Events, News, Promotional


On Saturday 5th June 2021, Digital Human Rights Lab (DHRL) with support from GIZ and StartHub Africa held their 2nd round of the Innovation Program Pitch 2021 event in Kampala. Using hashtags #Innovation4HumanRights and #BeHeard, the tech event attracted over 150 applications from across the country and 8 teams were selected to present their innovation ideas and solutions that will support Human Rights Defenders in execution of their work safely and more efficiently after 4 weeks’ design sprint.

Based on the background of rampant human human rights violations in Uganda, DHRL’s goal focusses on strengthening and promotion of visibility, effectiveness and safety of human rights work in Uganda through digital infrastructures.

Mr Micheal Niyitegeka, Country Manager at International Digital Skills Vocational Training and Certification (ICDL) Africa gave the first keynote speech of the day in which he appreciated the importance of innovation in today’s digital world when it comes to human rights. Mr Niyitegeka further advised participants to pay critical attention to their target groups that stand to benefit from their innovations and also value research. “It’s important that you think about everything with the level of simplicity. Anything that simplifies processes qualifies to be an innovation. We innovate to simplify life, to make things easy,” he noted.

The second keynote speech was delivered by Mr Eric Ndaula, Team Lead at LWU and founder of the KuchuCare App which was one of the winning teams in the first Innovation Program Pitch that took place earlier this year. He shared his journey through the innovations programs and shared the progress of the KuchuCare which is currently being tested and has been well received by Uganda’s LGBTQ community. Mr Ndaula also encouraged participants to take up all opportunities that they have been presented with. “…The opportunity we as human rights defenders have in this era is the fact that we can fight for human rights of all individuals within the digital space regardless of who they are or what they identify as,” he said.

The day progressed with powerful digital pitch presentations from the selected 8 teams and the top four winning teams of this 2nd innovation pitch cohort walked away with cash prizes worth 60M Uganda and 6 months’ mentorship. These included; Disability Innovations Uganda which developed SRHR digital learning content in sign language and video format for Health workers and deaf persons, the Debunk team with an idea of a digital platform that identifies the top trending myths and rumors related to human rights issues on social media and provides critically fact-checked stories in a video and audio bulletin, Centres4Her which through their Virtual Protection Desks and an E-Documentation section will increase awareness on rights of refugees, women and children as well as record human rights violations and finally Awesome Minds Speak with their My Pal App that will provide young people between the ages of 12 and 24 with information about mental health and access to services by mental health practitioners.

To crown it all, judges were awarded with tokens of appreciation for their insightful advice and expertise to the participants. Each member of the pitching team also received certificates of participation. Appreciation goes out to StartHub Africa, Future challenges, DHLR and GIZ for their support towards the success of the occasion.

About DHRL:
DHRL is a space, both virtual and physical, in which human rights defenders come together to support each other’s initiatives in strengthening and promoting Human Rights in a digitalised world.