In December of 2016, The Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIRH) and Mindbridge came together to host a two day forum entitled “The Expert Meeting on Human Rights Education in the Digital Age” at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, USA. This meeting sought to bridge a diverse range of public as well as private sectors including IT, communications, human rights education and academia. The overarching goal of the forum was to facilitate a nuanced and proactive dialogue on how to promote and protect human rights education through innovative technological solutions. Experts from a diverse range of fields discussed questions relating to human rights and human rights abuses while developing creative methods to support and advance the work of human rights education and human rights defenders.
The Executive Director of Mindbridge, Laura Ligouri, was able to discuss research seeking to uncover the psychological and neurobiological mechanisms of Anti-Roma bias taking place among members of the EU member states. Through this research, participants gained an understanding of how implicit processes drive human rights abuses and most importantly, the ways in which this knowledge provides a powerful advantage in designing interventions, programs and new human rights education assessment methods. More specifically, this meeting identified the importance of assessment in identifying and promoting successful programming and techniques that would yield a greater understanding of human rights education and its impact.
Mindbridge understands that one of the key weaknesses to human rights-based advocacy and educational programs is the lack of assessment. Without an adequate assessment program, officials and educators do not know what programs work, which ones do not, and why. Recent developments in social psychology and neuroscience offer a unique way to understand the implicit processes underlying human behavior and how these processes influence human rights education and advocacy. Therefore, Mindbridge is developing a new interdisciplinary, research-based initiative that aims to establish a dedicated human rights assessment program. This program endeavors to integrate the unique socio-political parameters of any human rights-based program with psychological and neurobiological research to produce an assessment program capable of measuring and evaluating human rights program impact and outcome goals.
- Engagement – project-specific study design
- Assessment – individually tailored assessment tools
- Ambassadorships – connecting research to organizations
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