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Neighbour, Neighbour

Promoting a sense of comfort and security by using safety and economic incentives to re-build social trust within Trinidad & Tobago

Photo of Zindzi
3 4

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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

The high incidences of violence, along with increasing challenges in securing economic opportunities within Trinidad & Tobago, have increased the sense of insecurity throughout the country. After conducting some interviews with members of the community on the impact of violence on their lives, it became increasingly apparent that individuals primarily felt at-risk of violence during the periods in which they were in-transit. Thus, in order to limit their exposure to security risks, people reduced their participation in social and community events (effectively, increasing social isolation and diminishing the social fabric of the country).
As such, Neighbour, Neighbour is a mobile platform that aims to promote a sense comfort and peace of mind by specifically targeting concerns during these heightened periods of uncertainty. Through the use of safety and economic incentives, the platform aims to reduce barriers that may hinder in-person socialization in order to help maintain and re-build trust among members of the community. For example, through the platform, people can share and monitor the whereabouts of friends and family while they are in-transit; and as Neighbour, Neighbour users who are promoted as trusted members of their community, they can earn some money by helping people who are more risk averse to drop-off and collect goods and items such as groceries, documents and street food. In doing so, Neighbour Neighbour can help to foster in-person interactions, which can help to improve social cohesion as well as provide individuals with an opportunity to earn an income.
(See the attached video for a brief explanation of the project)

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our beneficiaries include members of the general public, with a specific emphasis on parents and their children, as well as women, within populated cities and towns. The major cities and towns include Port-of-Spain, Arima and Chaguanas.
Beneficiaries can gain an improved sense of comfort and safety so that they will be more willing to participate in social and community activities. They can also gain an opportunity to earn an income from helping out other members of their community.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

Members of the community have used a combination of both technology and community-driven resources to help mitigate their concerns about violence, such as social media platforms to share incidences of violence, neighbourhood watch groups, and government-driven initiatives. However, a national poll showed that about 7 out of 10 people still believe that violence is the single most pressing issue in the country (in 2017).
The project research indicated that the sense of insecurity was heightened during periods in which people are travelling. This may help to explain why the current options do not sufficiently address security concerns: they are not targeted to periods when people are in-transit (e.g., neighbourhood watch groups), or the objectives are too long-term (e.g., government initiatives). Thus, Neighbour, Neighbour attempts to address these gaps by specifically targeting periods when people feel most vulnerable, and by focusing on the social dynamics that influence engagement.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Prototype: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

The focus of the organization is to strengthen social resilience through culture and innovation.
Website: http://neighbour-neighbour.com/

Expertise in sector

  • 1-2 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered company.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

The impact of violence on our daily lives has been a regular point of discussion (and concern) among friends and family for several years. Almost everyone that I came in contact with either experienced, or knew a close family member who experienced, some sort of violence – including myself. Thus, while studying conflict in graduate school, I decided to look for innovative ways to apply my studies to the key issue of violence in my country, which led to the start of this project.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

Peace is influenced by complex domestic and global factors including gang violence, and transnational crime, contributing to one of the highest homicide rates in the world on a per capita basis, and affecting almost every segment of the country’s population of 1.3 million. As a consequence, the sense of safety and peace of mind at the individual-level is being diminished.

Prosperity is heavily influenced by the success of a single industry and the relatively high transaction costs of conducting trade in a small country. Security concerns have also increased transaction costs, which has amplified the risks of creating or participating in certain economic opportunities, and exacerbated existing concerns about high levels of inequality.

Thus, by facilitating connections between individuals, Neighbour, Neighbour aims to help to reduce transaction costs and enable income-generating opportunities in other sectors of the economy, while working to re-build trust among members of society

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

The project has engaged with various members of the community in order to understand their concerns about violence, and how it has influenced their behavior. These include men, women, small business owners, students, professionals, parents and the elderly. This stakeholder engagement (in the form of interviews) was used to help create an initial prototype of the mobile application. The project will continue to engage members of the community to facilitate the build and launch of the mobile application.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

There are several key strengths within the community which include:
- Adults and young adults who are technologically savvy and are actively interested in addressing the concerns about violence
- Technology infrastructure (such as mobile internet services) that exists and is prevalent throughout the country
- Young people with the time and skills to provide support to complete job requests

Geographic Focus

Trinidad & Tobago

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

I anticipate that the project can be launched within 30 months. These 30 months include activities such as updating the prototype based on additional user feedback, designing the technology architecture, and building the application.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

Attachments (1)

NN_Explainer.mp4

A short video describing the Neighbour, Neighbour project

3 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Colleen Striegel
Team

Hello Zindzi,
I am very interested in your project because it is mobilizing neighbours to protect each other. My project is about protective accompaniment for refugee woman and girls as they go about their daily survival tasks of collecting water, firewood and food to protect them from sexual exploitation and abuse. So I am particularly interested in knowing more about how your incentive plan works. How does a neighbour, earn money in the Neighbor, Neighbour program?
Thanks,
Colleen

Photo of Zindzi
Team

Hi Colleen,

Great question! Users earn money when they complete a request to drop-off or collect goods, such as groceries or documents. These requests (and thus, payments) would be made by those who are less willing to do the same. I've identified specific segments of the population that have the assets and risk profile to play this role.

Is your primary interest in finding ways to encourage people to accompany refugee women and girls? Or are you also trying to figure out a financially sustainable model for the program? If it's the latter, it may be helpful to map out how your project connects to different stakeholders and identify common needs. If it's the former, there may be non-financial ways to do so.

Feel free to let me know if you'd like to chat about it. You're filling a really important gap for vulnerable women!

Best,
Zindzi

Photo of Colleen Striegel
Team

Hi Zindzi,
Thank you for your response. Our project idea is currently in the initial design stage so we do not have the incentive program fully developed yet. We have been thinking about non-monetary incentives for volunteer protectors but we have also been pondering a monetary incentive system as well. When I saw your project, I was curious about how you were going to do this. We will be figuring this out in the next phase of the project. Your explanation was helpful. Thanks again! Colleen