Stay safe by being aware of dangerous zones – prevent an incident by sharing with others, and use data and knowledge to take action!
bE is designed to improve everyday mobility for people while navigating urban, unsafe areas. A collaborative, open, and interactive platform in which users can view, add and modify events occurring in different areas of the City. bE allows individuals to be aware and cautious; it helps in the prevention of violence & crime; and should lead to action taken against it. These entries make up a database that should be utilized by the authorities and decision-makers for policy design and community building. In turn, this database serves to track the type and amount of offence, and measures improvements over time.
“When [people] are not safe walking on city streets, selling their goods or shopping in marketplaces, commuting on public transport or simply using community toilets, it has a massive impact on their lives. Both the threat and the experience of violence affect their access to social activities, education, employment and leadership opportunities.” Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women
How might we help vulnerable groups feel at ease and be physically and mentally safe when walking around potentially unsafe areas, so they can develop and thrive in society?
A bottom-up, collaborative, and interactive platform (OSM: open street map) in which users can view, add and modify events occurring in different areas of the City. These entries are being collected to make up a database that should be utilized by the authorities and decision-makers for policy design and community building. It serves to track the type of offence, the amount of these, and measures improvements over time. bE allows individuals to be aware and cautious; it helps in the prevention of violence & crime; and leads to actions taken against it. The platform as Open Source carries an open data approach, though no PII (personal identifiable information) will be collected nor stored – demographic data will be collected to help identify individuals more vulnerable and to which type of assaults as part of long term prevention strategies. The database is open and accessible to everyone from citizens to the authorities, as well as educational and research institutions.
How it works?
A victim will be able to access the platform and add an entry for an assault they have suffered, any citizen is able to view entries, as well as color-coded areas where more events tend to happen and the severity of these. The project has three main purposes:
- Caution: identifying areas of high crime, keep each other informed and aware of the un/safe areas in their neighbourhoods, so that they can be more careful around such areas or avoid them entirely
- Prevention: these entries spot high-crime areas where vigilance should be increased
- Action: strategies towards change, for decision-makers to create policies and regulations as well as strengthen the community through education programmes etc.
bE has 3 different users on the platform, the viewer, the victim and the organization or group who will access the database comprised of the user’s data points.
The user is generally someone part of vulnerable groups; women, children, elderly, LGBT, people with disabilities and those living in low-income communities.
1. The viewer: users who access the platform to view will use it when planning their day – this will help them decide what path to take and which areas to avoid.
2. The witness or victim: Those who add an entry will use bE after they suffered an assault or after they saw an incident, and they would like to report it to the community so other people can stay alert.
3. database user: those who access the database are people in decision making positions, NGOs or community organizations. They access the database and look for information to be utilized while working towards tackling crime and violence.
bE does not intend to be a for-profit Service or Product, but it intends to be sustainable and maintained in the long term, bE therefore will
a) build strategic partnerships with Research Institutions, Universities and NGOs
b) source funding from government grants and different types of donations as seen on the Business Model Canvas below, aiming to create data packages to build on knowledge to tackle the underlying issues.