Tech tools for human rights documentation: Tools Table
A selection of tools designed for for civil society documenters of human rights abuses. Curated by The Engine Room.
Find more information, context and resources on our website:
Tech Tools for Human Rights Documentation.
Jan 2021EyeWitness to Atrocities2015Mobile camera app for recording footage securely and with added metadata. Footage is sent to eyeWitness AndroideyeWitness to Atrocities.

The tool is backed by the International Bar Association, where the eyeWitness project originated.
Not open sourceThrough partnership agreements, eyeWitness can offer documenters various levels of support, including:
• sharing media back with organisations
• manually categorising and analysing data
• providing support in case-building.
• Adds metadata to photos and videos at the moment they are captured > the footage is then sent to the eyeWitness team.
• Eyewitness use footage captured through the app to compile reports for international investigators (in collaboration with documenters, if contact details have been provided or a partnership agreement entered into)
• Photos and videos are stored in the app's secure gallery, which is only accessible via a passcode
• Fast deletion of the app and its contents
• Photos and videos are uploaded in encrypted format to secure servers managed by eyeWitness
• Copies of footage can be shared with others via email or social media
• Documenters can receive copies of their footage by way of partnership agreement with eyeWitness
• Collection can be done offline, but upload requires an internet connection.
Jan 2021KoBoToolbox & KoboCollect app
2014Suite of tools to collect, manage, analyse, and share data. Based on ODK (Open Data Kit) Android, WebKoBoToolbox at the Harvard Humanitarian InitiativeCode is open source• Free, unlimited hosting for humanitarian organisations
• Website includes thorough user documentation
• KoBo hosts a community forum
• Facilitates the creation of standardised forms for data collection in the field
• Collection can be done via the KoBoCollect app, or via web forms
• Data management can be done via a KoBoToolbox backend
• Secure transfer of data available with the setup of SSL certificates
• KoBo backend works with Tella mobile app
• Allows for bulk export of data in a variety of formats, including Excel, CSV, KML, ZIP (for media) and SPSS. This allows for data to be analysed and visualised using other commonly-used tools.
• Phone's audio recorder can be used through forms in the mobile app, if set up.
• Allows dynamic linking of data across projects, allowing for survey data to be added to over time.
• Easy export available via URLs.
• Collection can be done offline, but connection to the KoBo backend requires an internet connection
Apr 2022Nextcloud2016Suite of tools for file storage and collaborationWeb, Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, LinuxNextcloud GmbHCode is open source• Can be hosted on the Nexcloud platform,or self-hosted.
• Nextcloud's GitHub repository hosts developer documentation
• Nextcloud hosts a community forum
• Direct support provided on the paid-for plan
• Facilitates creation and storage of files, forms and other documents.
• Allows for collaboration
• Monitoring and logging tools for reporting and auditing
• User permissions that cover passwords, expiration dates, hiding of existing files, blocking downloads
• Data retention rules
• File access controls
• Multi-layered SSL/TLS encryption. Stored data can be encrypted, if enabled
• Files and folders can be shared with specific users or groups of users, or as public links, which can be password protected
• Internet/ intranet connectivity required
• Desktop client allows for offline access
Jan 2021Proofmode (in beta)2017Mobile app that adds verification metadata to photos and videos taken with a phone cameraAndroidGuardian ProjectCode is open source• Users can submit issues to the application’s GitHub repository.• Adds metadata to photos taken using the default phone camera (ProofMode
is not a dedicated camera app)
• App works in the background and requires little setup
N/A• Photos and metadata can be shared via the Android share functionality or as a CSV export, or backed up via OpenArchive’s Save app.• No internet required
Apr2022Protonmail2013End-to-end encrypted email serviceWeb, Android, iOSProton TechnologiesCode is open source• Free accounts available (with limited storage and a cap on daily emails)
• Website provides general documentation
• Protonmail provides support via email
• Emails between Protonmail accounts are end-to-end encrypted
• End-to-end encryption
• Company has zero access to user data
• Option to set emails to self-destruct after a certain time
N/A• Internet connection required to send and receive emails
Jan 2021Save
2019Mobile app that facilitates the secure backup of images, videos, audio and other formats to a designated storage location, or allows them to be published via the OpenArchive Android, iOSOpenArchiveCode is open source• Website offers an FAQ and an introductory video that takes a user through setup
• OpenArchive offers direct support to groups interested in setting up a self-hosted or cloud-based secure archive, as well as training and help with technical or user experience issues
• Users can capture media in-app or import media from a variety of other apps (such as the phone’s built-in camera app), including photos, videos, audio recordings, pdfs and notes
• Allows users to add some metadata to media manually
• Secure transfer of data using TLS on all platforms and, optionally, Orbot (Tor for mobile) on Android
• Allows for pseudonymous submission to shared folders
• Data can be sent to OpenArchive, Dropbox, or a self-hosted webdav-compatible server (e.g. ownCloud or Nextcloud)
• Allows for organisations to directly receive and organise submissions from unlimited users
• Android version integrates with ProofMode, which adds verification metadata to photos
• Internet connection required to upload content to a storage location
April 2022Signal2014End-to-end encrypted instant messaging service. Allows group messaging. Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, LinuxSignal Technology FoundationCode is open source• Website provides general information• Users can send encrypted messages to other users
• Messages can contain text, images, video or audio recordings
• Allows group messaging
• Each chat is provided with a unique safety number that allows for secure encrypted conversations
• Messages are end-to-end encrypted by default
• Encrypts chat metadata as well as chat content
N/A• Internet connection required to send and receive messages
April 2022Telegram2013Instant messaging service with optional end-to-end encryption for 'secret chats'. Allows group messaging. Web, Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, LinuxTelegram FZ LLCApp is open source, server is not.• FAQ available for both users and developers
• Website includes a support request form
• Users can send encrypted messages to other users
• Messages can contain text, images, video or audio recordings
• Users can join and share information with groups
• 'Secret chats' are end-to-end encrypted N/A• Internet connection required to send and receive messages
April 2022Tella2019Mobile collection app for Android, with specific security features designed to protect those collecting data in repressive environments AndroidHorizontalCode is open source• Tella's GitHub repository hosts developer documentation
• Tella provides direct support to partner organisations - this can include server installation, training, and technical or user experience issues.
• Camera function and secure photo storage
• Offers ability to collect data via custom forms
• Can add verification metadata to photos, videos and audio recordings
• Can connect to a KoboToolbox or Uwazi backend for data management
• Camera stores footage in an encrypted location on the phone, separate to the default camera gallery
• App can be disguised (icon and name changed)
• Quick app shutdown or deletion
• Secure transfer of data using SSL to a dedicated KoBoToolbox or Uwazi server, for storage and management
• App can be locked with pattern, pin or password
• Files, including photos or audio recordings, can be imported from other apps on the phone
• Integrates with KoBoToolbox and Uwazi, for data storage and management
• Media collection can be done offline but upload requires an internet connection
April 2022Ushahidi2008Crowdsourcing and mapping platform allowing people to crowdsource data collection and plot reports on a map in real-time Web, Android, iOSUshahidiCode is open source• Can be hosted on the Ushahidi platform, or be self-hosted
• Thorough manual available for users and developers
• Ushahidi can provide custom development and support with tool configuration

• Allows users to map submissions via geolocation
• Has some data review and validation features
• Secure data transfer using SSL/TLS between the browser and the Ushahidi server• Can collect data from a variety of sources, such as webform, SMS, email/Gmail and Twitter • Mobile version of the tool (web app) supports offline data collection, but otherwise requires a connection
April 2022Uwazi 2017Responsive web app for storing, organising, analysing and publishing collections of documents WebHURIDOCSCode is open source• Can be hosted by HURIDOCS, or self-hosted
• Thorough user guide available.
• HURIDOCS provides direct support to partner organizations, including advice on methodologies, tools and strategies, and customising software

• Can be used to find frequency of references and patterns within individual pieces of content as well as relationships between pieces of information in the collection
• Tagging templates
• Data visualisation capabilities
• Entries can be tagged with geolocation via the use of coordinates
• Two-factor authentication
• Account locking after multiple failed attempts
• SSL protocols that protect the data in transit
• Allows import of various file types, such as PDF, .doc, .txt, .odt, .jpg and CSV
• Data export in CSV format
• API available to create custom connections to other platforms
• Digital Evidence Vault plugin allows data to be saved directly from online sources
• Internet connection required