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Decoding Injustice

Using data to right the wrongs of systemic oppression

All over the world, people are clamoring for change. A common belief animating their efforts? That everyone should have a say in decisions that affect their lives and a right to participate in public life. 

To transform our economies to work for all, we must listen to the communities whose lives are most directly affected by the injustices of the status quo.  Yet, all too often, their voices are either easily dismissed or deliberately silenced. One of the ways this happens is by privileging technical over lived expertise. In particular, the dominance of economics in policy making has had the effect of circumscribing what is asked, answered, and answerable.

Knowledge and skills to engage critically with economic policy debates shouldn’t be the exclusive domain of economists, lawyers, social scientists, and other technical experts. Research methodologies can, and should, be repurposed into tools that civil society groups and communities can use to unpack how their own circumstances are impacted by the way the economy functions on a systemic level and come up with ways to take action on issues directly affecting them. This, in turn, builds collective power by revealing the interconnectedness of our shared struggles.

Decoding Injustice is a powerful way activists, campaigners, and communities around the world are using research to advance economic, environmental, and social justice. It sheds new light on how economic policies harm people’s human rights. It supports them to demand those in power live up to their promises, and right the wrongs of historic, systemic oppression. It does this by organizing innovative methods for collecting, analyzing and presenting evidence around three steps:

In 3

  1. Interrogate

    Map the problem in depth using “OPERA” to identify indicators and benchmarks

  2. Iluminate

    Spotlight the underlying issues by collecting, analyzing & visualizing data

  3. Inspire

    Take action to build power and hold decision-makers accountable

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Learn how to apply Decoding Injustice in your work with our dedicated space for tools and resources.


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OPERA: The framework that underpins Decoding Injustice

OPERA helps us interrogate a problem by looking at it through four dimensions: Outcomes, Policy Efforts, Resources, and Assessment. This enables researchers and activists to better understand and tackle the unjust socioeconomic structures that cause so many of the world’s human rights violations.