The workshop was structured around morning plenary sessions for the whole group while the afternoons were devoted to small group sessions in three tracks: imaging and animation, information design, and mapping. Participants were placed in these tracks according to what they had selected at the point of their application and according to what was most appropriate for their campaign idea. Participants stayed in their assigned track for the duration of the workshop and worked in groups to produce a presentation for the show-and-tell session on the last day. 


1. Information Design: Information design is a rapidly growing field that is concerned with gathering, filtering and representing data and information, of varying complexities, with clarity and impact. As an alternative to extensive, jargon-laden reports, information design allows activists to craft powerful messages using visual graphics. It draws from a range of disciplines including typography and graphic design, as well as the effective use and collation of data about issues. In this track participants will learn how to use data to create infographics and visualizations. To learn more, see Tactical Tech's guide to Visualizing Information for Advocacy.  

2. Geographical Mapping: Maps can serve as a powerful witness of people and issues that are strategically ignored or left out of the public eye. Maps can act as trackers of incidents by collating data about them. New and interactive technologies like the internet, Google Earth and other mapping software and GPS make it possible for activists to use mapping techniques to represent such data strategically: text, video, photographs, location data, all of which can also be sent by mobile phones to online maps. In this track participants will learn how to design and use mapping techniques and tools in their campaigns. To learn more, see Tactical Tech's guide to Maps for Advocacy  

3. Imaging and animation: Images represented through photography, illustrations, and animations, can be powerful forms for conveying messages. These can be light-hearted and creative, emotive, challenging or hard-hitting. They can also allow you to address issues related to the representation of women, to challenge cultural stereotypes or allow you to tackle difficult issues using metaphors and fictional characters. This track covers a wide area of techniques from illustration such as that used in Marjane Satrapi's popular recent graphic novels, Persepolis, to animated shorts about particular issues, like those created by the 'Be That Woman' campaign. Photography as a technique to represent women who are absent or misrepresented and image manipulation techniques to create images that strengthen your campaign will also be covered. In this track participants will be exposed to techniques for imaging and visual story-telling through images, comics and graphic narratives and learn how to plan, storyboard and direct such a production.

For links to background reading on each of these three themes, see the Resources page.


 Helping Tactical Tech with the facilitation of the workshop was a great team of regional and international trainers and facilitators who led the three skills-building tracks.

Over the three day workshop, participants will converge at daily plenary sessions. Then, participants will break out into one of the three tracks which will be organised as hands-on skill development learning labs led by experienced facilitators and trainers. Applicants to the workshop will have to indicate which of these tracks they would like to join based on their own interests and the type of campaign they will be developing.

Imaging and Animation

Tessa Lewin
Tessa is a Southern African researcher, trainer, artist and animator, based in the UK. She is particularly interested in the intersect between art and social science, and in cross-disciplinary work that tries to engage with issues of social justice. Tessa has worked in Zimbabwe, Uganda, South Africa, the UK, Egypt, Ghana, Brazil and Bangladesh on projects that combine art, research and advocacy. She previously ran the Digital Arts programme at Lighthouse in Brighton, and is currently managing the communications for the Pathways of Women's Empowerment Research Consortium at the Institute of Development Studies.

Sarah Rifaat
Sarah Rifaat is an Egyptian graphic designer, photographer and environmental activist, currently working for a design company called Design Frame. She has worked as a volunteer for local NGOs in Cairo including the international environmental NGO, and facilitated a number of hands-on environmental activities as part of the World Environmental Day celebrations in Cairo. She is also an avid cyclist and a member of the Cairo Cyclists' Club, a group, started on Facebook, whose members meet every Friday to cycle around Cairo.

Information Design

Stephanie Hankey
Stephanie is the co-founder and the executive director of Tactical Tech. She has been working to strengthen the use of technology by civil society in the global South since 1998, initially working with the Open Society Institute establishing their Technology Support for Civil Society Program, before co-founding Tactical Tech in 2003. Stephanie has a background in information design, was editor-in-chief of Pulp and worked as a creative director and producer for a number of London-based multimedia companies. She has a Masters in Information and Interaction Design from the Royal College of Art London, and a certificate in Campaigning and Lobbying from NCVO.

Marek Tuszynski
Marek is the co-founder and the director of programmes at Tactical Tech. He has been working to help advocates use technology since 1993. In the mid-nineties he co-founded the International Network of Contemporary Art Centres and worked with others to create a television programme about independent culture in Poland. He was director of the Stefan Batory Foundation’s Internet programme (Warsaw), sat on the board of Klon/Jawor (a research and infrastructure NGO) and The Second Hand Bank. Marek worked as a consultant to many funding agencies focusing on information and communication strategies for civil society in Central Asia


 Abdelrahman Hassan
Abdelrahman Hassan is an information freedom activist, blogger, and techie from Cairo, Egypt. He currently works as a systems engineer for an opensource-based IT solutions company. A hobbyist cartographer and data democracy enthusiast, he is a major contributor and advocate of the project in his area. Abdelrahman has worked on various human rights-related, map-centered information visualization projects. In his spare time, he enjoys throwing "mapping parties" and advocating the use of open, freely available mapping data and tools.

Sandra Sudhoff
A Landscape Architect/Landscape Planner by profession, Sandra was exposed to emergency mapping and thematic mapping in the developing world while writing her thesis on Natural Resource Management for the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) in Mozambique. It sparked her interest and she subsequently pursued a MA in GIS and Remote Sensing. She has worked for both private (3D Lidar mapping) and public/humanitarian sector (GTZ, UNHCR) and since 2007, has been with CartONG, a French NGO specialised in Mapping and Information Management. The Mapping track will also be supported by Ramsey.


At the end of the three days, each of the tracks presented to the rest of the group what they had been working on over the course of the workshop. While some people had chosen to work on their own organisation's campaign or a new idea they hoped to develop when they returned, others had got into smaller groups and created a product in order to learn the process involved in implementing info-design, mapping or animation in a campaign.

From the Animation Track 

Short animations created by two groups from the animation track:


From the Info-Design Track

Razan Rashidi's idea for a campaign to empower young girls to reclaim public spaces in Damascus which are usually dominated by men. Inspired by the example of the Blank Noise campaign, Razan aims to get women to photograph their favourite public spaces in Damascus which they do not feel comfortable in because of their sex.

From the Mapping Track 

On the second day of the event the participants on the mapping track got to do a hands-on exercise in GPS and mobile-phone mapping around a mock scenario of collecting data on domestic violence within an area. Using Android phones, with OSM Tracker installed on them, participants were shown how to take points and switch the GPS interface. Some participants from other tracks who wanted to learn a little about mapping were designated with collecting household level information in an electronic form on the smart phone. Their tasks were to carry out interviews and collect data on infrastructure: hospital, police station, school, legal counsel and integrate the pictures and embed the data into the map of the area.