Safety in Numbers (Updated)
(Expanded upon since the research phase)
A program that partners women together, like the buddy system, to reduce the chances of being alone. This system can be applied in any country; it will just need to be adapted based on areas that do not have widespread smartphone accessibility.
Women, specifically referring to the US, have the tendency to do everything in groups. Think of the popularity of sororities and the fact that women tend to make trips to the restroom in flocks. This behavior is visible in any circle of female friends. Why not expand this mentality to low-income areas as a safety mechanism for women?
Implementation should not be difficult. The first step would be to find someone to start the community of women. This could be a NGO or other organization that can help to get the word out. The community could essentially be self-sustaining and wouldn't necessarily need a physical location, unless desired. Community members can either call one another or dial into the "home base" in order to secure a "travel buddy" who lives in the same vicinity as them. As a way to prevent any misleading phone calls, the community members could have a special numerical code that is spoken or dialed that grants access to their buddy. This also plays off the theme of the idea: "Safety in Numbers."
The implementation can be two-fold:
(1) For those with access to smartphones, there can be an app that will geolocate buddies based on location. The same code could be applied in order to grant access to reduce the chances of non-community members from tapping in.
(2) For areas with limited smartphone availability, we can simply use a physical location or the use of a simple SMS device in order to call into the "home base."
Explain your idea in one sentence.
An organized, members-only community of women which offers the opportunity for women to pair up with one another (ideally based on location/vicinity) in order to travel from place to place together.
What is the need you are trying to solve?
(1) Lessen likelihood that women will be traveling alone
(2) Decrease women's chances of being found in dangerous situations
(3) Create a strong sense of community and a strong support network for women
Who will benefit from this idea and how would you monitor its success?
Success will be monitored by the level of participation. The larger the community, the lesser the odds that women will find themselves alone in dangerous situations.
Who would be best equipped to implement this idea in the real world? You? Your organisation? Another organisation or entity?
A NGO or other organization should implement this "Safety in Numbers" idea. Once the app or location is developed, it should be relatively self-sufficient and inexpensive.
Where should this idea be implemented?
The beauty is that this idea can be implemented in any country as long as there is at least access to some sort of phone/device.
How might you prototype this idea and test some of the assumptions behind it?
The idea can start at a local college to see if the community idea will catch on. It would be interesting to start with the app idea in order to test the prototype, measure the number of downloads/usage, etc.