

LevelUp Webinar Notes: Preparing Your Digital Security Training


This article will help people working on social change efforts understand what they need to know before undertaking a technology project and how to communicate that to internal technology related staff or a potential external developer/consultant hire. This document was created with the input of several colleagues, including Tin Geber, […]

Tech Project Specifications and Social Change Efforts



Here at FabRiders, we benefit greatly from our ability to share expertise with a network of technology capacity builders through which we have developed solidarity and close friendships. Recently, LevelUp asked us to help them think about how to improve engagement with the people who are interacting with their resource […]

What are we building: communities or networks?


During this webinar taking place on February 23rd, We: Looked at the key challenges we face in evaluating digital security trainings Explored how we measure our effectiveness according to what our beneficiaries are trying to achieve Heard from our guest speakers: Natasha and Tawanda from Digital Society of Zimbabwe, and Erin from […]

LevelUp Webinar Notes: Evaluating DigiSec Trainings for Effectiveness


2015 was a banner year for FabRiders. Here is what our current projects have us positioned to learn in 2016: We’ve explored hacking user centred design for social change efforts with the help of Aspiration and the International Budget Partnership.  Look for our next post in the FabBlog on designing tech projects that will engage your stakeholders. We’ve been […]

What We Will Learn in 2016



Our learnings never happen in isolation and we are always grateful to those who have helped inform us along the way. We learned a hell of a lot from Misty Avila and Allen Gunn (Gunner) at Aspiration, who shared their methodologies to get tool developers to focus on users’ needs.  We […]

Hacking user centred design for social change efforts.


Anybody that gets within earshot of me during the months of October and November will hear me wax lyrical about this event (the only one I’ll cross the pond for!). Lasting three days during the third week of November, The NonProfit Developer (#npdev) Summit is Aspiration’s annual gathering that brings […]

What I learned at NPDev Summit 2015


What are effective ways of achieving data literacy in social change? Who is doing what and how? How is this work being sustained? How is impact being determined? FabRiders is pleased to announce a new research project we are implementing for School of Data, exploring the intersection of data literacy and social […]

We are learning about ‘data literacy’



This blog post is a collaboration amongst ‘technology capacity building’ practitioners, namely: Misty Avila, Beatrice Martini and Dirk Slater. We are thankful for comments and feedback from our gracious colleagues, including: Kristin Antin, Allen Gunn (Gunner), and Tom Longley. Over the last couple of decades there has been various efforts […]

What We’ve Learned About Tech Capacity Building


The Transparency and Accountability Initiative have published a guide to running technology mentorships, with the aim of improving an organisation’s impact and effectiveness.  FabRiders’ Dirk Slater was honoured to be able to act as a ‘Tech Mentor’ for the project, along with fellow mentors: Lucy Chambers, Sarah Schacht, Tunji Eleso, […]

Tech Mentorship Guide


Why we did it By Maya Ganesh, Beatrice Martini and Dirk Slater. If you haven’t, please read the introduction to this series. Tactical Tech’s initial goal was to learn how use of technology can impact and improve the advocacy efforts of marginalised communities.  In this section, we will define ‘marginalisation’, […]

Leave Your Potatoes at Home, Pt I



What we learned By Maya Ganesh, Beatrice Martini and Dirk Slater This series began with the post ‘Why We Did It‘, which provided background and context, including a definition of marginalisation, Tactical Tech’s objectives for the project and background on WNU and sex worker issues in Cambodia.  Our previous post […]

Leave Your Potatoes at Home, Pt. III


Or ‘how to work with marginalised communities on using data and technology in advocacy’ By Maya Ganesh, Beatrice Martini and Dirk Slater. “You are welcome anytime, you’re not like others who come with their own bag of potatoes” It’s with these words that the chair of Women’s Network for Unity (WNU), […]

Leave Your Potatoes At Home, Intro


The data pipeline We are very grateful to the School of Data for their clear explanation on how the data pipeline works! Once you have a clear understanding of your data action cycle, stakeholders and targets, you can begin manipulating data. The process of working with data can be broken […]

Data Advocacy Essentials, Pt II: The Data Pipeline



What is data? How can we use it for advocacy? Advocacy is a process by which people, groups, networks and coalitions seek to bring about positive change by influencing policies, as well as the actions and opinions of others. In evidence based advocacy, facts in the form of data are […]

Data Advocacy Essentials, Pt I: Action Cycles and Stakeholders


I recently spent two days facilitating a workshop on how to evaluate the impact of data training and learning endeavors for Open Knowledge, several School of Data chapters and like minded organisations including DataKind UK,  SocialTIC from Mexico City, Code4SA from South Africa, and Metamorphosis from Macedonia.  At the end […]

What I’ve Learned about Impact Assessment


I was inspired to write this after reading Lucy Chambers excellent post proposing how a dystopian theory of change might be helpful in creating long term strategies. In it, Lucy points to a DIY theory of change template that simplifies the process of developing a theory of change plan and […]

What I’ve Learned About Theory of Change



What is it like to bring over 100 individuals together in a room to talk about the issues surrounding ‘Follow the Money’ (FTM) and the impact that technology and data have on it? On January 21st and 22nd in Berlin, FabRiders was fortunate to be able to support the efforts […]

What I learned at #FTMTech


Preamble As individuals supporting movements working for rights and justice, we believe in transparency, collaboration, open data, and shared knowledge.  We strongly believe that resource creators should strive to be accountable to the communities they aim to serve. Content creators should not dictate accessibility by the user, and should strive […]

Responsible Resource Creator Manifesto (Draft 2)


Just back from Oakland, California feeling nourished and re-energised after attending the annual Nonprofit Development Software Summit (#NPDev). This is Aspiration’s signature event, bringing together a collection of radical techies, graphic designers, campaigners and non-profit staffers for three days of organised chaos that is unbelievably productive. We were honored to have […]

What I learned at NPDev Summit 2014