Verifying Information in Challenging Environments for Citizen Monitors

Step III: Draft your verification protocol and stick to it

Once you have drafted your standard set of criteria, use it for every piece of information you verify. You need to remain consistent to ensure that all of your information is verified the same way at all times. This will also allow you to review and refine your verification process. Additionally, by maintaining a certain level of verification, the expectations of the recipients of your information will remain steady; shifting away or back and forth from a certain level can raise suspicion.

Step IV: Make your verification process public

You want to make your verification process known to inform people of the credibility of your information. You do not have to make all of the details of the process public, but recipients of your information need to know if they can trust it. The more that people are aware of your verification protocols, the more you will be able to manage expectations about the reliability of the information posted.

In environments like Iran, make sure to protect your personal safety and security throughout the process.

Test Your Knowledge

Develop a standard set of criteria for your verification process. How will you decide what information to verify and what not to? When will you consider information fully verified or not at all? What degrees of verification are you willing to have for information?