Mobile App Helps Women Report Abuse in India

By Melanie Abzug

Responding to India’s high rate of violence against women and low rate of reporting, a Mumbai NGO recently launched an Android app that enables virtual reporting of incidents by trained volunteers. Part of the Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Actions (SNEHA)’s “Little Sister Project” with UNDP, the app is called EyeWatch. It began operations in Mumbai’s multi-ethnic Dharavi slum in 2014.

In India 43.6 percent of gender-related crimes are committed by a husband or relative of the victim. This fact, along with societal stigmas applied to victims of sexual assault, often discourages reporting. SNEHA’s initiative seeks to encourage reporting while providing complementary training for women and building cooperation with the police. The initiative has trained 160 local women called “sanginis” so far on how to properly identify and report cases of violence. Sanginis can use their mobile devices to record incidents they witness on the spot. In other cases they are approached by survivors or hear about incidents and then approach the women to provide assistance with reporting. Survivors are also connected with trained professionals who offer medical and legal support.

In slums like Dharavi, it can be difficult to deliver public goods and services.  Apps like EyeWatch can help bridge this gap.

In slums like Dharavi, it can be difficult to deliver public goods and services– apps like EyeWatch can help bridge this gap.

In addition, 4,500 police officers and more than 2,100 public hospital staff have been trained to identify domestic abuse. Incidents are stored in SNEHA’s database, which helps the organization map violence assist NGOs to understand the situation in the community. Continue reading

Highlights of the Human Development Report 2014

By Julia Marvin

On July 24, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released the 2014 Human Development Report: Sustaining Human Progress. The annual report measures global well-being by collating data on life expectancy at birth, mean and expected years of education, GNI per capita, HDI value (2012), and measures of inequality including inequality in income, the Palma ratio, and the Gini coefficient. Below are a few highlights from this year’s report:

Progress in human development is slowing down

As shown above, the HDI growth rate slowed in the last five years across all four human development groups identified by the UNDP – very high, high, medium, and low. This is a different tone than the 2013 report which highlighted rapid growth in human development in more than 40 developing countries over the last decade. For donors, this means dealing with human vulnerability– scenarios by which people’s capabilities and choices are decreased — as soon as possible to avoid a disruption of growth and to secure existing gains.

pic1hdr

Slowing of HDI growth, Human Development Report 2014, pg. 3

Continue reading

Khalid Malik, Director of the UNDP Human Development Report Office

“If the industrial revolution was a 100 million person story, this is a couple billion person story.” –Khalid Malik at the Asia Society on April 2, 2013, discussing the rise of the global south

Who is he?

In 2011, Khalid Malik was appointed Director of the Human Development Report Office at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Malik served as UN Special Adviser to Africa on New Development Partnerships. Mr. Malik has been involved in numerous UN studies; he was the lead author of the 2004 UNDP Development Effectiveness Report and co-edited two reviews, one on Lessons Learned in Crisis and Post-Conflict Situations and one focusing on Capacity for Development. Continue reading