Amnesty International Netherlands


  • Implemented a cloud connected content platform
  • Minimal IT administration requirements
  • Transformed mobile devices into productivity tools
  • Improved collaboration with partners
  • Increased staff productivity
  • Secure file sharing
  • Reduced time required to find and share documents


In the Netherlands, Amnesty International Dutch Section works alongside the global organization of Amnesty International campaigning to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights across the globe. To share and store policy documents Amnesty’s Dutch Section used a traditional network file system. The organization created specific folders to help map documents to specific locations and to provide structure to their data. The challenge for the Dutch Section was managing the proliferation of documents and identifying where those documents were stored in the file system.

In addition, the organization did not have an efficient way to collaborate and manage projects with partners or other Amnesty Sections. As a result, members sent documents via e-mail to outside collaborators, resulting in bloated email accounts and lack of version control.

The Amnesty International Netherlands needed a cost effective document management system that would allow staff and volunteers to complete their work without having to worry about the availability and accessibility of documents. They needed a secure document management system that they could host in the cloud and ensure that documents would be available to users anytime, anywhere. The system needed to provide a secure and easy way for users to collaborate with partners, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or private organizations.


Amnesty Netherlands had experience working with Autonomy WorkSite, however its users found this document management tool to be complex and preferred the simplicity of a network file system. Having seen the Amnesty International global organization successfully roll out Alfresco, the Netherlands organization implemented Alfresco in 2010 as its document management system. With Alfresco, this group of 200 staff members has one central repository for storing and accessing documents; with version control capabilities in one easy-to-use document management system.

With the initial on-premise implementation, they integrated Alfresco with their existing Active Directory to support single sign-on and to synchronize with its Windows network credentials. This ensures that users can securely access the repository. The organization also configured Alfresco so that security permissions define exactly who can see content — whether by folder, individual files, or, in the cloud, by network.

In 2012, Amnesty International Netherlands decided to move to Alfresco in the cloud in an effort to free up its limited IT resources and eliminate the burden of system administration. Not only does Alfresco in the cloud make it easier to manage content in the cloud, it is built using sophisticated security that provides the organization with the data protection it requires.

With Alfresco in the cloud, Amnesty International Netherlands has improved remote access and mobility. Storing content in the cloud allows users to access documents whenever and wherever they are. Users can now access content on mobile devices such as the iPhone or iPad using their favorite content apps in an organization-approved way. Given that a majority of the organization’s work is focused on operational projects in specific locations, the ability for field workers to access, create and edit documents on mobile devices is essential in the investigation on human rights abuses. It allows them to submit findings in a fast, flexible and reliable way.

Alfresco in the cloud now serves as a secure central document system for Amnesty’s policy and project documents. Users can collaborate with outside parties and Amnesty staff working in different locations. Users can created, edit and view documents on any device — laptop, mobile device or desktop. Users have the advanced version control features to help manage changes in project plans, reports and general policy documents. The organization also integrated Alfresco in the cloud with Confluence, an intranet-style wiki. Users can access documents stored in Alfresco through Confluence in order to share information.


  • By moving to Alfresco in the cloud, Amnesty International Netherlands has one central repository for the creation, editing and storing of project and policy documents.
  • Documents stored in the cloud are accessible through multiple devices, Web browsers and tablets and allow users to leverage their favorite content apps.
  • Version controls ensure that staff members are always accessing the most up-to-date materials.
  • Documents are easier to find and access increasing staff productivity. The organization estimates each staff member will save over one hour a week by using Alfresco in the cloud.
  • With a cloud solution, the IT team no longer has to spend time maintaining and purchasing hardware for an on-premise solution. IT can now support core services for the organization that cannot be hosted in the cloud or otherwise be outsourced.
  • Amnesty International Netherlands has rolled out Alfresco in the cloud to a small group of initial users with plans expand its use to over 200 users by early 2013.