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Updated 26th May: Women SIREN Project: Women SMS for Immediate Response & Empowerment Networking

Wanjiku, a 58 years old single mother of four was gang raped by a group of five youth in turns, and infected with HIV, while heading to her roadside point of selling groceries in Korogocho. Women of Wanjikus age has been targeted by young criminals who believe that raping an elderly woman brings good luck prior to executing criminal activities in up-market estates in Nairobi. Unfortunately, out of fear of reprisal from perpetrators of violence, slum residents in crime hot spots usually go silent the moment a woman like Wanjiku makes a distress call for help. This project therefore exists to reverse the culture of silence to not only a culture of rapid action against violence but also behaviour change amongst the perpetrators.

Photo of Aggrey Willis
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Provide a short description of your idea

My idea is to set up the women SIREN project which is a community based rapid response system through which street vendors witnessing a woman being attacked, discreetly sends a text for free to a special code that rapidly mobilizes community action to save the woman under attack as the text automatically goes to: the police station at the chief camp in Korogocho; the leader of the village policing unit; a local community radio that will be making breaking news announcements about the attack; and also triggers the siren alarm closest to the woman under attack to not only scare off the attackers but also direct the patrolling police officers to the exact location of the attack as men come out blowing whistles and carrying red cards for the perpetrators.

Get a user's perspective on your idea.

Anne Mbala, captured well the users perspectives during our prototyping sessions when she said," I have been saving every day Ksh 100 from my business which I usually take to my support group every Saturday to collectively give to other group members on a rotation basis as part of our merry-go-round practice. Unfortunately, most of us, including myself is guilty of not using the money to invest back into our business. Most of the time, we use the money to buy clothes or house hold items. I am now glad to be a member of Korogocho United Savings & Credit Cooperative (SACCO), as it will make me to save some portion of my income for reinvestment purposes." "I have been very happy giving security to pregnant women so that they do not fear going to the hospitals, as these women are our sisters, aunties and mums. But sometimes we are overwhelmed since we have to practice football and play games in the many tournaments that we engage in, it was therefore a good idea, that we also reach out to men who come to watch us play, so that they too can become Anti- GBV champions not perpetrators," says Kikas, the team captain for Korogocho United Foot Ball Club. From 28th to 30th May 2014, I will be attending a global meeting on violence against children as part of the Kenyan delegation to Swaziland. As a result, I took advantage of the planning meetings where we prepared the Kenyan position paper to share with others in the Kenyan delegation about this project, " This projeject is timely as we are going to keep stock of the achievements we have done as a country to protect our girls against violence, especially in the background of Boko Haram kidnapping over 276 children in Nigeria. The idea of snake & ladder games with anti - GBV messages is great as it will go along way in enacting behaviour change in children at tender age. However, what needs to be included in the project is to conform it with the national action plan on violence against children, and involvement of more stakeholders," says Mary, a government representative The idea will target women street vendors and work with them to recruit other women (especially those whom they have saved from GBV); reach out to men vendors; and their spouses. Most of these women are widows, single mothers and are from poor slum communities. Through the saving groups, they will be able to meet with others on a weekly basis to not only save and learn of more better ways to improve their businesses but also discuss about the prevalence of gender based violence in their communities and how to avert it through this project idea. They shall thus work with the project committee to also reach out to school children in order to instil in them positive attitude towards women at an early stage.

Show us what implementation might look like.

Implementation plan with timelines are uploaded under the additional files section below.
HOW WOMEN SIREN PROJECT WILL WORK?

Preparation & designing stage of the Women SIREN project
  • A project commitee has already been formed to carry out the project implementation
  • A logical framework and detailed process maps will be done with the key stakeholders with timelines on how and when to implement specific activities
  • Pambazuko Mashinani takes the lead to develop behaviour change communication strategy targeting men in the slums
  • Software adaptation and installation for the SIREN project
  • Community mapping of hot spots in the community
  • Installation of discreet sirens in the crime hot spots around the slums
  • Setting up of GBV help desk at the local police station
  • Identification of women merry go round groups
  • Project commitee trains key stakeholders: local police officers, community radio journalists and community policing units on how to manage and respond to the SIREN alerts from street vendors
  • Participatory designing of innovative IEC materials that may include: posters, fliers, brochures, red cards for men & t/shirts 
Enhanced community mobilization & awareness
  • Conducting community conversations with men facilitated by women on GBV and women empowerment
  • Community mobilization strategy work with local women groups, community organizations, vigilante groups, local administration offices, police officers, health centers etc
  • Breaking alerts through community radio public announcements whenever a woman is under attack
  • Public awareness through community radio weekly programming on Safety & Women Empowerment that has an audience of at least 650,000
  • Bulk SMS to 25,000 community members on a weekly basis on safety and women empowerment issues affecting the community
  • Online mapping of text alerts coming from the women street vendors for policy advocacy
  • Public meetings organized by local administrators to discuss GBV
  • E-newsletters emailed to 350,000 men and women on a monthly basis to show case lessons learnt from the project
  • Blowing of whistles and brandishing red cards that will be given to the perpetrators by men
  • Playing of edutainment board games with GBV messages targeting school children
  • Look into Nepal, Women for Human Rights, http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/research/overcoming-the-widow-stigma-in-nepal  for comparison 
Enhanced safety & Socio-Economic empowerment of street vendors
  • Discrete texting to a code by roadside vendors the moment they see another woman is under attack in the streets
  • Rapid response from the community whenever a woman is under attack
  • Training of street vendors  representatives as Trainer of Trainers to facilitate GBV & entrepreneurship workshops during their weekly meetings, and community conversations with men
  • Organizing of the existing many merry go round groups (these are table banking groups started by roadside vendors) in the slum to form and register a saving & credit society in order for their informal groups to receive government support
  • Support women to bank a portion of their weekly table banking savings through the SACCO
  • Support women to improve their roadside businesses by accessing credit from the SACCO
  • Work with the SACCO leadership to support its members (roadside vendors) to participate in texting the SIREN alerts, sustain and scale up the SIREN project in other slums
  • Adopt the empathy toolkit: http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/research/walk-in-her-shoes. “The walk in her shoes” toolkit is very important for dialogue for sessions, support groups and transforming their insecurity into opportunities as a team Community Outreach and Support
Prototyping
  • Leverage the use of simple technology-  women text distress alerts on behalf of their colleagues who are under attack; sending weekly bulk SMS to randomly selected community members; crowd-mapping of hot spots in the slums for policy advocacy; weekly banking of the table banking savings through Mpesa; and sharing best practices through websites, e-newsletters and social media platforms  
  • Improve adult learning methodologies and tools for ToTs, guidelines for merry go round weekly meetings that are the corner stone for safety and women empowerment in the slums
  • Designing of advocacy, behaviour Change Communication and Social Mobilization strategies  for both men and women to curb violence against women  in the slums
  • Saving & credit scheme guidelines and sourcing for seed financing  for local women to enhance their socio economic empowerment

Our needs include
  • Technology design and integration into the SIREN platform
  • Pambazuko Mashinani to prototype on empathy tool and other guides for sessions, merry go round groups and formation of the SACCO

I am therefore welcoming you and the entire OpenIDEO to help build and make this idea a reality. If its an exciting idea, kindly dont forget to press the applause button too.

Does the idea make women feel safer; how can we make it work better? Are there any other new technologies we can introduce to ensure that information and communication is effectively shared? How can women sustain their engagement in ‘Women SIREN project’ to be cradle for creating GBV Free Slums?
updated 26th May 2014

Explain your idea in one sentence.

The women SIREN project is a community based rapid response system through which street vendors witnessing a woman being attacked, discreetly sends a text message for free to a special code that rapidly mobilizes community action to save the woman under attack thus creating GBV free slums in Kenya.

What is the need you are trying to solve?

Wanjiku, a 58 years old single mother of four was gang raped and infected with HIV, while heading to her roadside point of selling groceries in Korogocho. Women of Wanjikus age has been targeted by young criminals who believe that raping a woman of her age brings good luck prior to executing their criminal activities in up-market estates in Nairobi. Wanjiku is a case study in point representing hundreds of women and girls who silently go through all manner of Gender Based Violence in the slum. Out of fear of reprisal from perpetrators of violence, slum communities usually go silent the moment a woman under attack makes a distress call for help. This is in spite of the fact that women are the back bone of slum economies. In Korogocho slum where I grew up, just like many other slums in Kenya, you will meet thousands of women selling goods along the streets. Hundreds of these street vendors watch silently as other women, who are easy targets, are maimed and even killed by criminals in the streets, and go on with their daily activities as if nothing has happened. The SIREN project therefore empowers the women to act by mobilizing community action to rapidly save a woman under attack thus creating GBV free slums in Kenya.

Who will benefit from this idea and how would you monitor its success?

The entire slum communities will benefit. When women are safe, they will have time to indulge more aggressively in generating income for their families given that most slum families are headed by women either defacto or dejure. However, slum women who are usually vulnerable to street attacks will be the ultimate beneficiaries. The primary benefactors are the women street vendors who will be empowered with technology and means to mobilize community action for safety and economic empowerment of women in the slums. Men too will be targeted with behaviour change communication so that they can not only respond to help a woman under attack but also reach out to other men to address issues of GBV and women empowerment in the slum. Local government officers such as the chief and local police officers will be encouraged to establish a GBV help desk in their offices to respond to cases emanating from the community in a quick and professional manner. A local community radio will be supported to develop an interactive weekly safety and women empowerment radio programs through which gender specialists will be regularly invited to give talks determined by the kind of text alerts sent by the street vendors. The members of the public will be able to ask questions and seek for clarifications through the call-in session. NGOs and community based organizations will get an opportunity to be part of the working group to create “GBV free slums” that will also include representatives of the women groups, police, village elders, Chief and the private sector that will have the responsibility of working with Pambazuko Mashinani in sustaining the project. Pambazuko Mashinani will designate a program officer to coordinate the project, lead the participatory implementation process, monitor and evaluate project activities in collaboration with other stakeholders. Field reports from the volunteer ToTs who shall be attending and facilitating the merry go round meetings will be filed on a weekly basis. Data gathered from the SMS alerts sent by women into the SIREN system will also be analyzed, acted upon and documented for best practice sharing. Prior to project execution, a log frame will be developed through which Pambazuko Mashinani leadership and other stakeholders will be able to measure results against project indicators. Quarterly narrative and financial reports will be generated and shared with key stakeholders. Both pre and post evaluation surveys will be done in order to ascertain the impact of the project.

Who would be best equipped to implement this idea in the real world? You? Your organisation? Another organisation or entity?

As an expert in Communications for Development, including ICT for development, I will be part of the team that implements the idea. However, for sustainability purposes, existing women merry go round groups popularly known as women chamas, the local police station and community radio station will be key in working with other community members in safety organizing and implementing the SIREN project. The women merry go round groups will be mobilized and organized to form and register a Savings & Credit Cooperative (SACCO) Society that will play an important role of not only economically empowering the women to improve their businesses but also be the rallying point through which the SIREN project can be replicated in other slums throughout the country. The SACCO will also be in the fore front in partnering with others, raise resources from members and enhance goodwill for the project beyond the piloting stage.

Where should this idea be implemented?

This project idea will be first piloted in Korogocho slum. It shall then be replicated in all the major slums in the country as the main goal is to create “GBV Free slums in Kenya”.

How might you prototype this idea and test some of the assumptions behind it?

I have been successfully making use of SMS texting as a way of gathering information from the community members that my project team members act on through the telemedicine project (Please watch how the SMS texting works as was covered by CNN http://edition.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/international/2013/10/14/spc-african-voices-aggrey-otieno-c.cnn.html). Please also read the following article on the Guardian Newspapers ( http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/28/kenya-westgate-maternal-infant-mortality) Using the same technology, we will now scale up the project to also include the use of SMS texting as described under the Women SIREN idea. All the people reporting through the SMS platform will do so for FREE. The texting costs shall be incurred by Pambazuko Mashinani. However, negotiations are under way with one of the leading mobile phone service providers in Kenya to defray the SMS costs as part of their corporate social responsibility in order to sustain the project. The SMS will be texted discreetly and in confidence so that the identity of those volunteering information is not disclosed. Through the mother-to-mother support groups that we have under the telemedicine project, women in Korogocho have been meeting on a weekly basis to discuss issues affecting their Maternal and Child Health. One thing that we have learnt in these groups is that women usually share all their weekly savings through table banking, without leaving a portion for future investments. Anne Mbala, captured it well during our prototyping sessions when she said," I have been saving every day Ksh 100 from my business which I usually take to my support group every Saturday to collectively give to other group members on a rotation basis as part of our merry-go-round practice. Unfortunately, most of us, including myself is guilty of not using the money to invest back into our business. Most of the time, we use the money to buy clothes or house hold items. I am now glad to be a member of Korogocho United Savings & Credit Cooperative (SACCO), as it will make me to save some portion of my income for reinvestment purposes." Korogocho United Football Club that I founded sometimes back has been in the fore front providing security to pregnant women who are on their way to attend Ante-Natal Clinics. (Please read the article published on the Guardian newspapers on the football club http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2012/dec/19/kenya-korogocho-united-slum-reform-nairobi). While continuing to work with the football clum members, other men from Korogocho will be trained to become Anti- GBV champions. "I have been very happy giving security to pregnant women so that they do not fear going to the hospitals, as these women are our sisters, auties and mums. But sometimes we are overwhelmed since we have to practice football and play games in the many tournaments that we engage in, it was therefore a good idea, that we also reach out to men who come to watch us play, so that they too can become Anti- GBV champions not perpetrators," says Kikas, the team captain. These male champions will reach out to male vendors to also participate in the project. Every year during the 16 days of activism on Violence Against Women, we shall honor the most active male champions, and community groups including women who have been in the fore front creating GBV free slums in Kenya. Thanks to the many feed back we got on this forum, we have now formed Anti- GBV committee in Korogocho that is made up of representatives from the following institutions: Chief, police, youth groups, women groups, Pambazuko Mashinani, religious leader and a village elder. The role of this committee is to ensure that the project objectives are achieved, that there is community participation and ownership of the project right from the conceptualization stage, as we had done during the prototyping period. Each committee member has designated roles in the project. For example, Benard Gachie and Edward Smart, have during the prototyping stage mobilized other Korogocho residents, and mostly women through their merry go round groups (some of which are street vendors) to join the SACCO whose registration is under way. Please see our Face Book page for more details ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/587239298028474/). So far, 143 people have joined the SACCO, and they meet regularly in Pambazuko Mashinani offices in Kariobangi. Through this video clip, you will see other initiatives that I have engaged in, including the community radio station through which community alerts and weekly programming on GBV shall be broadcasted. Towards the end of the video, you will watch the area chief talking on how successful, the projects that I have initiated in Korogocho has been. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oplc8vLJ18s)The chief is a member of the project committee. Updated 26th May 2014.

What might a day in the life of a community member interacting with your idea look like?

Jacinta is a street vendor along the streets of Korogocho. She sees Wanjiku being attacked and sends a text message discreetly to the special code. She continues with her work, so no one knows that she has sent a text message. David, the officer who mans the central computer system at Pambazuko Mashinani offices sees the alert and virtually monitors the response of other community members, as he verifies with known community volunteers through a phone call that indeed someone is under attack. David, quickly approves the text message to go to the police, village policing leader and the community radio, and also triggers the siren. Charles, a radio presenter in a local community radio station sees the alert and starts broadcasting about the incidence through the radio that has an audience of 600,000 people. The area chief also receives an alert together with the officer in charge of the police at the chief camp, who then radios the police patrolling the area to quickly respond, together with the leader of the village policing unit. The attacker is then apprehended, and Wanjiku is rescued, sent for counseling depending on the type of GBV attack meted out on her, whereas Pambazuko Mashinani officials hands over a red card with anti-GBV messages to the attacker. Jacinta is recruited to join other women who are street vendors to join the Korogocho SACCO where her entrepreneurial skills, opportunities for regular savings and access to credit will be improved. The SACCO will also be a forum of discussing gender based violence response at the community level together with men who shall be targeted by behavior change communication. updated 26th May 2014

Evaluation results

8 evaluations so far

1. Does this idea have the potential to impact the lives of low-income women and girls living in urban areas?

Yes, the idea clearly targets low-income women and girls living in urban areas. - 100%

The idea targets women and girls but isn’t necessarily focused on those living in low-income urban areas. - 0%

The idea targets people living in low-income urban areas but doesn’t seem to benefit women and girls specifically. - 0%

2. Does this idea describe a set of next steps and a timeline to accomplish them?

The idea clearly outlines next steps, the resources and team needed to execute them and a timeline to accomplish this. - 87.5%

The idea gives a broad explanation of what it hopes to accomplish but there is no clear timeline or activities to reach its desired goal. - 12.5%

The idea has not clearly articulated what the next steps are. - 0%

3. How feasible would it be to implement a pilot of this idea in the next 12-18 months?

Very feasible – the next steps described in the contribution seem achievable in this time period. - 100%

A pilot appears feasible but more work needs to be done to figure out how it would be executed. - 0%

The idea is not ready to be piloted yet – the concept needs several more months of user feedback and prototyping to be ready for a pilot. - 0%

4. Does this idea bring a new and fresh approach to the city or region in which it’s set?

Yes, this idea appears to be new and innovative! I’m not aware of other ideas in this city or region that address this need using a similar approach. - 100%

There are other initiatives doing similar work in this area – but this idea targets a new group or has an updated approach. - 0%

I can think of many initiatives addressing the same need using a similar approach in the same region. - 0%

5. How scalable is this idea across regions and cultures?

This is an idea that could help women and girls in many different cities. I can see it being implemented across multiple regions and cultures. - 87.5%

Maybe but I’d imagine it would need very significant changes. - 12.5%

The idea is really only suited for one specific region / population. - 0%

6. Overall, how do you feel about this concept?

I love this idea! - 100%

I liked it but preferred others. - 0%

It didn't get me so excited. - 0%

50 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congratulations on making it to the Women's Safety Challenge Refinement list! We like the way that you have linked this idea with existing initiatives and thought about the relevance of the technology to the local context. Can you tell us about any similar initiatives that rely on communities to report things that they witness – have these succeeded and if so, how have people been incentivised to actually report things that they witness? Will those reporting violence be able to do so with confidence that there will be some response from local authorities, but also that there will not be likely retaliation from perpetrators who suspect that they were involved in the reporting? Perhaps you could tell us a little more about how you would establish partnerships with the various groups – the police, radio stations, SACCOs, village policing units, mobile network operators and the women themselves? Also, perhaps you could think a little more about how this service would be funded - would the SMSs be free for those reporting the violence? If so, how would they be funded over the longer term? Please let us know what your testing has taught you so far and what project beneficiaries have fed back to you. For more tips for this Refinement phase, check out http://ideo.pn/ws-refine-tips and catch our Tools for Refinement at http://openideo.com/content/tools-for-the-womens-safety-challenge-refinement-phase.

Photo of Aggrey Willis
Team

Thanks alot to the openideo community for the honor to be at the refinement stage. I have been away prototyping and engaging in other field activities, as a result I have been away from this site for a while. I am going to include your concerns in the project as i refine it.

Photo of Luisa Fernanda
Team

Looking forward to reading your update. When you update your idea add Updated on + date, this way it will be easier for readers to notice that you have updated your idea.

Photo of Luisa Fernanda
Team

Aggrey,
Is great to see your implementation timeline. Do you have any pictures from the prototypes you carried out? What have you prototyped so far?
Do you already have partnerships with the police and radio stations?
There are different components to this idea, The SMS interaction, the radio alert, the physical sirens, organizing street vendors, community mapping, women groups. Are there any of this in place? Are you currently working with street vendors, women groups or community mapping?

Please remember that the Amplify grants are designed to be roughly between $50,000 and $100,000 each for pilots between 12 to 18 months.
Do you see your idea being piloted in this time frame with these resources? Do you have a team in place?
Looking forward to understanding how these different components of your idea will be developed for a pilot or if you have existing partnerships, team and resources in place.

If not is there a way you can simplify the idea for a pilot?

Tip:Focus on the most important aspect of your idea. For example, the police notification +physical siren , learn how it works and then focus on scaling features.
Keep up the great work,
Luisa

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Would be great if you can fill out the two additional sections in the submission form: Show Us What Implementation Might Look Like + Get a User's Perspective on Your Idea. We're sure you've got further insights to share for both sections, ahead of our Evaluation phase which starts in a couple of days.

Photo of Aggrey Willis
Team

Thanks Meena. I have now updated the two sections that were remaining.

Photo of Luisa Fernanda
Team

Looking forward to reading your update. When you update your idea add Updated on + date, this way it will be easier for readers to notice that you have updated your idea.

Photo of Aggrey Willis
Team

Thank Luisa. I kept one forgetting to include the date. Noted.

Photo of Mathieu Chevalier
Team

Hi Aggrey, I really love your idea, congrats. Would you like to work on an experience map (http://bit.ly/1lmmFk0) ? I can help sketching it if you want. Just let me know !

Photo of Aggrey Willis
Team

Thanks Mathieu...I looked at the doc that you shared and its great. I have been in places with limited internet and electricity connection so been away from this site for a while. I will really appreciate your help in sketching it. Many thanks

Photo of Luisa Fernanda
Team

Great to see this collaboration. Looking forward to see the experience map.

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Awesome offer, Mathieu and great news that you're keen Aggrey. Bring on the collaboration – that's what OpenIDEIO is all about!

Photo of Jamie Beck Alexander
Team

Hi Aggrey, this idea was highlighted on our blog today: http://openideo.com/blog/womens-safety-ideas-we-love!

I was wondering if you might want to 'Update' your post with some of the feedback, ideas, and questions raised below. I'd love to see how your thinking on this idea is evolving based on the feedback of this fantastic community!

Photo of Aggrey Willis
Team

Thanks Jamie. I have been away in the field, and now am back. Will be soon updating and refining the project idea

Photo of Congmin Liang
Team

Thank you for sharing these information to us, which is really great. For women who live in Africa, the safety is the very big problem that they need to face, and the information you provide are really true and some of us might not know about it. And I am looking forward to see how is this idea go, and Interesting collection.

Photo of Aggrey Willis
Team

Thanks alot Congmin.

Photo of Philip Sunil Urech
Team

Dear Aggrey,

I would like to compliment on your refreshing ideas - I was stoked to learn about the role of female street vendors, and how you plan to use elements of direct action whenever someone is under attack.

Regarding the proposed breaking alerts through community radio public announcements - how do you plan to preserve the victims privacy (if this is an issue at all), and how do you ensure that public intervention stays constructive and does not create a mob?

As both our projects try to leverage the concept of civil courage I am keen to follow your progress. Best success!

I am contributing to the Crowdguard project - we aim to reinvent the geo-based smart phone alarm app for low- and no- feature phone users. Please have a look at http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/applause/crowdguard-app-reinvent-the-geo-based-smart-phone-alarm-app-for-low-and-no-feature-phones, I would love to hear your feedback.

Photo of Aggrey Willis
Team

Thanks Phillip. I have been in some remote places with limited internet access. Checking your idea out then shall give you my feedback asap.

Photo of George Zaloom
Team

Hey Aggrey great idea -- I think our concepts would be very compatible. Would you like out join our team?

Photo of Kosia Oshiro
Team

Excellent!

Photo of Rohith Rai
Team

Hello Aggrey,

A good concept for future use. I have my classmates who are working on a similar concept that would send out buzzers all around the place, and to the local police nearby.
http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/ideas/buzzer-phone
This is the idea, and the team members are listed below. Hope you can help each other and implement it well.
Good Luck.

Photo of Nancy Ogundimu
Team

Interesting concept. This is also a first especially for women in Africa where talking about rape further stigmatizes the victim. Hopefully, this takes off and then moves to other parts of Africa.

Photo of David Conrad
Team

An innovative and important initiative! And you certainly have the ability and experience to make it happen. I also would like to lend my full support where I can. This project deserves to move forward. Onward!

Photo of Aggrey Willis
Team

Asante David. It will surely move forward. We are hitting the ground this Saturday to test some of the ideas and get responses from project beneficiaries.

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congrats on this post being today's Featured Contribution!

Photo of Aggrey Willis
Team

Thanks OpenIDEO team.

Photo of Joel Gingery
Team

Thank you, Aggrey, for sharing your innovative ideas to address the acute problem. I have seen innovative ideas on this site that map incidents if that would be of help. You undoubtedly have you hands full, but In the longer term I'm wondering if it would be useful to establish the root cause(s) of the problem? Possibilities to consider may be using the Institutional Analysis Framework (Practical Help) or perhaps Safe Cities to help suggest a strategic course of action .

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Do you have links for those resources, Joel? Sound very interesting and may be of use to many folk collaborating across our challenge.

Photo of Joel Gingery
Team

Sure, Meena. Safety Mapper http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/ideas/safety-mapper ; Safe Cities http://www.endvawnow.org/en/modules/view/12-safe-cities.html#categories&menusub=261&safe-public-spaces and The Institutional Analysis Framework (the workshop) http://www.indiana.edu/~workshop/ or a working example http://www.sida.se/Global/About%20Sida/Sida%20Utv%C3%A4rderingar/Study%20on%20Aid%20Incentives.pdf "Aid, Incentives and Sustainability" essentially my "Practical Help" I hope this helps.

Photo of Joel Gingery
Team

Sorry, Meena. These references might be a little better:
References
1. Ostrom, E., 1990; Governing the Commons – The evolution of Institutions for Collective Action; Cambridge University Press.
2. Ostrom, E. 2005; Understanding Institutional Diversity; Princeton University Press.
3. Gibson, C., Andersson, K., et. al., 2005; The Samaritan’s Dilemma: The Political Economy of Development Aid; Oxford University Press.
This is likely the best of the four: Collective Action: http://www.geo.coop/node/681#basic

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Interesting collection. We also like this Collective Action toolkit: http://bit.ly/frog-action. It may not be as academically rigorous as some of the stuff you're suggesting – but we've heard good things of folks trying it out due to it's highly engaging and easy to understand format.

Photo of Aggrey Willis
Team

Thanks Joel for the feedback and references that you shared. I will check them out together with the link that Meena shared and adopt where appropriate.

Photo of Jamie Beck Alexander
Team

Great idea, Aggrey! This really sounds like a holistic approach that addresses many of the causes of gender based violence. Is this project a new idea or are there parts of it that are already underway that could be built upon? If so, it would be great to learn from what you're already doing and how it can be improved through this community. Thanks so much for sharing!

Photo of Aggrey Willis
Team

Thanks Jamie for the question. Yes, there are some parts that are already being implemented that we can build on. For example, the SMS technology has been developed and has saved lives of many pregnant women through our telemedicine project (see http://edition.cnn.com/video/?/video/international/2013/10/14/spc-african-voices-aggrey-otieno-c.cnn&video_referrer=). What the team will do now is to adopt and integrate it in to the SIREN idea that I have proposed. We also have women support groups that meet every week to discuss maternal and child health issues and entrepreneurship, we shall borrow lessons learnt from these support groups while working with the merry go round groups in the slums. We also have a football team (http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2012/dec/19/kenya-korogocho-united-slum-reform-nairobi) through which we reached it to men so that they can provide security to pregnant women going to the hospitals during odd hours, we shall build on this to enact behavior change on men so that they can come out with whistles and red cards.

Photo of Luisa Fernanda
Team

Aggrey,
This idea is really interesting since it brings key stakeholders – police, male vendors and women – together to tackle this issue. It is really insightful for our community to understand what work you and your organization are already doing in order to identify how the OpenIDEO community can support the development of the idea and have insight into existing networks that it's relying on.

I am curious to know a little more about the male vendors. What do you think will incentivize them to use the siren? Have you interviewed them or are you currently working with male vendors?

I loved the way you used story telling to introduce the problem. Wanjiku's story is insightful and moving. It might be interesting to consider using storytelling to help people better grasp how this idea could play out by describing some example scenarios which illustrate user journeys through the concept you've outlined. Check this example: http://www.openideo.com/open/e-waste/concepting/neighbourhood-e-waste-champion/ where a few simple scenarios were created in an attempt to explain the goodness on the idea. (You can update your post at any time by hitting the Update Entry button up there on the right.) Looking forward to seeing more of you on OpenIDEO…

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Really loving the comprehensive thinking on this Aggrey – and it was super helpful to read the (very sad) scenario about Wanjiku to understand the need for this.

Thought you might like to think about having a badge or sign for participating women stall operators to signal their status to the community (this notion has been borrowed from ideas like: http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/ideas/women-s-pool-journey-sharing-platform-wip and http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/ideas/bindis-community-concierges-to-inform-connect-and-empower – and OpenIDEO is all about cross-pollinating ideas :^)

We're also keen to learn more about what women in your local community think of some of the specifics on this idea. Perhaps you might collect some feedback and share it on your post? As always on OpenIDEO, we're keen to include potential end users in our ideation process – and we'd love to hear if any women in your location have exciting thoughts to add to your proposal.

Look forward to seeing more of you on OpenIDEO.

Photo of DFA NYU
Team

Agrrey, like Meena we love this idea and the comprehensive thinking: from the alarm to the behavioral change of bystanders as well as the police.
The scenario was helpful but sad and even infuriating. Something has to be changed!
We saw your comment on our idea http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/ideas/bindis-community-concierges-to-inform-connect-and-empower
and we were wondering if there are ways we could collaborate.
We also thought of selecting the concierges (bindis) among some of the street vendors. In our case, we thought of India because of the knowledge of our team members but we would love to discuss with you if you see some potential in our idea helping your Siren project
As you mentioned increased safety will bring opportunities for business and the concierges could help. Also in our idea, the concierges also played a safety role. They could make sure that a text is sent and to also train others.
Let us know if you would be willing to collaborate and how.
Thanks!

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Great idea Agrrey. I love how you thought of the technology as included in a system that involves different actors and that you have planned for changes in behaviors and practices.
This would be a clear way to reverse the bystanders effect http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/research/what-can-we-learn-from-kitty-genovese-story
I have a question regarding the role of the police which is crucial in the success of this program as during research many people insisted on the low level of trust had in the police and their actions. Is it the case in Kenya? Do you foresee this as a hurdle? Thanks!

And as mentioned by Design Tinkering, we'd love your input on our idea and exploring potential collaboration.

Photo of Aggrey Willis
Team

Thanks Meena, Design Tinkering & Anne Laure for your thoughtful comments. Pambazuko Mashinani team is now conducting some form of group discussions to get their views regarding the project that I will be happy to post here in due course.

I like design tinkering idea as they aim at informing, connecting and empowering. We can collaborate by bringing in the technology bit, as you also work with ours in improving their entrepreneurship capabilities. I am open for ideas.

Anne, thanks for bringing up the police issue. People usually dont have trust in the police throughout the slums in Kenya. And many organizations shy away from working with the police because of the same reason. However, we appreciate the fact that for lasting change to be achieved, we must bring on board all the key actors including the police, and the judiciary. With this understanding, my team has been in the forefront to develop innnovative means through which such actors may be brought on board. I must say that our collaboration with Kenya police in the communities that we work in has been encouraging, and we want to explore the good will we have generated to have GBV free slums, kindly see in this video what the local government official in charge of security had said about my initiatives in Korogocho (from min 8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEAS2kRB1hM)

Photo of Aditya Brahmabhatt
Team

Hello Aggrey
I am with Anne-laure in the Design tinkering club. It would be great to collaborate with you on our Bindi idea. I think the system you have created is brilliant and our bindis can be a vital component of that.

I guess the starting point would be for you to identify some Bindis in your area of focus and share the idea with them, getting feedback. Even if you could connect us to such organizations on the ground.

I will discuss with my team and get back to you on more ways we can collaborate! Just wanted to let you know about our excitement at this chance to collaborate!

Photo of Hesbon Achola
Team

Great Idea Mr. Aggrey, I believe Wanjiku represents thousand of vulnerable women in a slum set up. this is a true life saving venture that presents an opportunity to shapeup illicit social structures. kudos and looking forward to see the project up and running.

Photo of Aggrey Willis
Team

Thanks Hesbon.

Photo of Stephanie Bishop
Team

Congratulations Aggrey. I love this initiative and you have my support all the way! So proud of you.

Stephanie

Photo of Aggrey Willis
Team

I am humbled Stephanie. Thanks for the support.

Photo of Smith Adams
Team

Aggrey, you are creatively using the women vendors informal groupings as a sping board to introduce the project. Your SACCO idea is great. Best of luck

Photo of Aggrey Willis
Team

Thank you Smith. More suggestions to make it better are welcome.

Photo of Trevor Reagan
Team

Good job...and congratulations for the Rolex and African Children Hero award. I like the holistic nature of your project. It will be great to see how it goes.

Photo of Aggrey Willis
Team

Thank you Trevor.

Photo of Jacky Awino
Team

A bigger percentage of slum dwellers now own mobile phones in Kenya. This project idea is timely as it gives the power to the street vendors to discreetly alert the authorities and the entire community when a woman is under attack. I can imagine how much noise will be generated with the siren going on, men coming out blowing whistles, and the radio airing breaking alert. Thanks to the new technology, all these are possible. Best of luck Aggrey.

Photo of Aggrey Willis
Team

Thanks Jacky for your comments. With your good will and many others within this community, together we will make it a reality.