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Aurat Raaj (Women Rulers) Founder - Saba Khalid

Producing animated content to educate girls about nutrition, sexual and reproductive health, gender inequality & empowerment through sports.

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What problem does your innovation solve?

Girls from many developing countries living in conflict situations or refugees are often unaware about reproductive/sexual health, harassment and many suffer from menstrual hygiene related problems. Animated content can talk about these sensitive topics in an engaging and creative way that makes them want to watch, listen and learn.

Explain your innovation.

Our basic idea is education through storytelling and storytelling has the power to bring the educational objectives to life Stories are showcased from the girl's diverse backgrounds so they are far more relatable than other cartoons. Storytelling makes learning more engaging and effective, especially those in areas of social deprivation. Animations can help learners come to understand complex ideas more easily. It can be sustainable if we include various partners/brands on each episode. For instance, an episode about menstrual hygience can be sponsored by a certain brand of sanitary pads. An episode on cycling to school can be sponsored by a cycling company. An episode on self-defense learning in order to be independent and not scared of sexual harassment can be sponsored by a safety app or self defense school. Therefore, every subject that is touched upon can be financial reimbursed by a partner and their brand can be very strategically and subtly advertised within the storyline. There is also no end to the kind of storylines that can be made. We can spinoff from one character's storyline to someone else connected to them and explore their story as well.

Who benefits?

We would like to start implementing our innovation in Pakistan with girls living in refugee & IDP camps. The girls who we plan to target with this series are from the ages of 8-15. This is the age where they start their first period, deal with the onset of puberty, and are often confused about all the changes happening to them. We plan to make at least 24 episodes and after playing each episode, we open the classroom to discussion and questions. Watching the episode should be made optional and we would like to measure success by seeing whether girls turn up to see the web episode each week by themselves.

How is your innovation unique?

Instead of showing these taboo topics through courses, curriculum or an uncomfortable conversation between teacher and students, animation does the job very easily. Making a video with live actors requires huge budgets and takes very long to make as it requires editing, cinematography and shooting in locations that are relevant to the audience. But with animation all of this can be done very easily and quickly.

What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?

We often we feel insecure about our own security because we are addressing some taboo topics in very conservative societies. It takes us a very long time to figure out best to create stories around such sensitive topics which do not oppose religious and society values in some inconsiderate way.

Tell us more about you.

We are a digital content platform that uses creative storytelling (animation) & Artificial intelligence to educate, empower & entertain girls from developing countries.

What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?

  • Prolonged displacement

Emergency Setting - Elaborate

While the webseries can be circulated easily on digital medium i.e phones, laptops etc, we can also go to schools which are in slums and refugee camps and use portable projectors to show such series. Watching a series together is also a bonding experience and it can lead to the teacher or counselor asking them if they have any questions relating to the animation they just watched. Overall, the series will provide girls in difficult situations with hope, inspiration & information.

Where will your innovation be implemented?

Anywhere where there is inequality, educational inadequacies, violence against girls, intolerance, our animation can be screened. This is especially true in South Asia developing countries such as India, Pakistan, SriLanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, etc where language is different but culture is similar. Each episode can be translated into a different language to be shown to a different audience. Our first episode is translated into English, Urdu & are working on Sindhi, Balochi, Gujrati and Punjabi.

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

In-country Networks

Our animated content was shared by UN Pakistan & UN Asia Pacific. We have partnered with NGOs working in sexual and reproductive health including Aahung We have been incubated at The NEST i/o in Karachi where we work from

Sector Expertise - Elaborate

Our core team of founders from Aurat Raaj (auratraaj.com) are from Pakistan & Germany. Saba is a journalist from Karachi reporting on local & international news. Tino comes with 4 years of experience as chief editor at IGN Germany & currently heading movies, games & entertainment at Stroer Media Brand in Germany. Ali Abbas is an animator with brilliant video editing skills. Together we conceive concepts & developed the series RAAJI about a young girl who is an honor killing survivor.

Innovation Maturity

  • Existing Prototype or Pilot: I have tested a part of my solution with users and am iterating.

Organization Status

  • We are a registered for-profit company (including social enterprises).

Organization Location

Headoffice: 3rd Floor, CitiView Building,Naheed Supermarket، Shaheed-e-Millat Rd، Karachi, Pakistan

Website

www.auratraaj.com

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Expert Feedback Question 4: In your expert opinion, does this Idea pass the ‘do no harm’ principles? Do you believe that there may be any unseen or undocumented risks?

- Experts shared, “In many families, mobile phones are shared by multiple people, meaning that the families of the girls may see what the girls are looking at, and may be unhappy with the content delivered to the girls through the app. if the content is viewed in a school or group setting, it may put the students and/or teachers at risk, because addressing these issues is a potential reason for backlash. I am not clear how the team plan to ensure the safety of the people viewing the content, whilst ensuring that the content is accurate. The team state that they are adapting the content to meet local cultural norms. I would like to know that the content was still safe and effective.”

- Another expert shared, “There may be some undocumented risks relating to do no harm principles. The description provided in this idea submission relates to the team themselves often feeling insecure due to the taboo issues they are raising - a legitimate risk to be raising in Pakistan. As 'it takes us a very long time to figure out best to create stories around such sensitive topics which do not oppose religious and society values', it would be useful to know what process the team takes (ie through the HCD process) to decide on these.”


Expert Feedback Question 5: Based on your experience and expertise, is this an Idea that you’d like to see brought to life? Why or why not?

- One expert shared, “The content seems likely to help the girls. However, the delivery mechanisms have the potential to put the girls at risk of violence. I would like to see more consideration given to how to deliver the content safely.”

- Another shared, “Yes. While animated stories on women's rights issues are not new themselves (and there are already some in Pakistan), this is an interesting and new way to connect users or potential users of the site to more context to enhance their practical learning.”


Looking ahead in the development of your Idea, the following are some questions that may be helpful to consider and integrate into your contribution!

- Do many girls who living under very strict rules have access to their own smartphones or computers in a way that would allow them to access this content
- Are there other more accessible deliver mechanisms that could be considered for delivering the same content? How might the viability of animation through be tested as a delivery mechanism?
- How will you address the problem of ensuring that the girls can access the content safely, especially considering the fact that many girls may share a mobile phone, and schools may be monitored? Who is in control of ensuring the content is relevant to the target audience? Will the content based on information that is both culturally relevant and medically accurate?
- The heading of the challenge idea is about 'animated content to educate girls about nutrition, sexual and reproductive health, gender inequality & empowerment through sports', however, nowhere in the pitch deck or text or video is there anything related to sports. Elaborating on this would be helpful. - Could you provide more details in the challenge idea, and the pitch deck, on how you use a human centered design approach? This could include, for instance, what you use the chat bot and AI for, and how these are used (eg how does this information feed into choice of content on the website)?

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