Derek Caelin is an Innovation Specialist at the Innovation for Change project in Counterpart International. Derek applies technologies and innovative processes for social good. He has supported nonprofits, activists, and journalists in developing countries and conflict zones to apply technology to communicate, to organize, to capture data and extend their impact.

Innovation for Change is a global network of people and organizations who want to connect, partner, and learn together to overcome barriers to closing civic space and restrictions to our basic freedoms of assembly, association and speech. We are a community-led network inspired by ideas, methods, and technologies from across sectors, to create solutions that drive positive social change. We work together on advocacy, research, network building, education and training, fundraising, digital literacy and technology development. Our six connected regional hubs are growing in both physical and online spaces across Africa, Central Asia, East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa and South Asia. Here, people exchange ideas and share their successes and failures to spark collective action and incubate social change.

Before joining Counterpart International, Derek worked at PeaceTech Lab and the United States Institute of Peace where he organized technology workshops in conflict zones, including Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. A former independent games designer, Derek has analyzed a variety of impact games, particularly games used for resolving or continuing conflict. You can follow him on Mastodon or Twitter.


  • M.A., Middle East Studies, The George Washington University, Washington D.C.
  • B.A., International Relations, Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts
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