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An Online Archive of Resources for Amnesty Volunteers
In recent years, we see a blossoming of websites devoted to publicizing the work of Amnesty and to galvanize the public to take notice of human rights violations around the world. However, none of these sites is devoted to servicing the needs of volunteers. A group of us decided to turn our energy to the task of developing such a volunteer-oriented site. We registered the domain name "amnesty-volunteer.org" to emphasize that the site is targeting Amnesty volunteers as its audience.
With contributions from members of Amnesty community around the world, we hope to create a comprehensive archive of resources and examples that can inspire and aid activists in their Amnesty work. We model our project on Internet archives, such as the one for Linux system, that were created with contributions from a community of users and with volunteer management. Some of you may be familiar with the Casework Manual, a 400+ page compendium of information on how to do effective casework. That's an example of content that we have in mind for the site. Other examples include training materials, tips on media and publicity, and references of interest to volunteers. In addition, we will host pages and mailing lists for Amnesty groups or structures that support the goals of the project. We believe that much of the content we are putting up will be of interest to AI volunteers around the world. Thus, we are making this project a collaboration of AI members from multiple AI national sections. In any case, as we all know, Internet has no national boundaries.
We have created the website www.amnesty-volunteer.org as the locus of our work. We will not duplicate information publicly available elsewhere on the net. Furthermore, we will not host campaign or case materials for which AI already has established channels for disseminating. Instead, we are looking for reference materials that are currently scattered on the net and in paper form, materials that represent accumulated institutional memory for effective casework, group development, fund raising, etc. Much of the material archived at the site will be internal to Amnesty members. However, recognizing that we have little defense against determined attacks, we will not host any sensitive, restricted circulation, or embargoed information.
We will collaborate with Amnesty sections that already have internal areas on their website to ensure the best use of our limited resources. If a section already has a system for authenticating users and for ensuring the integrity of data, that section can simply mirror the content on www.amnesty-volunteer.org that it wants. In return, we expect that the section will contribute resources that can benefit other parts of the AI movement. We are happy that the Italian Section has already agreed to this mirroring arrangement.
For members of those sections that do not have internal website, we will have to manage their access to www.amnesty-volunteer.org. We have two ways of checking a user's AI membership: (1) for sections that supply "gatekeepers" who can authenticate a user's membership and email address, we will forward access request to the gatekeepers, (2) for internal AI mailing lists or structures that have adequate membership verification, we will grant access based on membership on these lists. To protect against bogus change-of-address, we will email notices of change to existing user addresses.
We have gatekeepers for a number of AI sections (see the application page). If your section is interested in providing its members access to this resource, please contact admin at aivol.org.
A number of roles are available to people who wish to participate in the development of this resource. We need
Administrators of the site can telnet to the Unix-based host to do any administrative duties and software development. Gatekeepers have web forms through which they can add, delete, or change the password of a user. Developers will work with administrators to create content on the site. Finally, we envision contributors submitting materials to separate ftp directories whose content is checked for security problem before uploading to appropriate directories on the main site.
Individual Amnesty volunteers or staff members who wish to apply for user login should use the page http://www.amnesty-volunteer.org/members/
We hope to make www.amnesty-volunteer.org a useful shared resource for the Amnesty community. You can contact
For questions about the this website, contact .
For other questions, contact . Remember that we are a small group of volunteers who do not represent Amnesty International in any official capacity. This is not the place to ask general questions about Amnesty International or to report human rights violations.