Habitat III - Urban Future
  • Wednesday 19
  • Crowdsourcing Data for Safe Cities and Sustainable Community Action

    Urban Future
    Lead Organization:
    RED DOT FOUNDATION (SAFECITY)
    Partner organizations:
    Polycom Development Project

    Safecity documents sexual violence in public spaces through crowdsourced data, community engagement and institutional accountability with the aim to make public spaces safer and equally accessible to all. This crowdsourced information which maybe anonymous, gets aggregated as hot spots on a map indicating trends at a local level.

    Our Mission: Safecity aims to make cities safer by encouraging equal access to public spaces for everyone especially women, through the use of crowdsourced data, community engagement and institutional accountability.

    Why is it important to report cases of harassment and abuse?

    UN Women states that 1 in 3 women around the world experience some form of sexual assault at least once in their lifetime. More than half of these occur to girls below the age of 16. Yet 80% of women/girls choose not to talk about it.

    As a society and as individuals, we tend to ignore these cases and feel helpless. Over a period of time, we accept it as part of our daily routine. This leads to under communication and under reporting of the issue. If there are poor official statistics, the problem is not visible and is not a true representation of the actual problem. The perpetrator on the other hand becomes emboldened. Therefore we need to break our silence and document every instance of harassment and abuse in public spaces so that we can find the most effective solutions at the neighbourhood level.

    Our main objective is to: Create awareness on sexual harassment and abuse and get women and other disadvantaged communities to break their silence and report their personal experiences.

    Collate this information to showcase location based trends, make this information available and useful for individuals, local communities and local administration to solve the problem at the local level.

    Build confidence and self esteem amongst women and girls so that they can fully participate in society and live a better quality of life.

    So far we are the largest crowd map on this issue. We have over 9,000 personal reports from over 50 cities in India, Kenya, Cameroon and Nepal. We have facilitated workshops for over 8000 people ranging from 9 - 60 years of age on the issue of sexual harassment and abuse. We have worked with NGO partners and community groups on deep dive campaigns in 10 neighbourhoods in Mumbai and Delhi each with at least 10,000 families.

    Some success stories: Police in Mumbai changed their beat patrol timings and increased vigilence. Municipal authorities and elected representatives in Delhi assured the community that clean toilets would be made available. Transportation authorities issued “women only” bus licences in Kathmandu. Police in Mumbai, Delhi, Goa and Pune are accepting monthly trend reports of Safecity data. Integrated our child sexual abuse awareness program into the Delhi police’s Parivartan school program. Leadership development amongst young women and men to enable gender equality, prevention of VAW and gender equal spaces. We are extremely active on Twitter and Facebook with a following of over 43,000 young people. We are the winners at the UN Alliance of Civilisation Innovation Award, finalists at the Google Business Group Success Story challenge 2014, Runners up for the Facebook Access Now Social Innovation Award 2014 and winner of the Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award by Dusan Stojanovic.