Who designed your latest mobile phone app? Probably a bunch of 20-somethings. Apps, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and other digital advancements are designed by young people mostly for young people. Imagine if we could channel their youthful energy and ingenuity to produce useful development outcomes. It can happen. At the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos, young delegates used virtual reality to design spaces for displaced young people, and built a mobile app for fundraising. But the potential is tremendous for youth to use such technologies for much greater development impact. Young people are nearly twice as networked than the global population as a whole. In most of the world’s least developed countries, they are nearly three times more likely to be using the internet than the rest of general public. Information and communications technology (ICT) has helped youth to mobilize, collaborate, socialize, and have a voice. Asia and the Pacific, home to 60% of the world’s youth, should lead the world in using technology to make a difference in developing countries. One key area where ICT can make a difference is on social accountability, by putting information from the citizen's perspective directly into the hands of the government officials who have the capacity to make change happen. Its potential was highlighted during a recent pilot initiative by ADB using Safetipin. This map-based mobile application collects safety- and transport-related information from audits conducted by users to generate safety scores that can then be used to improve the security of cities for pedestrians. Is Manila safe for pedestrians? The Youth for Asia team from ADB’s NGO and Civil Society Center collected 1,946 audits over 3 months in Manila, the Philippines’ capital city. The pilot mobilized 144 young people on the ground and raised awareness among over 400 youth on issues like pedestrian safety. Awareness was raised primarily among Filipino university students through capacity building workshops, but the team also reached out to youth across the ASEAN region through events. The broader incentive was to explore ways in which youth can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goal No. 11 on safe cities for all. The data provides us with an analysis of how people feel about their safety in Manila across various parameters. For instance, at 25% of the locations surveyed there was poor lighting, and 39% lacked access to transport within 400 meters. Half of the locations did not have any security, 21% had either no or substandard foot paths, and 45% had low visibility. The overall feeling of safety was rated as average, with a score of 3.2 out of 5. Further data analysis can provide urban planners with feedback on what infrastructure upgrades are most needed.   An interesting feature of the pilot study is that the team conducted intensive capacity building sessions prior to the audit walks. We ran training sessions at local universities to explain how to use Safetipin and its parameters, as well as to highlight the value of ICT-based social accountability tools. This exercise greatly improved the quality of the data. Students made good use of the comment box in the application to provide qualitative information on the areas they were auditing, and did not limit themselves to only rating the different predefined parameters. Youth should be partners in development A few takeaways from our experience are: Youth genuinely care and will go that extra mile to contribute to a cause that affects society at large. Even during heavy downpours in Manila, the youth were spirited and continued to audit the roads. Youth have the ability to take risk and deal with uncertainty with the hope that this will lead to larger good. Auditors from the Girl Scouts of the Philippines overcame parental apprehension and secured consent to join the team to conduct audits. Youth have a certain kind of resilience and optimism that creates an atmosphere conducive to positive change. There were some technical glitches and connection problems, but participants did not give up and agreed to repeat the exercise when the data was not stored properly the first time. We have the data and numbers that prove why youth should be partners in development. By using Safetipin, we were able to mobilize youth to gather information needed to improve the quality of life in their city. The next question is: how can we scale up these small stand-alone initiatives and integrate them into larger projects both within and outside ADB? Mobilizing youth to generate data for social good can create the momentum for change. It’s just a matter of thinking big and putting together smart plans, so youth aren’t just beneficiaries of development – we can actually make it happen.  

Fri, 10 Feb, 2017

The safety of women is an important concern in cities around the world. Data shows that women are at risk of sexual harassment and violence in many, if not all cities, especially after dark. This prevents many women and girls from participating in city life. The United Nations has identified the need for safe and inclusive public city spaces as one of its Sustainable Development Goals. The co-founders of Safetipin — one an expert on women’s safety and the other on technology and apps — combined their skills to make a mobile app that addressed this problem. Safetipin is an app that seeks to use technology and data to make cities more inclusive, safe and violence-free for women and others. At the core of the app is the Safety Audit — a methodology of assessing public spaces that have been used in more than 40 cities around the world, according to the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. It consists of the following parameters, which all contribute to the perception of safety: LightingOpennessVisibilityCrowdWalk pathAvailability of public transportSecurityGender diversityFeeling Safetipin took this methodology and used it to make a mobile app that collects user data for each of these parameters. The app is free to download and can be used in any city around the world. Any user can perform safety audits of an area, and the app collects and shares the information for others to view, creating an interactive platform for people to share data about safety.   So far, Safetipin has collected data in more than 30 cities in India and beyond. This information can help users make safer decisions about where they travel. The data is also shared with city stakeholders to help them improve the safety of the cities by pointing out deficiencies and problems in public spaces that make them unsafe. The app lets users access safety data immediately, letting them see how safe neighborhoods are and contribute their own findings. Furthermore, Safetipin has a tracking feature through which women can request to be tracked by a friend or family member if they find themselves in a vulnerable situation. Safetipin has been designed to help women make safer decisions and to provide data to urban stakeholders to improve safety. The aim is to work toward preventing violence against women so they will be able to safely enjoy public spaces in cities all around the world. By deciding to make a mobile app that addressed this important issue, Safetipin’s founders are helping to build safer cities through mobile technology.   Download MySafetipin App Download Women Safety App

Mon, 19 Dec, 2016

The Secretariat of Women of Bogota (SDMUJER), in the representation of Metropolis Women, made the presentation "Building Safe Cities for Women with Safetipin", as part of the learning forum on mobility which took place at 5th UCLG Congress. Carlota Alméciga Romero, director of knowledge management at SDMUJER, and César Pinzón-Medina, professionally specialized in the SDMUJER, in collaboration with Kalpana Viswanath, director-founder of Safetipin – a mobile application that allows citizens to share information on security in public spaces –, were responsible for including the gender perspective in the session. They focused their presentation on the state and the perception of security of women during their travels around the city, and how to build a safer Bogotá for all, with the participation of  its citizens. The project, led by SDMUJER and articulated with several institutions and international enterprises, initiated in the framework of the International Seminar of Safe Cities held in 2013 in Bogota, which involved other cities that integrate the network: Medellín, Mexico City, Montréal and New Delhi. Since then, two phases of the project have been carried out: in the first phase, 4,000 km of streets were mapped; in the second phase, more than 300 km of the network of bicycle lanes in the Colombian capital were traveled. In this framework, SDMUJER is now collecting three levels of information very useful for decision-making: points identified as unsafe by Safetipin points that women of different neighborhoods have identified as unsafe locations points where there has been at least one act of violence   Download My Safetipin App  

Thu, 24 Nov, 2016

Police Commissioner Sandeep Khirwar said on Saturday that the Gurgaon Police will soon launch a new app for the safety of women in Gurgaon. The senior police officer was addressing a workshop titled "Making Women Safe in Public and Work Places", organized by citizen group 'Gurgaon First'. Khirwar pointed out that adequate street lights and city bus service are the need of the hour. He also talked about the plan to install more CCTVs in malls and residential colonies. Talking about the safety audit of the city, Kalpana Viswanath, Co-founder of My Safetipin App, said that Gurgaon has an overall score of 2.4 out of 5 in women safety. According to Viswanath, safety parameters include lighting, transport, footpath, visibility, openness, gender diversity and security. "Gurgaon particularly scores poorly on lighting, visibility, security and public transport. According to her, places with more "eyes" on the road, such as Sadar Bazar and MG Road, are more safe than other posh localities of Gurgaon, including Golf Course Road and Golf Course Extension Road.   Women Safety App Personal Safety App Family Tracking App

Tue, 04 Oct, 2016

Four months before Karuna, 22, was stabbed to death by her stalker in north Delhi on Tuesday, her family had settled for a compromise with her stalker Surender Singh’s family. Karuna’s case is similar to Laxmi’s, 28, who was also stabbed by her stalker in southwest Delhi’s Inderpuri on Sunday. Last year, Laxmi’s family had also approached the police with a complaint against her stalker Sanjay, but the matter was settled when Sanjay’s family gave the police a written statement that he would not trouble Laxmi. Stalking, an offence under Section 354 D of the India Penal Code, is bailable. Senior Delhi Police officers say stalking is more of a social than a law and order issue. An officer who handles cases of crime against women said, “If somebody is stalking a woman without any physical contact, we can only register an FIR. We have to grant bail at the police station.”   Gender expert Kalpana Viswanath, co-founder of SafetiPin, a women safety app, told HT that most men who stalk women need psychological help. “Men cannot handle rejection due to which such cases are reported. Stalking must be taken seriously both by the family of the victim and the police. When a parent decides to report it, the police feel it is not a serious case and the person is let off after a warning.” Former Delhi Police commissioner Ajai Raj Sharma said there is no legally ready-made solution to tackle stalking. “A girl’s family happens to be the weaker side in such cases. After a compromise is reached, in some cases most stalkers feel undeterred and continue their acts which at times take unfortunate turns. This issue can be handled only when the police, the stalker’s family and the society come together.” Sharma also said that fear of punishment must be instilled in the minds of the stalkers. Another gender expert, Madhu Vij, said mostly, the two families reach a compromise because of the fear of the consequences of the police coming to question and the uncertainty over justice. “The reputation of a girl, her family also plays an important role when two individuals decide to compromise,” she said. Sociologist Patricia Uberoi said that people agreeing to compromise are very common in India even in rape cases. “One of the main reasons is the time-consuming judicial system. Even if someone decides to take them to court, it takes a lot of time for justice to be delivered. At other times, it is the cultural context which is in operation which leads to the compromise,” she said.   Women Safety App Personal Safety App Family Tracking App

Thu, 22 Sep, 2016

There's now an app that can measure how safe an area is, based on crowdsourced data. Kalpana Vishwanath and Ashish Basu are the cofounders of Safetipin, an app they created with the intention of making public spaces safer for women. First created and launched in India, the idea took its origin from the fear that women and girls experience before traveling to or through certain areas which were known to be unsafe. In India, the debate on sexual violence and how to curb it rages on. Recent years have seen governments pass stricter, more stringent laws and increase security forces, and even pass a law making it compulsory for public buses to install a panic button. Safetipin crowdsources information based on nine factors in order to measure how safe the area in question is. These factors are lighting, openness, visibility, people density, security, walk path, transportation in the area, gender, and feeling. While the first eight of these are independent variables, the last one, feeling, is a dependent variable and its data is observed in conjunction with the previous ones. For example, if a user feels apprehensive about walking through a certain area, it could be because of fewer people, dim lighting, and the absence of other commuters. A "safety score" is accumulated after a certain number of entries are submitted per area. These scores range from one to ten and are represented respectively by green, amber, or red pins. There are also forums where users can post about things that could affect safety, like malfunctioning traffic lights, broken lampposts or bad roads. The app also provides information about the location of the nearest ATMs and pharmacies, and their hours of operation. What"s more, it can also act as a GPS tracker, allowing the users' loved ones to track their location. It is available in English, Hindi, Spanish, Mandarin, and Bahasa, and is currently operational in 10 Indian cities, including Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai. It’s also expanding its international presence, already operating in Jakarta, Nairobi, Bogota, and Manila, as well as collecting data in eight other cities, including Rio de Janeiro (just in time for the Olympics), Kuala Lumpur, and Johannesburg. While the app now has more than 100,000 contributions from its users about the safety of different areas, initially, it was difficult to motivate them to contribute beyond the first couple of times. Safetipin then enlisted the help of volunteers, and once users saw more information being added to the app, they started contributing more.   In September 2015, Safetipin partnered with Uber, the car sharing service. After an Uber driver in Delhi had recently been accused by a passenger of raping her, the Indian government had temporarily banned Uber taxis for not having adequate checks in place before hiring drivers. Uber has since installed outward-facing cameras on the dashboards of cars, so that it can photograph different parts of the cities, along with factors like how well areas are lit and how densely populated they are. The data is then sent to Safetipin and used to collate safety scores. In partnership with Uber, Safetipin is planning to expand to 50 cities across Africa, Asia, and South America. These safety scores are useful to the police and other law enforcement agencies in determining whether security in the locality needs to be upped. They can help the police make unsafe areas safer, fix broken amenities, and repair roads. The scores also have the potential of determining the real estate value of the area, as well as increasing or decreasing the business of hotels and restaurants. The co-founders of the app aim to empower its users with knowledge that can enable them to make informed decisions and get from A to B safely.   Download My Safetipin App Women Safety App Personal Safety App Family Tracking App

Wed, 21 Sep, 2016

There is an oft-quoted line of Enrique Peñalosa, former Mayor of Bogota, that “A good city is one where the rich use public transport, not where everyone aspires to own private transport”. Over the past few years, cities are increasingly recognizing that improving public transport facilities is key to enhancing the quality of life of people in cities. Overburdened roads have become a feature of cities, especially in the developing world. You see the same situation whether you are traveling in Manila or Dhaka. Improving and expanding public transport is an important aspect of urban development. Cities have become the vehicle of growth of most countries, and today we see an increasing population in urban centers. In 2014, 54% percent of the world’s population lived in cities, and this is predicted to increase to 66% by 2050. In this scenario, city governments need to improve transport infrastructure and safety. Safety on public transport, especially for women and girls, has become a visible issue in the past few years. Many cities such as Delhi and Mexico have introduced women-only carriages in the metro system while cities such as Seoul have encouraged women to cab drivers. Studies show that women face sexual harassment while using public transport and while waiting at transport stops. Women’s mobility in cities is very strongly affected by the perception of safety. They often make decisions to not go to a place or not take certain kinds of jobs based on the feeling of safety. Thus the lack of safety has repercussions which go well beyond the acts of violence. In order to address these issues, safety audit methodology has been used to identify key problems and seek solutions. The safety audit is a methodology of assessing public spaces that have been used in more than 40 cities around the world. More recently, we have developed an app called Safetipin in India which takes this methodology and has transformed it into a technology tool. Safetipin measures nine parameters including lighting, openness, visibility, security, and public transport. The audit, which can be crowdsourced, generates a pin which is visible on the app. Based on safety audits conducted, a safety score of an area is generated for people to see and use for making safer decisions. The free app that can be downloaded and used in any city in the world. So far data have been collected in over 20 cities in India and globally. The data are visible on the app and can help people make safer decisions about moving around. Data are also shared with city stakeholders to help them improve the safety of cities by pointing out deficiencies and problems in public spaces. While Safetipin is used to understand safety in public spaces, it has been used to conduct studies that specifically focus on public transport in the city of Delhi, and this can be replicated in other cities around the world. In one study, 275 bus stops in the city were mapped to measure the safety score, and these were shared with the Transport Department. The data found that 44% of bus stops had an average score between 2-3.5 out of 5. But the data also showed that 40% of the stops had poor lighting. Improving street lighting was then was given as a recommendation to the concerned stakeholders. It is very important for bus stops to be safe as women often wait there even after dark. One of the key issues that have been identified through safety audits has been the last mile connectivity. It is often possible to reach a metro station or bus stop, but care has to be given to the last mile from this hub to the final destination. Safetipin has been used to do safety audits and identify key issues to address to improve last mile connectivity. In one study of 17 major stations in Delhi, some of the key issues identified were poor para-transit facilities, inadequate infrastructure—including lighting and paths for walking and waiting—and lack of security. Safetipin can be used as a tool in cities across the world to map safety in public spaces. The information helps women make safer decisions, while also providing data for city stakeholders to improve safety in public spaces. The fact that the Sustainable Development Goals include a goal of creating inclusive public spaces shows that this has become an important aspect of urban life. Inclusive and safe public spaces promote democracy and citizenship. Article   Download Women Safety App Personal Safety App GPS Tracking App Family Tracking App

Fri, 16 Sep, 2016
By Kalpana Viswanath

My SafetiPin is a personal safety app that helps you make safer decisions based on the safety score of an area. Launched back on March 10 following International Women’s Day, My SafetiPin is making communities safer for individuals. The app calculates the safety score of a place based on 9 parameters, and the contribution of users allows us to continuously update our algorithm to reflect how people feel in a place.   My SafetiPin collects primary data about public spaces at night, on a number of parameters. • Lighting• Visibility. Are there ‘eyes on the street’. Can others see you• Diversity. Presence of women and children around• Crowd. How densely crowded is the area• Public Transport. How close it is• Walk Path. Is there a proper place to walk• Security. Are police or private security nearby• Openness. Can you see all around• Feeling. How safe do you feel The app uses your GPS locator to give you safety information about your location. And uses GPS tracking to connect you with friends and family when you feel unsafe. It can also serve as a family locator. Planning to out for the evening? Check how safe the neighborhood is by touching the place on the map. You will see the safety score, for that area. Then select the safest route. The app will then transfer control to Google maps so you can reach your destination safely. Articles Source.....capitalfm   Download My Safetipin App Personal Safety App Women Safety App    

Mon, 12 Sep, 2016

An audit report by the Nairobi City County and UN Habitat's Safer Cities Programme shows that only 18 percent of the city is safe. The report dubbed "The City's Report on the State of Urban Security" is based on a city-wide urban safety audit carried out between March 2015 and June 2016 by the county government in collaboration with Safetipin, a map-based online and mobile application. As a result of the report, City residents are now able to ascertain the safety of their neighborhoods. The report covered 744 kilometers of roads in Nairobi with the audit showing that only 18 percent of Nairobi is safe, 56 percent of streets in the capital fairly lit, 35 per cent having good visibility and 56 per cent having access to public transport. The report corroborates findings of another one released mid-2016 by Number, a free database of user-contributed data about cities and countries worldwide. It placed Nairobi at position 46 in the crime index report with a score of 63.24 and position 231 in the safest cities in the world and a safety index of 36.76 in the 277 cities surveyed.   SAFER LIVING IN CITY   Speaking during the launch, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero said the unique application provides a holistic approach to addressing safety and security that will foster safer living in the city "This Safetipin application audit has indicated where people feel unsafe and why they feel that way. "With these revelations, the county government will be able to plan and act to effect change through the formulation of informed policies, decisions, and investments that support the promise of a safer Nairobi for its citizens," said Dr. Kidero. He added that the audit report is also expected to provide an opportunity for stakeholder engagement and promote a multi-stakeholder approach to crime prevention that will allow all stakeholders to deliver measurable improvements in safety.   DEVELOP SAFETY STRATEGIES   "This audit will allow all of us, including the national government, to deliver measurable improvement in safety. It also presents us with another step to generate data to help the county in developing strategies to build a safe city," he added. Governor Kidero also revealed that the county was planning to establish a modern center for learning aimed at building the capacity of the county's security team and empower them to better respond to urban management and governance issues arising from rapid urbanization. On her part, co-founder of Safetipin India, Dr. Kalpana Viswanath, said that the technology was a platform that uses data to make cities more inclusive, safe and free from violence, particularly for women and girls, by collecting information and engaging individuals and institutions in creating solutions. "Apart from Nairobi, Safetipin methodology has been successfully applied in New Delhi in India, Bogota in Colombia and Jakarta in Indonesia. "This platform will save lives, make urban dwelling enjoyable and improve the environment for business," she said.   Download Women Safety App Personal Safety App Safety App

Thu, 08 Sep, 2016

A new mobile phone application that enables city residents to report crime faster and efficiently was unveiled in Nairobi, with initial trials indicating that the majority of city residents felt safe walking on the streets. Known as My SafetiPin, the new application that can be downloaded for free on a mobile phone allows city residents to report crimes in progress, potential criminal activity, and areas where they feel unsafe, all at the touch of a key. The report is then relayed to relevant city authorities. The tool is used to collect data to measure a city’s safety status, which can then be used to develop strategies to make cities safer.   A report compiled through the application by the United Nations and the National Crime Research Centre indicates that eight in every 10 Nairobi residents perceive the city as safe. Only two in every 10 residents felt the city was unsafe. However, the safety of women in the city’s streets at night was rated below average, as was the presence of security officers in the city. Speaking at the launch, SafetiPin founder Kalpana Viswanath said although Nairobi residents felt safe, they also felt that more effort was needed to fight crime through mitigation measures such as the installation of more street lights.   f we do not have good street paths; (if we are) not able to access public transport within three to five minutes from wherever we are in the city, and lack of better livelihoods for residents, then we cannot be safe,” said Ms. Viswanath.   parameters used to measure safety include lighting, open spaces, security from the police or private firms, availability of walk paths, ease of accessing public transport and the percentage of women comfortable to walk in the city at night. National Crime and Research Centre Director Gerald Wandera said Nairobi hosts over 500 private security companies and more private security personnel than the police force. The report stated that only 56 percent of the city was well lit and that Eastleigh and Pipeline states needed more security.   Download My Safetipin App Personal Safety App Women Safety App    

Wed, 07 Sep, 2016