Cost-cutting, social media, cloud hosting: All in a day's work for Amnesty International's IT dept

Interview: Head of IT Kamesh Patel on how tech is supporting the cause of global human rights...

Amnesty International is make extensive use of online technology

Amnesty International is making extensive use of technology to raise awareness and encourage engagementPhoto: Amnesty International

Human rights charity Amnesty International was founded on the belief that ordinary people have the power to bring about extraordinary change.

The basis for Amnesty International was established in the 1960s when British lawyer Peter Benenson wrote a newspaper article calling for an international campaign against the imprisonment of individuals due to their political or religious beliefs.

Thousands of people sent letters of support and offers of help along with details of other prisoners of conscience. Within six months, the international movement that became Amnesty International was up and running.

Fast-forward some decades and the organisation's supporters are using the web to exert pressure on governments and make their voices heard - and so too is Amnesty International.

Amnesty International's head of IT Kamesh Patel recently talked to about how the organisation is getting the most out of its online technology to strengthen the movement in the 21st century.

Revamping Amnesty International's online presence

For Amnesty, its and websites are key conduits to interacting with supporters, and the organisation is working hard to make sure its digital presence is up to speed with the latest online developments.

"We've got an evolving digital strategy which is about how the Amnesty International movement in general uses its digital presence and how it will work together in delivering against the organisation's objectives through the digital sphere," Patel told

The emphasis on growing digital engagement with contributors, members and partners has driven the organisation to look at how it can improve its ability to call people to action and generate income via its online presence, and prompted the introduction of a single sign-in system.

"Everyone that ever joins Amnesty becomes a...