Helen is a Senior Programme Specialist at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). Her current position is focused on capacity and institutional development for democratic governance, including state institutions, academia, media and civil society. She is highly experienced in human rights and the role of civil society for democratic development, especially in repressive contexts. In her work and studies, including a MA in Communication for Development, Helen has particularly focused on freedom of expression, access to information and the role of the internet and ICTs for development, democratic participation and the fulfilment of all human rights. She worked in several civil society organisations before joining Sida’s ICT Secretariat as an ICT adviser in 2007. Helen was particularly responsible for developing Sida’s approach to ICT for democracy. In connection to this work, Helen initiated collaboration with APC, through support to the first Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch) report in 2007 with a focus on participation, as well as by commissioning APC to author the study ICTs for Democracy, published by Sida in 2008. Helen’s work at Sida has also included strategic input to the Stockholm Internet Forum.
Between 2020 and 2022, Helen was stationed in Beirut, Lebanon, working with democracy and human rights support to Syrian civil society actors. She has also worked in Kosovo, with support to democratic reform and governance during the years 2013-2015.
Helen has published a blog post on APC.org as part of a series celebrating the 15th anniversary of GISWatch.