Introducing: HRMI Ambassadors

Collaboration is a key value for us here at HRMI.

The initiative, and each key strategic step, have been co-created by human rights experts around the world.

At our most recent co-design workshop, in Johannesburg in September 2018, we came away with dozens of ideas for improving our work and making more impact. One of the ideas we are now putting in place, based on participants’ suggestions, is the new HRMI Ambassador role.

Why do we need Ambassadors?

HRMI’s aim is to produce human rights measurements for all the countries in the world. Our civil and political rights data is collected directly from human rights experts in each country we’re working in. In 2019 we’ll collect data from around 20 countries, and within a couple of years, depending on funding, we hope to expand to at least 160 countries.

To do this, we work with local partners – people who are part of the local human rights community, who understand the local customs, and whose values are aligned with ours. As we expand, we want to make our relationships with these first contacts a bit stronger and more clearly defined. We’re now seeking at least one of these local partners in each country to be a HRMI Ambassador.

These people play an important role in connecting HRMI to the local human rights community, and helping to ‘get the snowball started‘.

What is the ‘snowball’? This is the method we use for identifying human rights experts in each country. We will ask each Ambassador, and other trusted partners, to contact people who they think are qualified to contribute knowledge for their country and encourage them to sign up as potential survey respondents. Then we will ask each of those nominated people a) to participate and b) to recommend others. And so the snowball grows.

What will Ambassadors do?

We’re getting ready, right now, to roll out the 2019 civil and political rights research collection.

Here’s a timeline of what’s involved in being an Ambassador:


Help us recruit potential survey respondents for your country.

We will ask you to:

  • contact the people you think meet our criteria for being survey respondents (such as NGO researchers or advocates, human rights lawyers, and journalists reporting on human rights issues) and encourage them to sign up as potential survey respondents (by a secure encrypted means that we will provide).
  • put some thought into how to actively recruit for diversity among the pool of survey respondents. For example, we want to make sure we have experts with knowledge of different language and ethnic groups, and a range of expertise regarding specific human rights issues, including gender, disability, LGBTQIA+, economic and social rights, and so on.
  • let us know if you are happy for us to use your name in our emails to survey respondents (this is optional).
  • advise us on the best dates in late January-February for us to start sending out the expert survey, avoiding local holidays and so on.


  • If your country has languages other than English in common use, we might ask you to help us review the translation of the expert survey, and the emails that we will be sending to survey respondents.We use professional translators to translate these documents, but it is good to have someone who knows our work check these before we send them out.

Late January/Early February

  • Get in touch with any potential survey respondents who you know, to tell them the survey will be coming soon and encourage them to complete the survey. You can do this by sending them a personal email or text message or by talking to them in person.
  • If needed we may also ask you to remind people again in February or March.

Join us and make a difference in your country!

You can be part of producing robust, extensive data on your country’s human rights performance that you can use in your advocacy and that others will also use to help bring about real improvement for people’s lives.

What are the stories you want to be able to tell about human rights violations in your country? HRMI data can help.

If you would like HRMI to be able to produce data for your country, either in 2019 or beyond, please get in touch.

Which countries need Ambassadors?

We aim to appoint Ambassadors for every country in the civil and political rights research pool. We have Ambassadors in place already (see some of their profiles on our team page here), with a few more needed.  For more background on how we have chosen the participating countries, see this article. If you are in another country and want to make a case for including yours in the next expansion, we’d also love to hear from you.

Thanks for your interest in HRMI. You are also most welcome to follow us on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, and sign up to receive occasional newsletters here