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Since February, thousands of people and organisations around the world have contributed to the Women’s Safety Challenge, our inaugural Amplify challenge on OpenIDEO. From interviewing a neighbour to brainstorming wearable technology to prototyping community services, it’s been an incredible ride that’s led us to a Shortlist of 15 ideas, each designed to promote safety for women and girls in their own unique way.

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We’re honoured to announce our Shortlisted Ideas – a portfolio of 15 top concepts that are geographically diverse, address the challenge brief through different approaches and demonstrate a high potential to impact the lives of women and girls living in low-income urban areas.

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After an inspiringly productive Refinement phase it's time we turn our attention to the Evaluation phase. While this task is no easy feat it's important that the community weighs in on the impressive Refinement list to evaluate how well they've answered the Challenge criteria. The Amplify Team will soon gather to discuss the shortlist – and the community's answers during the Evaluation phase are an essential piece of the puzzle. Before we get started, we have asked the Amplify Team to provide clarity around the evaluation criteria and to offer some pointers on making the most of the Evaluation phase.

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As part of Amplify’s continuing initiative to support the community for the Women’s Safety Challenge, we offered Office Hours, a one hour video conference, to connect experienced IDEO.org designers with community members. Danny Alexander and John Won sat down to answer community-submitted questions around the challenges faced during the Refinement phase. They used their human-centered design knowledge to provide support around setting up prototypes and scoping ideas for implementation.

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İstanbul calling! In this blogpost I share how to prepare and run a prototype. I have been working on the idea, Women’s Pool: Journey Sharing Platform, where women connect with each other in an easy and safe way and share their journeys! In this prototype we set out to test the following questions: Do women feel safer when traveling together?’ and ‘How might users easily identify the meeting point and other participants?’

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​Over the last several weeks OpenIDEO’s global community has contributed a diverse and innovative spectrum of solutions centered around empowering women and girls in low-income urban areas. With an astounding 585 ideas shared, we are on our way to some truly exciting and inspiring solutions. As the Ideas phase came to a close, the Amplify Team ran a workshop to narrow down which ideas are truly answering the challenge questions most effectively. We explored how well ideas dove into challenge criteria and took into account positive feedback from the community in the Applause phase. After several thoughtful session

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As the Refinement phase approaches, I encourage everyone to reach for pen and paper! In order to make your ideas as clear as possible so that both collaboration and feedback can take place, create a visual presentation such as a storyboard of how users will interact with an idea, step by step. Sketching an idea quick and dirty will help you think visually, share your thoughts effectively, and simply make it easy for the OpenIDEO audience to quickly understand your idea. The aim of making a storyboard is to break down a user’s journey and discover key moments you might want to develop.

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One of the main goals of the Amplify program is to expand challenge participation in new ways – such as by exploring what access looks like for communities with no or limited access to the internet. We are incredibly excited to think about what this means for the diversity of our community. To continue fulfilling this mission, Marika Shioiri-Clark and Shauna Carey, members of the Amplify Team, have gone back to India to prototype the use of radio and Interactive Voice Response IVR systems to invite a diverse set of users to join in the conversation around our Women’s Safety Challenge. Check out this interview about the IVR program and goals:

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With over 300 idea contributions so far, our Women’s Safety Challenge is buzzing with dynamic, thoughtful content. We are inspired to see a healthy mix of existing community members participating, in addition to an influx of new members diving in to expand the conversation around safety for women and girls. As we move towards the final weeks of the Ideas phase, let’s be sure to continue brainstorming around our Opportunity Areas. Whether you’re just joining us in the challenge or have been active in the conversation from the beginning, check out these contribution highlights for some extra inspiration.

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As a part of my Community Prototyper role, I will be prototyping an idea from the Women's Safety Challenge in the field. In my first post I broke down the prototyping process into three steps, the first of which is creating a storyboard of the user journey. Presenting the idea with visuals + language communicates the idea to the audience easier and helps you get to know your user needs in greater depth.

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A significant part of my role as CCC is to highlight stories and good moves within the OpenIDEO community. But today I want to show you a glimpse of my off-platform community – Bombay – and share one example of a network’s potential to make this urban area safer and more empowering for women and girls.

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Now that the Women's Safety Challenge Ideas phase is in full motion, we are excited to sit down with members of the Amplify Team to get an insider's scoop. Nathan Waterhouse (OpenIDEO), Sean Hewens (IDEO.org) and Nicki Goh (UK Department of International Development) share their thoughts with the OpenIDEO community:

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The power of OpenIDEO comes from the open-source environment where all ideators are encouraged to build on the submitted ideas and consequently form teams. In the coming weeks, I will bring together a few ideas and prototype them. I highly encourage everyone to prototype together with me and take the ideas further with a human-centered-approach.

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