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Literacy, Voice, and Toll Free NumberThe system currently supports SMS-based reporting, which presents a number of obvious limitations for populations with low literacy or in cases where reports cannot be transmitted via text messages due to significant complexity. Furthermore, the cost burden of texting the system is assumed by the individual, not by Plan or any other institution.Though it is technically feasible to reverse the billing for SMS to Plan or to secure a short code or “numerovert”, this has not occurred due to a lack of initiative, follow-through, or political will among stakeholders. As a result, it is possible that potential users are reluctant to participate in this initiative for economic reasons.With regard to voice, there are plenty of technical solutions for incorporating voice reporting into this project via a live helpline or an asynchronous interactive voice response system. While these technical solutions would allow even more people toparticipate in reporting, they would require additional technical expertise and management overhead. For the foreseeable future, while the fundamentals of this projectremain the focus of existing activities, I would focus exclusively on SMS and reassess the use of an IVR system after a thorough cost benefit analysis.
Plan Benin Presentation
FLSMS- USHAHIDI PROJECT IN BENIN TO FIGHT VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILD: SHOWCASEICT4RD 20111-3 November in Johannesburgpresented by Henri Marcel da SILVAPlan Benin ICTM
USHAHIDI Project in Benin to fight Violence Against Child Overview violence against children SMS reporting system engaging Government and civil society organizations in rural communities in Benin. provide youth with the opportunity to report violence against children. These reports can in turn help Plan gather valuable data about violence in a variety of communities, better understand the nature of violence against children in Benin, and serve as a useful tool for raising awareness among a variety of stakeholders. Provide government actors with a steady stream of actionable information related to violence against children. While this is certainly a benefit of the system, in practice the government has few resources and is in many cases ill- equipped to investigate individual reports
USHAHIDI Project in Benin to fight Violence Against Child Brief Presentation The team is working on a project to end Violence Against Children (VAC). The aim is to make the content and follow-up mechanisms of the United Nation‟s VAC Study widely known among children, youth and their caretakers in West Africa and mobilize a wide representation of children and youth in the country to prevent and respond to violence against children. In order to do that the team works with participating youth and children‟s organizations to build their capacities through producing comic books, cartoons, information booklets, and radio and television programs that inform about the topic of violence against children.
USHAHIDI Project in Benin to fight Violence Against Child Brief Presentation: Where we are Plan Benin has innovated by piloting SMS and „geo- visualization‟ (mapping) for violence tracking and reporting. Staff in Benin, with support from the WARO‟s ICT advisor and the VAC project coordinator, worked with the Child Protection System, relevant Ministries and local staff and children to develop a system whereby child victims of violence and community members who witness violence can send in a report which is recorded, forwarded to relevant local authorities, and mapped out so that violent incidents can be tracked and responded to. The visualization of violence types and cases is a powerful tool for advocating to local and national governments and decision makers as well as funding agencies about the need for violence prevention and treatment services and programs.
USHAHIDI Project in Benin to fight Violence Against Child Brief Presentation: Where we are Violence against children remains a serious problem in the West African nation of Benin. Children live in danger of corporal punishment in school and at home. Girls are vulnerable to sexual violence such as rape and forced marriage. Trafficking of children across borders and economic exploitation are also real dangers. The government of Benin has put in place actors to prevent and respond to such incidents of violence against children, which include Centers for Social Protection and judicial resources such as judges and prosecutors who specialize in child protection and children‟s rights. These resources, however, remain underused and underfunded.
USHAHIDI Project in Benin to fight Violence Against Child Brief Presentation: Where we are Through its SMS helpline Plan Benin is encouraging higher rates of reporting of violence against children by providing citizens with a rapid and anonymous means of reporting. The mapping and management of reports in Ushahidi also allows Plan Benin to have readily accessible data on the extent of violence in the country that can be used in advocacy efforts with central government actors.
USHAHIDI Project in Benin to fight Violence Against Child Brief Presentation: Where we are Plan Benin began receiving SMS reports of violence in July 2010. Messages are received by a FrontlineSMS system housed at the national office in Cotonou. Messages are instantly forwarded to the project focal points who are based in Plan‟s program offices in the departments of Couffo and Atacora and now with BPM These focal points then help launch the investigation and response by passing along the message to the relevant local government actors. These focal points also publish each case to Plan Benin‟s Ushahidi site: http://vacbenin.ushahidi.com .
USHAHIDI Project in Benin to fight Violence Against Child Brief Presentation: Where we are While resource realities currently demand a complex chain of communication before cases actually reach the rural and community-based government child protection actors the end goal is to have this system taken over by Benin‟s Ministry of the Family so that reports can go directly from victims to the responders without Plan‟s facilitation and oversight.
USHAHIDI Project in Benin to fight Violence Against Child How the system works Using a mobile phone, anyone witnessing or experiencing violence against children sends an SMS report to a local, easy to remember, number: 96008484 The report is registered in the FrontlineSMS system (www.frontlinesms.com) . The sender receives a “thank you for your message!” SMS to acknowledge the report. The report is archived in FrontlineSMS (managed at CO level by ICTM) and automatically sent to the back-end of the Ushahidi system. An administrator at the PU level reviews the report, geo-locating it on the map using the information from the SMS message, and ticking off the type of violence that was reported.
USHAHIDI Project in Benin to fight Violence Against Child How the system works At the same time SMS alert goes out to local authorities and frontline staff (ROC Team) who are responsible for child protection in the community so that they can follow up to research and verify the case and process it according to local child protection laws. Local authorities can also use the incident map to plan budgets, programs and support for victims of violence. Children and youth are using Flip cameras and mobile phones to gather and upload testimonies from children and community members on the Ushahidi map also to generate awareness and discussion about violence against children.
USHAHIDI Project in Benin to fight Violence Against Child How the system works In summary, this project in Benin shows innovative and integrated use of: new technology tools by youth, including Flip cameras and mobile phones, to create media and conduct outreach with their communities and the wider public mobile phones to crowd source reports of violence in the 2 pilot communities and now at country level geo-location and geo-visualization to support program planning, management and advocacy mobile phones and the web to strengthen management of cases of violence against children by local authorities social media tools for sharing the project process, sharing learning, generating discussion and ideas, and promotion of the project itself
USHAHIDI Project in Benin tofight Violence Against Child How the system works
USHAHIDI Project in Benin to fight Violence Against Child How the system works Live show: www.vacbenin.ushahidi.com & Technical & Admin Jobs: Message content: Name + Age + Sex + Locality + Type of violence (all useful information to help ROC team and CPS members to take action) Type of violence: categorize using UN study. We can add if needed additional categories Location: map the incident on Benin map Evaluate the incident and approve on a dynamic manner: status of each violence changes tacking into account reports coming from field under ROC team supervision after verification
USHAHIDI Project in Benin tofight Violence Against Child WORKFLOW
USHAHIDI Project in Benin to fight Violence Against Child RESULTS About 128 alerts reporting violence against children approved and verified Support given to public authorities to give effective response on each case Institutional support given to CPS, BPM, Brigades to give response MoU signed with BPM Children trained and skilled to train their pairs, do campaign on local Radio and TV and promote the system Mobile phones given to each children committee and media tool kit Local authorities trained to work using USHAHIDI project to do advocacy and submit proposals for new projects at community level License agreement at final stage to get short code and finally green number geo-location and geo-visualization to support program planning, management and advocacy and know the scope of VAC at country level
USHAHIDI Project in Benin to fight Violence Against Child Issues & Challenges People calling instead of texting Late Reporting back to update the system and take action Green number to be set up, government involvement Easy known number Weak Response given to abuse cases sometimes by public authorities Conflict to be avoided with existing response system owned by the government Work to improve the system in liaise with GSM companies and catch widely violence against child cases everywhere in the country Voice Alert to incorporate voice reporting (convergence of SMS and Voice) Government buy-in Spamming
USHAHIDI Project in Benin to fight Violence Against Child Project Next steps and way forward Get green number to facilitate message texting free of charge Transform current number and get easy knowm (no more than 4 digits) number to facilitate usage by communities Get „‟Brigade de Protection des Mineurs‟‟ (BPM), cope child protection system office, taking action effectively , according to mémorandum of collaboration signed on the project. Work and get from all GSM operators a protocole to set SMS for free or at a low cost on the project Work with each operator to implement the green number on his system Continue advocacy with public authorities (ministry of defense, interior, communications, social affairs, minors‟ judge, assembly, …) to get their buy-in, support and involvment. Networking with other projects/NGOs
USHAHIDI Project in Benin to fight Violence Against Child Project Next steps and way forward Monitor in liaise with WAR Social & Media Advisor all grants funding to support the project Continue and re-enforce institutional support to child protections system offices in order to give adequate response to violence cases reported Train all structured children comitees (CVED, CEDA, CEDEC) of our PUs Couffo & Atacora and give them support to monitor all abuse cases reported and treated by ROC team and public authorities at country level. Train all structured children comitees (CVED, CEDA, CEDEC) of our PUs Couffo & Atacora to use medias tools and techies to document violence against child cases. Work and advocate in order to get the project be integrated into the Child Protection System in Benin and managed fully by the government
USHAHIDI Project in Benin to fight Violence Against Child ICT Responsibilities Manage all ICT technicals aspects (configurations, implementation, reporting, …) Support, Train and Team capacity building Monitoring of the system (if needed) Point person on how achieve goals by using ICT (work with program, communities, other NGOs, …) Technological eve Periodically upgrading the system when new versions of FrontlineSMS and Ushahidi become available; Employing best practices with regard to the security of the system; Providing periodic status reports on the functioning of technical components; and Collaborating with other parties on the implementation of new features and functionality as the need arises.
USHAHIDI Project in Benin to fight Violence Against Child CONCLUSION USHAHIDI project in Benin helps program to fight violence against child It shows that rural community can use new technologies in very simple manner to reduce violence against child and sensitize authorities and communities on the scope of violence against child This project shows that ICT can be used to achieve business goals in various domain (Rights, Health, Food security, Emergency, Education, …) The VAC Benin project is an exciting initiative that has the potential to significantly raise the profile of violence against children in Benin while contributing to the resolution of cases where children have been abused, kidnapped, exploited, or otherwise mistreated.
Thanks you for your attention. I am happy to take questions.