The Kolektif Jistis Min (Justice Mining Collective, or KJM) is a network of community organizations in Haiti that has advocated for rights-conscious mining practices since 2013. They worked with American scientists and human rights lawyers between 2016 and 2018 to establish a baseline water study for communities within Quartier Morin, a commune located in north-central Haiti. In the face of a possible mining operation there, KJM discerned a lack of rigorous data on water quality to compare with future data of polluted water if mining were to proceed. Leveraging a crowdsourcing science app, they partnered with the Global Justice Clinic (GJC) at NYU School of Law to conduct a water monitoring program. In so doing, they produced a publicly accessible non-proprietary dataset capable of demonstrating infringement on the community’s right to water in the event of an unsustainable mining operation.

Theory of Change

Crowdsourcing scientific data empowers and organizes vulnerable populations, underscores fundamental human rights, and deters unsustainable and dangerous business practices.


Using a coordinating smartphone app, Kobo Toolbox, local residents identified approximately 1,200 households and over 200 water sources suitable for study. Following this, KJM and GJC, in partnership with independently funded U.S. scientists, organized a two-year long sampling and measurement plan. Eventually culminating in a dataset which demonstrated the water within Quartier Morin to be free from contamination. To support these efforts, the Kolektif Jistis Min and the Global Justice Clinic jointly produced a series of reports, written in Haitian Creole, designed to make the community-produced data interpretable and implementable in further grassroots advocacy efforts.


Nearing the culmination of the water study in 2018, thirteen community organizations within Quartier Morin signed an open letter to local and national authorities stating their opposition to mining. It was principally based on the grounds that mining violates Haiti’s constitution, which provides special protections for the environment. The letter remains to date one of the strongest statements of community opposition to mining in the country. Both as a means of fact-finding and social organization, KJM’s scientific efforts provided a baseline from which to build an advocacy campaign, as well as a unique means for unifying a disempowered community. To that end, in addition to a confluence of similarly oriented efforts, it has helped to forestall any attempt at mining in the area.