Media

Crowd-Sourcing Safety - Safetipin

Initiative encourages use of SafetiPin app   U.S. Ambassador to India Richard Verma and Canadian High Commissioner to India Nadir Patel on Thursday inaugurated the “Campus Ambassador Programme: Making Delhi City Safer”.   The initiative aims to empower the youth to play an active role in developing and planning safer cities and hopes encourage them to use a newly-developed app, SafetiPin, to collect safety-related data and report on violations or issues around the city.   SafetiPin is a United Nations-supported tool to enable development of safer cities through a collection of data, crowdsourcing, information sharing and engaging people to make the city a safer place. Users will be able to check the safety score of an area using the map-based app, which uses nine parameters to come up with the score.   The app also acts as a GPS-enabled tracker, allowing users to switch on the “track me” device if they are traveling in an area they feel comfortable in and people on the user’s list will be able to track them till they find their way home.   Kalpana Viswanath, the co-founder of SafetiPin, said the app believes in using technology to make cities safer and more inclusive for women. “The app provides critical information that helps people make safer decisions while moving around a city and alerts you if you are in an unsafe area,” she added.   The initiative is part of the Frame Her Right campaign, an initiative inspired by Half the Sky Movement, which was launched in 2014 as part of a USAID-funded public-private partnership seeking to challenge harmful gender norms and behaviors. Coinciding with International Women’s Day celebrations, PVR Nest has tied up with the initiative to screen the campaign film at select theaters for 90 days.   Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Verma said the launch of the Campus Ambassador Programme was both timely and necessary as India has the world’s largest youth population. He felt that globalization, technological advances and spread of social networking offer new opportunities for the youth to connect and become more active participants in finding solutions to the world’s toughest development challenges. The launch was followed by a panel discussion, in which actor Kalki Koechlin participated.   Stating she was glad that society was consciously moving in the right direction towards women empowerment, Ms. Koechlin she was excited about the fact that the programme had so many different stakeholders who had joined together to contribute to a significant cause.   Speaking about PVR’s role in the initiative, Ajay Bijli, the CMD of PVR Ltd., said since the ultimate crusaders of this women’s safety programme are our youngsters, PVR will connect with them through various films and student-focused content.   Article Source.............The Hindu

Only 18 per cent of Nairobi is safe, safety audit report shows

An audit report by the Nairobi City County and UN Habitat’s Safer Cities Programme shows that only 18 per cent 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 per cent of Nairobi is safe, 56 per cent 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 Numbeo, 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 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 centre 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 urbanisation. 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 to create 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.         Article Source.....Nation              

Apps to make women feel safer

Have you been scared of coming back home alone at night? Do you tend to look over your shoulder when walking on a secluded lane? If you are a woman in India, chances are high that your answers would be ‘yes’. Feeling uncomfortable and unsafe in the public spaces is not something uncommon in our country. Women can now turn to technology to help feel a bit safer. Several apps have been designed focusing especially on women’s safety. We take a look at some of these apps and what they do to help you lead a safer life. All the apps mentioned here are free on Android.   VithU: “I am in danger. I need help. Please follow my location,” is the message which will be sent to the saved contacts on this app if the user presses the power button twice consecutively. The message will be sent every two minutes, along with the link to the user’s updated location. The user can also look for safety tips on the “Tips Feed” section. Eyewatch Women: In situations like assault, road rage, accidents, lonely places, personal security threats, among others, this app sends out emergency alerts, locations, audios, visuals, along with other details to the contacts saved with the app. It uses GPRS, GPS and 3G for figuring out and sending the information. It sends SOS alert if the device is not connected to GPRS. When the user hits the alert button on the app, the phone camera will automatically start to make a video of 20 seconds or take five photographs and they are sent to the app’s secure server. It automatically calls up to three people who are saved with the app. On receiving the alert, the concerned people can check all the detailed information on the Eyewatch Alert Dashboard and take necessary steps to save the user. TellTail: The Delhi Multimodal Transport System launched this app for the purpose of women safety in the capital. It has three features, namely – Track Me, Track by Vehicle and Panic Button. With Track by Vehicle button, the users can share their location by using the GPS installed in autos, buses or other public transportation in the city. Track Me button can be used by the GPS on the user’s smartphone. There are three ways by which alerts can be sent to the ‘concerned’ people: The user can open the app and press the panic button; With the setting on, the user has to click the power button three times to activate the alarm; User can also shake the phone with a jerk three times to set off the alarm, setting needs to be turned on for this also. The receivers also need to have the app installed. They will receive an alarm, in case the GPS on the user’s phone is not turned on, it will still send a cellular code to figure out the tentative location. If the internet on user’s phone is off and GPS is on, SMS will still be sent which can be reverse geocoded if receiver’s phone has an internet connection. Safetipin: This map-based application lets users rate, share information and bring about a discussion on the safety of different locations. It basically helps users in checking the safety of any location. There are certain set of parameters, on the basis of which a safety score is assigned to the locations. Streets and roads are properly lit or not, if the area is deserted, are many women seen on the road or not, the proximity of public transport, are some of the parameters taken into consideration. Safety audits are conducted by the users who have downloaded the app and the Safetipin team. The purpose of this activity is to be able to assess the safety and to generate enough data so that improvement can be brought about. Other feature of the app includes allowing family members or friends to track the user’s real time location.  Article Sourc.....vccircle.com

How a woman can feel safe and own her city

A white dress with a lace overlay. It was one of my favourites. I wore it when I felt good about myself. I wore it for brunches, to meet friends and occasionally because I wanted to look nice. My beautiful white dress now stained a big fat scarlet letter…a memory of how for a brief period of time I was the lightning rod for slut shamers across the country.” Aishwarya’s account is part of Blank Noise’s ongoing I Never Ask For It campaign. You can contribute by submitting an audio account of the sexual assault you faced along with the garment you were wearing when it happened. The idea is to co-create a public installation made up of 10,000 garments and their stories by 2020. The venue should be a place of public significance such as India Gate, founder Jasmeen Patheja believes. “How deep-rooted is victim-blaming? How are spaces of violence connected? What does it mean for you to revisit something you’ve experienced and end blame? This is about anyone who is made to feel vulnerable and is made to feel shame,” says Patheja, who juggles many such complex yet fundamental ideas at Blank Noise, a network that seeks to transform attitudes towards private and public sexual violence. “We are in the process of co-creating a safe place together, a space that is not judging you,” adds Patheja, who started Blank Noise in 2003 as her final thesis project at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Bengaluru. If you want to be inspired by the ideas surrounding women’s safety and our responses to everyday sexual violence, you need to look beyond the protective surveillance industry of CCTVs and mobile apps that invade your privacy rather than offer you any real assistance and, of course, court-sanctioned anti-Romeo vigilante squads who hunt down couples in public spaces allegedly to keep street harassment in check. Patheja’s response is my favourite but three state initiatives are also worth tracking. The Hyderabad police has been operating gender-sensitized SHE Teams comprising around four personnel (with at least one woman officer) for more than two years now. They roam the city incognito and speedily book perpetuators of street violence once a complaint is registered. In Pune, the municipal corporation recently converted old public transport buses into public loos. The buses are now equipped with five toilets, a shower area and a machine that dispenses sanitary napkins, The Indian Express reported. “Initially, women would hesitate to enter the bus, but once they check the cleanliness and safety, they use the facility and give good feedback about the service,” one attendant told the newspaper. In Mysuru, the police commissioner plans to equip the city’s 25,000 autorickshaws with an optically readable QR code by June. Anyone who downloads an app and registers can scan the prominently displayed code when they hail an auto. The app tracks the journey and offers more than one way to trigger an alarm that registers in the police control room if anything goes wrong. The app also offers you the option of recording the fact that the auto driver refused your ride. “In an ideal situation, all auto drivers would register and all commuters would have smartphones,” says police commissioner A. Subrahmanyeswara Rao, who knows this idea will have to evolve as it gets under way. Often ideas work best when it’s a partnership. Safetipin, an app that collects data about our streets in an attempt to make the city safer, has worked with the New Delhi Municipal Council to do a last-mile connectivity audit of the city’s Metro stations; the tourism department to evaluate the safety of 10 big city monuments; and with the public works department to identify 7,483 dark spots in the city. Safetipin does this by collecting data on factors that can improve our streets: the number of working streetlights, the presence of organized vendors, the state of pavements. “Public space improvement is a low-hanging fruit, much easier than mindset change,” says co-founder Kalpana Viswanath. One unusual cross-border partnership is between Why Loiter?, a campaign (born from a book by the same name) about the need for women to reclaim public spaces, and Girls At Dhabas, a similar initiative in Pakistan where roadside dhabas (eateries) are a male preserve. Why Loiter? inspired the Pakistani initiative and the two groups have been in touch on social media since 2015. Last year, they partnered for Why Loiter’s annual year-end campaign encouraging women in India and Pakistan to loiter, then post about it on social media and tag it #WhyLoiter. “We are friends and comrades and support each other in the common goal of: Let’s have more women out there loitering in public spaces. One day we hope to actually hang out and loiter together,” says Sameera Khan, co-author of the book. Then there are those citizens who don’t wait around for a non-governmental organization or a government agency to help them fix the problem. At their main campus in small-town Rajasthan, engineering college students of BITS Pilani recently united to remove a 40-year-old girls’ hostel curfew. Student union members went from door to door polling female students: “Should the girls’ hostel in-time restriction be removed?” Has the in-time restriction hampered your productivity and performance?” Parents were co-opted to support the move by signing a letter to the university. “The important thing about this letter is that it was phrased not to be a ‘No-Objection Letter’ but as a ‘Letter of Faith’ reaffirming the parent’s faith in their daughter’s decision making and in the institute’s decision to remove the curfew. An objection is a negative statement, but faith is a positive one,” says student Sibesh Kar in a blog outlining how they did it. The university didn’t respond formally, but the curfew was lifted. Sometimes, faith is all you need.  Article Source.. Live Mint    

Gender Makes a World of Difference for Safety on Public Transport

Urban environments are not gender-neutral. Architects and urban designers are increasingly seeking to understand how gender-sensitive design can combat the spatial inequities faced by those who identify as women and girls of all demographics, races and socio-economic groups. Public transport spaces, for instance, incubate many systemic issues. The observable differences between how men and women travel around cities can be attributed to the gendered power hierarchies entrenched in our society. As suggested by a University of California study, this may stem from our long history of gender inequality, which reinforces rigid binary definitions of femininity and masculinity. To this day, women are more likely than men to have extra domestic and caregiving responsibilities, but fewer transport options. This affects their travel patterns. Women are more likely to move between multiple destinations throughout their daily commute. Gendered inequalities in transport use open a myriad of additional concerns. For women, this includes a disproportionate fear of victimization in public transport spaces. Places of sexual harassment The spatial factors of public transport do not exist separately from these systemic gender issues. In particular, the scale and transitory nature of trams, trains, buses, taxis and ride-sharing services give perpetrators a guaranteed close and anonymous proximity to their targets. Women also feel more at risk in areas near to public transport. These spaces include pedestrian subways and bridges, stations, access and bike paths. As a result, avoiding danger in these areas has become a priority for women as they move around the city. Sexual harassment, as defined by the Centre Against Sexual Assault, is a crime that includes: stalking, unwanted touching, obscene gestures, voyeurism, unwanted sexual comments or jokes, sex-related insults, pressuring for dates or sex, indecent exposure, being forced to watch or participate in pornography, offensive written material, and unwanted offensive and invasive interpersonal communication through electronic devices or social media. It's reported to affect one in ten women. But the actual figure is likely to be much higher, as over 80% of sexual crimes against Australian women go unreported. The fear of sexual harassment in urban areas is so widespread that a 2016 national survey found Australian girls and women regularly modify their behavior to reduce their risk of harassment. More are staying at home rather than going out at night.  When they do go out, women make meticulous decisions about their clothing and limit their movements to particular areas of the city. Many completely avoid public transport spaces. This indicates that women are internalizing the message that safety from sexual harassment is solely their responsibility. Public transport providers perpetuate this message by advising commuters to regulate their behavior to stay safe. Travelers are encouraged to sit with other passengers, use the carriage closest to the driver's cabin, plan ahead to avoid extended waiting times, and keep to well-lit areas or designated "safety zones". This advice fails to acknowledge the role of gender in public transport safety. It also causes passengers who don't feel safe to become hypersensitive to their surroundings.  The provision of CCTV cameras and alarm buttons is important, but these may become useful only after a sexual crime has already been committed. So new approaches to safety need to be pursued. Of course, sexual harassment in public transport spaces is not exclusive to Australia. Several nations, including India, Pakistan, Mexico, the UK, Japan, Malaysia, Egypt, Philippines and European Union states, have introduced segregated public transport or taxi services as a response. In Australia, a female-only ride-sharing service, Shebah, is operating in Melbourne, Geelong, Sydney, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, with more locations on the way. The problem with short-term solutions Gender segregation is, however, only a short-term solution. It's problematic in that it reinforces the gender stereotypes contributing to the societal causes of sexual violence. Importantly, segregation marginalizes individuals from the LGBTQI community and those who have fluid or non-conforming gender identities. The present victim-blaming approach to safety on public transport does not only affect cis-gendered women. For example, the New South Wales Police website advises LGBTQI people to "wear something over your outfits, such as a jacket or overcoat, or consider changing at your destination" if "frocking up for the night (for example, in 'drag' or something revealing)". At a fundamental level, segregation perpetuates a rape culture that blames victims and frames all men as threats to women. It's a knee-jerk response that reinforces outdated power dynamics and erases the complexity of gender identity. Designing for safety Society is now acknowledging how factors of race, age, disability, socioeconomic status, sexuality, and gender intersect to influence the everyday lived experiences of Australians. We need to rethink our approach to safety design to reflect this understanding. By 2030, public transport use is predicted to grow by 30% in Australia. So it's crucial to create gender-sensitive, safe and accessible public transport spaces. Currently, sexual harassment does not significantly influence the safety design of our public transport environments. Instead, safety measures are generalized and gender-blind. But if we are to properly address this widespread issue, we need to include diverse voices in the conversation and conduct more research into how these environments contribute to sexual harassment. Collating data on the experiences of women and girls in cities, using geolocative methods and analysis, has produced promising results. Crowd-mapping techniques extend activist campaigns such as the international Everyday Sexism Project, South Asia's Safetipin, India's Harassmap, and the Australian pilot of Free to Be. These digital campaigns encourage women who have experienced or fear sexual harassment to disclose the location and context of their experience "in their own words, without the restrictions on a narrative form associated with the traditional justice system". With negative experiences resulting in entrenched behavior in women navigating through the city, creating safe public transport spaces is critical. We urgently need to build on the emerging data and develop new approaches to the design and delivery of urban transport that productively supports the needs of all urban Australians. Article Source......smh.com.au    

7 Essential items while Travelling!

Travelling is like romance, being a travel freak is the absolute best! Also for good selfie and with summer breeze should look in real without editing. While traveling some items are really need to be on your checklist.Well, if you’re planning a trip in the near future then we’ve got you covered. Here you go for 7 items you must have while traveling!   1-Travel Size Perfumes – The heat is on, ladies, and to feel fresh and cool at all times, all of us have our tank tops and sundresses ready to go. Another way to stay fresh through a hot summer day is by keeping handy some amazing travel-size perfumes. Go ahead and smell good.   2-Must Need Apps- Not every journey happens with someone else accompanying you! So you need to know exactly what’s happening around you – whether it’s the route you’re taking, or what your travel options are – and how to be safe and secure at all times! whether you’re a tourist or have just moved cities. SafetiPin provides you with a map-based view of a locality, a city or the world – along with its safety score. The idea is to get to know a place better to stay safe! An area that has been marked potentially unsafe will show up with a red sign on your app.Some Like Ola/Uber and Redbus which help you to book your seat and ditch the rush.   3-Money Belt: You need to be more aware of your traveling, there are so many cases where travelers lost their belonging. After seeing some wear hidden money belts that were so bulky and obvious, I never thought I’d own one. But they are worth the penny.   4-Eye Mask and Ear Plug – People do sleep on planes. Or try to relax while traveling. Sometimes, though, I need a little help. In my experience, nothing works better than an old-fashioned eye mask and foam ear plugs. Look stylish even when you try to sleep.    5-Keep Wipes In Your Bag- Using a wet wipe is always a good aadat, You will be thanking us for this one! Even when you by chance Smudged your eyeliner, want to clean and freshen up? Done. Keep these close, and you are half sorted. Wet Wipe tissues are always a good to go and must be in your bag.   6-No Foundation – If you’re traveling, especially long hours, your foundation will dry up and eventually begin to crack or look uneven. If you want coverage, use the light and handy BB cream – with SPF 30. The product acts as a moisturizer, foundation, concealer, and sunscreen all rolled into one! And given the fact that you’re on the go, what better than to have this all-in-one.   7-Hand Sanitizer Closer - You are bound to pick up germs here and there while on you’re traveling or on your vacay. And since we just can’t seem to keep our hands off our faces, keeping our hand sanitizer ready is a must! After all, you don’t want your skin breaking out and those pimples ruining your lovely holiday pictures. Article Source.......India fashion blogger   Download - Women Safety App

Safetipin makes the world less scary at night

There are certain neighborhoods that you just can’t walk around in at night. It’s hard to explain, but the only thing you know is that being there leaves you with a creeping, niggling feeling. How do you report this feeling without sounding crazy? What makes people feel safe when they’re in a neighborhood? Wide streets? Bright lights? A certain number of cars?   The two founders of Safetipin, Ashish Basu, and Kalpana Vishwanath, have narrowed safety down to nine factors: lighting, openness, visibility, people density, security, walk path, transportation in the area, and feeling.   Safetipin crowdsources information on these nine factors in order to paint an accurate and transparent picture of cities. The first eight work as independent variables, or factors that are measured on their own in the physical world. The last, “feeling”, counts as a dependent variable and is observed in conjunction with the first eight. “To explain a tangible like “feeling”, you need backup data,” explains Ashish. “We use the preceding data to understand changes in it.” Once a certain number of these audits are conducted in an area, they are aggregated to create a “safety score”. Safety scores range from one to ten and are represented in that order by green, amber, or red pins. Audits can be shared on social networks and users can create “walls” about certain areas that will then allow them to post info online like broken traffic lights and bad roads. These are all accessible on Safetipin’s app, which also provides access to information about amenities like 24-hour pharmacies and ATMs. Among other things, the app also acts as a GPS tracker. “It’s over-configured,” Ashish jokes. The app is available in English, Hindi, Bahasa, Spanish, and Mandarin and has had over 40,000 contributions. It eventually hopes to cover 100 cities across South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America and currently works in one city in each of these areas: Jakarta, Bogota, Nairobi, and Delhi. Understanding human interaction through data The difficult thing about crowdsourcing information is maintaining quantity and quality. In India, Safetipin has been launched in what is known as the country’s “rape capital”, Delhi. While that’s a horrible and degrading way to describe a city – as if rapes can be quantified and addressed in the same way that a certain number of startups can define a “startup capital” or a proliferation of food stalls can define a “street food capital” – the number of reported rapes in Delhi are more than anywhere else in the country. Reported cases doubled from 706 to 1,638 between 2012 and 2013. Last year saw 2,166 reported rape cases. However, it is important to remember that this does not necessarily mean that the number of rapes are increasing. In fact, it might actually be a positive thing – perhaps, more people are reporting rape cases than ever before. “More data is better data,” Ashish explains. “That was something important that we had to learn. You can’t have a sample size of two people telling you that an area is unsafe. You’re looking for more information.” Because it can be unattractive for a business to exist in an unsafe area, some people go so far as to lie on these services. In order to address this problem, Ashish explains that the amount of data that the app has is important. “If you look at it in pure mathematical terms, those who fabricate numbers will be outliers.” Of course, it’s not always easy to get these numbers. Particularly in apps that rely on social interaction like Safetipin, it can be difficult to motivate users to contribute. “The interesting trend was that many people would download the app but would then stop at one or two audits,” reminisces Ashish. “We tried everything from target groups to send out a rubric based set of questions. Eventually we found a bunch of volunteers who helped us crowdsource information.” With more contribution and change, however, the app has picked up. “That’s how behavior works on social networks,” says Ashish. “Once the ball gets rolling, it takes a lot to stop it.” The collection of data has also improved after Safetipin had the opportunity to tie up with more mobilizing methods. In September, it partnered with Uber. This partnership arrived after the taxi-hailing app got into hot water when a woman accused a driver of raping her. He was sentenced to life in prison in November. Uber’s partnership with Safetipin meant that the organization would function across Bangalore, Mumbai, Gurgaon and Noida. Drivers would install an outward-facing camera on their dashboards and take photos of different parts of cities as they drove around. The data would be sent back to Safetipin who would then use their parameters to identify safety scores. The police have also been helpful in mobilizing Safetipin’s data collection. “There are some parts of town that are so dangerous that taxi cabs won’t even enter them,” says Ashish. “There, the police has helped us by installing CCTV cameras and giving us the data.” Why do safety scores matter? Although Safetipin can collect tons of data, it won’t matter unless people care about safety scores. “It’s a movement that needs to happen,” he explains. “That’s by far been the most challenging and exciting aspect of Safetipin.” The app is a win-win on both sides: once it’s been popularized, a green light on the Safetipin app can mean more business for a hotel or restaurant. It can up the nightlife in an area and even change real estate trends. “We’re essentially a big data company,” says Ashish. “It’s up to everyone else to decide what they want to do with it.” Another example of a similar initiative is SafeCity, an organization that provides a platform to file sexual harassment reports on specific locations uses them to distinguish unsafe hotspots on a map. These hotspots then help identify trends of sexual harassment in public areas. While there exist other services that use data collection and technology in order to improve safety in India, there definitely aren’t enough. “We still are essentially a big data startup,” explains Ashish, who’s been married to Kalpana for several years. “My wife and I are from two different worlds. Kalpana is from the social sector and she’s been doing safety audits for years. I’m a techie who believes that change can only happen if you measure things. Together, we want to find a middle ground that fits with the way the world works today.” Women Safety App Personal Safety App  Article Source.......Techinaisa  

How Mobile Apps are Making Cities Safer for Women

How safe do you feel in the streets of Bogota, Jakarta or major cities in India such as Delhi and Chennai? That’s a question the Safetipin app has been asking users since it launched in 2013 following the highly publicized case of a young woman gang raped on a bus in Delhi. The app crowdsources information on how safe a city is based on nine parameters, including lighting availability, visibility and a person’s own feeling of safety. This data helps inform other users — women in particular — which areas in a city are safe for travel or walking, particularly at night, and which ones are best avoided. A new feature allows friends and family members to monitor one’s whereabouts. The app launched in Delhi, but has since expanded to other Indian cities, as well as overseas. In 2016, this included parts of Quezon City, a highly urbanized city in Metro Manila, with a population of nearly 3 million. The launch in the Philippines is part of a pilot project initiated by the Youth for Asia team of the Asian Development Bank’s NGO and Civil Society Center. The pilot, led by Lee Lambert and Shruti Mehta, mobilized close to 150 youths, mostly university students, to conduct safety audits in parts of Quezon City, such as in Katipunan, where there are several universities, including Ateneo De Manila University and University of the Philippines. The activity allowed the team to get a snapshot of how safe particular areas are in Quezon City for pedestrians and commuters based on close to 2,000 pieces of audited information. They found that not all locations have good lighting, some areas are not as accessible for transport, and half did not have any security presence. But gathering the data is just one part of the story. The long-term goal is for such information and ICT solutions to be more integrated into ADB projects, with youth as an important stakeholder in the process, Lambert and Shruti told Devex. The Safetipin in particular could be a useful tool for ADB’s gender, urban and transport sector and thematic groups, they said. Most projects have a preparatory stage, where the first 18 months to two years of the project include a lot of data collection, Lambert said. This data helps inform the basis for how much loan is needed, or what further technical assistance the government may need to accomplish its development plan. The idea is for such information on city safety to be included in that preparatory phase, he added. “For a long-term perspective, what we hope is that any project that has livable cities, smart cities, urban cities design, safety is an important component and youth an important stakeholder of those cities,” Mehta said. “So getting young people to provide data on the safety of cities that then governments can use to [make changes], that’s a model we want to see in the long term.” The Youth for Asia team has partnerships with several youth organizations in the region, such as the Global Shapers Community and AIESEC, one of the largest youth-run nonprofit organizations with presence in over 125 countries. The mobilization of large numbers of youth and the potential integration of Safetipin data in ADB projects would help set the stage for apps such as Safetipin to move the needle on safety in a large-scale setting. “If they have the resources then something gets done on the ground,” said Kriti Agarwal, program manager at Safetipin. “No other partner organization has reached the stage where we are budgeting and then presenting that [budget] proposal to the government.” Safetipin’s data, however, has been shared with and used by governments in places such as Delhi, where a campaign is ongoing to illuminate dark areas across the city. This is only one initiative against a set of parameters Safetipin looks at when gauging safety in the streets. The Youth for Asia team at ADB is working on a series of toolkits that could provide guidance to ADB’s sector and thematic groups and other interested organizations wishing to tap the youth and conduct their own safety audits in their respective cities. Their pilot, Lambert said, proves the model can be replicated. Articles Source....devex

Govt starts ‘dark spots’ illumination work

Fulfilling one of its major poll promises of illuminating dark spots as a step to ensure women’s security in the city, the Delhi government on Saturday launched a project to illuminate 7,438 dark sports falling in North and East MCD areas. The Delhi government has set a target to complete the project before March 31.    The work will be conducted by the Public Works Department of the Delhi Government and the NGO Safetipin has been asked to conduct an audit and report to the government. “We will consider the lighting of dark spots to be done only after the Safetipin audit endorses that the work has been satisfactorily done,” said Satyendar Jain, Minister for PWD in the Delhi government after inaugurating the project.    These dark spots were identified by the NGO and the report was submitted to the Delhi Police for their illumination. “PWD has already obtained No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from North and East MCDs for the dark spots falling in their respective jurisdictions,” added the minister. He further added that South MCD has not provided NOC, so the work of illuminating dark spots could not be taken up in South Delhi area.    “Earlier, PWD areas were illuminated and the audit was done by Saftipin, which reported to the department that dark spots had been illuminated. This time also the project will be considered complete after satisfaction of the NGO,” said Jain.    He also expressed hope that the South MCD will also expedite the process of granting a NOC to the PWD so that lighting of dark spots across Delhi could be completed at the earliest. The minister invited suggestions from all stakeholders on how the government could take further steps to make Delhi safe for women.     Responding on the issue of South MCD not giving the NOC to PWD, the spokesperson of the Corporation said: “We have identified 4,800 dark sports in our jurisdiction. These spots have been grouped ward-wise and work order has already been issued. The concerned Councilors of the wards have been given responsibility to verify the illumination by LED lights.”    He further added that South MCD is capable enough to take up the project on its own. “We have replaced 1.98 lakh streetlights with LED lights in our area and we shall complete this project as well,” he asserted. The project to replace street lights in South MCD with LED lights was started on December 25, 2014.    Article Source.......millennium post Download MySafetipin App

Delhi government to light up 7483 dark spots identified by SafetiPin by March 2017

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s Public Works Department (PWD) has announced plans to illuminate over 7,000 dark spots across the Capital before the beginning of the next fiscal. Aimed at increasing the safety of female citizens and in pursuance of one of AAP’s most significant electoral promises, PWD Minister Satyendar Jain inaugurated the installation of lights to illuminate 7,483 dark spots identified by NGO SafetiPin, which is intended to be completed by March 31, 2017. A senior Delhi government official said that while the initial phase of the project would largely benefit areas under the jurisdiction of the north and east civic bodies, more spots would be covered by an audit by the NGO concluded that the first phase had been successful. Women’s safety “The dark spots were identified by the NGO. It shared the data with the Delhi Police. Work on the dark spots has been initiated after the PWD obtained the no-objection certificate from the north and east civic bodies,” said a Delhi government official.   The NGO’s report, which was based on the perception of safety in relation to nine different parameters including lighting, the state of walk paths and presence of people — specifically women — on the streets, found prominent stretches in central and south Delhi to be “unsafe”. The “unsafe” stretches included: Man Singh Road, Pandara Road, Bhishma Pitamah Marg, Moolchand Flyover and the Vasant Kunj-Mehrauli Road. While north Delhi also scored higher in some parameters, west Delhi scored the lowest in all parameters except gender usage, which south Delhi scored low in. “We hope that the South MCD will also expedite the process of granting NOC to the PWD so that lighting of dark spots across Delhi can be completed at the earliest,” Mr. Jain said. He added that the government had, and would continue to seek, suggestions from stakeholders on how to make Delhi safe for women. Source...The Hindu