Christoph Koettl

Christoph Koettl

Emergency Response Manager at Amnesty International USA

Washington D.C. Metro Area
Civic & Social Organization

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Christoph Koettl's Overview

  • Emergency Response Manager at Amnesty International USA
  • Project Manager, Science for Human Rights at Amnesty International USA
  • Crisis Prevention and Response Campaigner at Amnesty International USA
  • Program Assistant at Coordinating Committee for Christian-Jewish Cooperation

429 connections


Christoph Koettl's Summary

Recognized leader in the technology and human rights field, with extensive research, writing and advocacy experience on armed conflict, geospatial technologies and social media authentication.

Christoph Koettl's Experience

Emergency Response Manager

Amnesty International USA

Nonprofit; 51-200 employees; Civic & Social Organization industry

December 2011Present (2 years 10 months) Washington D.C. Metro Area

Project Manager, Science for Human Rights

Amnesty International USA

Nonprofit; 51-200 employees; Civic & Social Organization industry

November 2009December 2011 (2 years 2 months)

Crisis Prevention and Response Campaigner

Amnesty International USA

Nonprofit; 1001-5000 employees; Nonprofit Organization Management industry

January 2008December 2011 (4 years)

Program Assistant

Coordinating Committee for Christian-Jewish Cooperation

October 2004August 2005 (11 months)

Gedenkdienst Representative

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Nonprofit; 201-500 employees; Museums and Institutions industry

July 2003September 2004 (1 year 3 months)

Christoph Koettl's Projects

Christoph Koettl's Languages

  • German

  • English

  • Dutch

Christoph Koettl's Skills & Expertise

  1. Policy Analysis
  2. Human Rights
  3. International Relations
  4. Foreign Policy
  5. Fundraising
  6. Campaigns
  7. Crisis Management
  8. Nonprofits
  9. NGOs
  10. French
  11. International Development

Christoph Koettl's Publications

  • 'The YouTube War': Citizen Videos Revolutionize Human Rights Monitoring in Syria

    • PBS Mediashift
    • February 18, 2014
    Authors: Christoph Koettl

    Fueled by the proliferation of Internet connectivity and mobile technology, the media landscape today has shifted dramatically again, having serious implications for human rights monitoring. Information is distributed less through official media outlets, such as TV broadcasts and newspapers, and more through online social networks in real-time, thus—more than ever—putting reporting on human rights abuses beyond the control of governments. he unique opportunities and pitfalls presented by this decentralized real-time exposure of human rights violations for investigators are plentiful, and watchdogs, journalists and courts are scrambling to deal with the "coming storm of potential evidence."

  • Cairo Case Study: Confirming the Location and Content of a Video

    • Verification Handbook: A definitive guide to verifying digital content for emergency coverage
    • January 2014
    Authors: Christoph Koettl

    Contributed a case study in verifying citizen video from violent clashes in Cairo in August 2013. The Verification Handbook is authored by leading journalists from the BBC, Storyful, ABC, Digital First Media and other verification experts, the Verification Handbook is a groundbreaking new resource for journalists and aid providers. It provides the tools, techniques and step-by-step guidelines for how to deal with user-generated content (UGC) during emergencies.

  • North Korea: New satellite images show continued investment in the infrastructure of repression

    • Amnesty International
    • December 5, 2013
    Authors: Christoph Koettl

    Co-authored briefing on two political prison camps in North Korea, examining the
    continuing systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights. The briefing is largely based on new satellite image analysis, showing the ongoing investment in the country's political prison camps.

  • Looking to the Sky - Monitoring Human Rights through Remote Sensing

    • Harvard International Review
    • February 2011
    Authors: Christoph Koettl, Scott Edwards

    The effectiveness of human rights monitors in the context of complex emergencies is limited by two recurrent challenges. First, observers often struggle to gain access to active conflict zones. Second, the evidence collected is typically dominated by anecdotal narratives and eyewitness accounts that give powerful—though limited—snapshots of emerging or past human rights violations. These individual stories are at the centerpiece of any advocacy and public campaigning efforts; however, they do not present the systematic or comprehensive research that often proves powerful to both directly impact the situation on the ground and to support post-conflict accountability mechanisms. New technologies and methodologies increasingly support traditional human rights research in overcoming these limitations. One of the clearly demonstrated new tools for human rights research is remote sensing, specifically the use of space-based platforms, which has been employed by Amnesty International and others in such diverse crises and regions as Darfur, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan, and South Ossetia. Looking at these cases provides us with some useful lessons and exposes both benefits and limitations of the use of remote sensing in conflict zones for the benefit of human rights research and advocacy.

  • The Arms Race Between Perpetrator and Monitor: Geospatial Tools in Human Rights Research.

    • Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, New Orleans, January 5, 2011
    • January 5, 2011

    Data censoring is a recurrent problem in many social sciences. While there are methodological tools to address the effects of such censoring in analysis, human rights researchers and monitors tasked with collecting information on grave human rights abuses must instead rely on measuring instruments that get at the root of missing data—the inability to collect under a wide range of contexts. This need is especially apparent in the context of widespread state-repression, ongoing conflict or general insecurity, and state isolation. This paper examines the practical use of remote sensing and other geospatial technology for the systematic documentation of potential widespread violations of humanitarian law and human rights in the context of ongoing conflict, and in the context of state resistance to external monitoring by ground-based methods. Specifically, the application of geospatial data collection tools are examined in the contexts of the last months of the Sri Lankan civil war, current military offensives and security force activity in the frontier provinces of Pakistan, and illegal housing demolitions in Ndjamena, Chad. While these applications have offered an immense amount of unbiased and quantifiable data, there remain critical problems of inference of consequence to academics, aid practitioners, and human rights advocates.

  • When Science Meets Human Rights: Innovative Uses of Geospatial Technologies for Human Rights Monitoring and Conflict Prevention

    • Bridges
    • October 2008
    Authors: Christoph Koettl

    Human rights organizations are quickly catching up with organizations in the humanitarian and environmental fields in utilizing geospatial technologies like satellite imagery, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). These technologies are especially helpful for overcoming obstacles such as getting access to and information from crisis areas. In combination with Internet-based platforms, they mainly build on the power of visualization to document human rights abuses, prevent conflict, and - most importantly - provoke activism.

Christoph Koettl's Education

Universität Wien

MA, History, Political Science


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