Interview Method:

The method used when interviewing Alice Podd – The Head Of Amnesty International South West Fundraising Team was informal but structured with prepared open-ended questions, in order to allow for a flow of speech. Audio of the interview was also recorded with consent from Alice, additionally, we ensured Alice understood that we were not promising Amnesty any technology to use in the future.

Amnesty’s Research:

40% of Amnesty’s budget is spent on research. Research -> Fact Checking -> Report -> Lobby. For example, research is used to:

  • Lobby against governments
  • Change laws
  • Free prisoners of conscience
  • Document political killings
  • Document enforced disappearances
  • Document genocide

Current Issues:

Save the human rights act – UK: Lobbying government to release the potential British Bill to ensure that it supports human rights of everyday people.

Trump: Dividing a nation, riding a government and influencing people. Deporting immigrants, banning 7 Muslim countries from entering America, deporting immigrants, cuts to abortion – My Body, My Rights, torture as a form of gaining confessions in prisons – 161 countries signed to say they were not going to use torture in their prisons. – Lobbying against the UN and Trump.

Hate crimes after Brexit: 

Free prisoners of conscience: People that are unjustly imprisoned, Amnesty have freed 55,000 prisoners of conscience to date and just last year 650.

Arms Trade: Amnesty fought for 20 years to get the Arms Trade Treaty signed.

Racial Discrimination: 

Tools:

Panic Button: (5/6 years ago) Human rights activist on the group -> Feels ‘in trouble’ -> Presses app on phone -> Encrypts data on phone -> Sends messages -> Sends trigger to Amnesty -> Track -> Urgent Action Network (165,000 people) -> Save lives.

Satellite Images: To prove that North Korean were using prison camps, to gather evidence that the Sudan government were using chemical weapons against their own people – Public helped to gather evidence.

Street Demo – Virtual Reality: Virtual reality footage of the bombings in Syria and the Lepo, raised awareness, was an extremely effective demonstration and excellent fundraising tool.

Street Demo – Graveyard in Trafalgar Square: To represent that a person dies every 60 seconds as a result of an out of control Arms Trade.

Street Demo – Bodybags on Brighton beach: To represent that in a week and a half, 800 people died due to there being one search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean. As a result of this demonstration, Amnesty were able to demand that every European Nation has to have a search and rescue operation.

We are tenacious. We keep on going. We don’t stop fighting. Power to the people. Start a project -> Set out to do something -> Don’t stop until it’s complete

All Statistics:

  • 40% of Amnesty’s budget is spent on research.
  • Amnesty is a people power movement, with 7.5 million people around the world.
  • Amnesty got 161 countries to sign to say that they were no longer going to use torture in their prisons as a way of gaining confessions.
  • Amnesty focuses in 150 countries.
  • Since Amnesty started in 1961 55,000 prisoners of conscience have been freed.
  • Last year Amnesty freed 650 prisoners of conscience.
  • It took Amnesty 20 years to get the Arms Trade Treaty signed.
  • A prisoner of conscience that Amnesty got released was in solitary confinement for 45 years.
  • Amnesty’s Urgent Action Network includes 165,000 people from all over the world.
  • 800 people died due to lack of search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean in a week and a half.
  • Every 60 seconds someone dies as a result of the out of control Arms Trade.

All Issues:

  • Prisoners of conscience – People unjustly imprisoned.
  • Political killings – …
  • Enforced disappearances – …
  • Genocide – The deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular nation or ethnic group.
  • Save the Human Rights Act (UK) – Ensure the human rights of everyday people are supported.
  • Hate crime after Brexit – …
  • Trump deporting immigrants – …
  • Trump banning certain Muslim countries from entering America – …
  • Trump cuts to abortion – My Body, My Rights.
  • Trump wants to bring back torture
  • Arms Trade – …
  • Racial discrimination – …
  • North Korean prison camps – …
  • Sudan chemical weapons – …
  • Syria and the Lepo bombings – …

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Definitions:

Genocide: The deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular nation or ethnic group.

Geneva Conventions: The Geneva Conventions are a series of treaties, on the treatment of civilians, prisoners of war (POWs) and soldiers who are otherwise rendered hors de combat, or incapable of fighting. … This convention produced a treaty designed to protect wounded and sick soldiers during wartime.

Urgent Action Network: Amnesty International’s Urgent Action Network is a community of people just like you who take action – letters, emails, phone calls, faxes, and tweets – on emergency cases of human rights abuses around the world.

Legal Information Institute (2007) Geneva conventions. Available from: https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/geneva_conventions [Accessed 10 February 2017].

Amnesty International (2017) Urgent action network. Available from: http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/campaigns/individuals-at-risk/urgent-action-network [Accessed 10 February 2017].

Interview QDA & Coding

During planning of interview questions, we needed to establish the main aims and objectives before the design of the questions. For example, we wanted to gain a broad view of what Amnesty actually do from someone on the inside, their aims as an organisation, their challenges, their ‘user groups’ and use of technology etc. The image below shows a page from the transcript that has been ‘pawed’ and analysed for codes.

IMG_20170212_232944.jpg

The aims and objectives acquired during the interview planning stage could be used in the listing of priori codes:

  1. Aims of Amnesty
  2. Statistics
  3. Major campaigns/issues
  4. Pain points/challenges
  5. Technology
  6. Demos
  7. Strategies
  8. Context (Lobbyist group etc)
  9. User groups
  10. Emotion
  11. Achievements

The above list was illustrated on the basis that themes may change, delete or have more themes added (plus sub-themes).

Context

Amnesty are mainly a lobbyist group, send small teams of researchers to crisis areas to document and interview exactly [very precise] what is going on. 40% of budget is spent on research – i.e. obtaining research is imperative.

The process: research – vigorous fact-checking – narrating a thorough report to:

  • Lobby up against governments
  • Change laws
  • Free prisoners of conscience
  • Document political killings, forced disappearances, and genocide
  • Fight for any sort of human rights

Amnesty International started in 1961 and have freed over 55,000 prisoners of conscience.

The Urgent Action Network has 165,000 members all over the world.

Aims

  • Awareness is the basis of what Amnesty does.
  • Long term solutions as well as factually correcting problems.
  • Release British Bill, ensure human rights of everyday people are included.
  • Focusing fighting the cuts to abortion by  Trump.
  • Fight for individuals as well as groups i.e. fort for 20 years to release a prisoner of conscience in solitary confinement for 45 years.
  • Keep tenacious, fight the long fight and remain united ‘people power’*. “When we set out to do something, we don’t stop until we feel like we completed it, or helped the people within that circumstance.’
  • Protect their activists (who are essentially one of Amnesty’s user groups) through network of people and technology.
  • Create effective demos and campaigns that create awareness from the public and generate media attention.
  • Focuses on 150 countries around the world, campaign to free prisoners of conscience that are unjustly imprisoned for speaking up against their government’s political views, religious views, sexuality.

Major campaigns

  • Save The Human Rights Act – UK, lobbying against the government to release what they want to put forward as the British Bill.
  • Campaign against hate crime after Brexit.
  • Trump abortion cuts (My Body, My Rights campaign), racial discrimination, torture as punishment.
  • Free prisoners of conscience campaign
  • Successful longterm campaign: – Arms Trade Treaty
  • – Freed Prisoners of conscience (55,000 since 1961)

Pain points/challenges

  • Trump’s powerful influence via media
  • Lobbying can be a really really long process
  • Things don’t happen over night
  • Racial discrimination is a current challenge, perpetuated by the media.
  • Challenging hate crimes.
  • Trump is a big challenge as he is dividing a nation, riding a government and influencing people.
  • Arms trade – a lot of money involved
  • Media sending out the wrong message or lies, influencing people

Technology

  • The Panic Button: GPS, encrypts data, automatic trigger to Amnesty head quarters. It’s actually saved lives.
  • Satellite images: Amnesty hired a sate little and flew over North Korea and revealed their prison camps, they had to admit. Amnesty asked members of public to scan satellite images of Sudan to reveal bombed areas, as it was too dangerous for the crisis team, to document and lobby evidence – public became ‘analytical decoders’.
  • Virtual reality: street team won innovations award, crisis team put themselves in a lot of danger by filming and videoing areas of Syria and Lepo. Plug VR headset into phone and view bombed immersive scenes of Syria. Huge amount of awareness raised and hugely effective tool , a great fundraising too also.
  • There is space for interactivity, as they don’t use a lot of interactive technology in their campaigns.

User Groups

  • Human rights activists
  • Volunteers
  • Employers
  • Fundraisers
  • Members of the public

New Themes

Power to the people

  • People power movement, 7.5 million people round the world, use these numbers to put pressure on the influence.
  • Repeatedly uses ‘we’ in interview
  • Rights of everyday people
  •  ‘Which saves lives, because no one is going to want to torture someone or rape someone, if 165,000 people from around the world are suddenly contacting them and bombarding them’
  • Opened Sudan satellite campaign up to the ‘public, where they could become analytical decoders’, a lot of volunteers were involved.

Fight the good fight

  • ‘We are tenacious’
  • ‘When we  start a project and set out to do something, we don’t stop until we feel like we have completed it or helped the people within that circumstance. Power to the people.’
  • ‘Some of the people we are fighting for’
  • ‘We absolutely do no loose faith’
  • ‘People power’
  • ‘we can find them, we know exactly where they are at all times’

Street Demos

  • Use imagery to symbolise message and get the point across
  • Amnesty like media attention, it creates awareness
  • Effective campaigns: Trafalgar Square graveyard for Arms Treaty signature, Brighton body bags campaign for search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea – ‘ it got so much media attention, we were able to demand to the EU’ – power to Amnesty.

Next steps:

  • How do these codes compare?
  • Can any other codes be generated?
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