Asia Foundation Releases One-Stop Shop for Mobile Solutions to End Violence Against Women

Phnom Penh, March 7, 2016 — With support from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), The Asia Foundation of Cambodia recently released a comprehensive source of how-to guidance to help the development community and activists create mobile solutions to end violence against women (EVAW). The online resource available at www.vxwaward.org, provides tools and resources for mobile app development, specifically for EVAW, as well as valuable lessons learnt from the VXW Award project.

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a global challenge; in Cambodia, it is a particularly endemic issue with 25 percent of women having experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence. Rapid advancements in mobile technology and mobile phone ownership are surfacing new potential for leveraging mobile technology to strengthen protective factors and support EVAW interventions.

The VXW Award was a 15-month project inspired by the belief that greater innovation is needed for the development of new and locally appropriate mobile apps for EVAW.  The process leveraged Human-Centered Design (HCD) methods to facilitate the design process, and surfaced valuable learnings about the product, process, and project alike. Recognizing the importance of promoting local ownership and designing for the needs of end users, the VXW Award supported local activists to drive the design of mobile apps to support their work and/or the communities they serve.

A comprehensive set of tools gathered from the VXW Award project are available at www.vxwaward.org for activists, community leaders, international and local NGOs when developing mobile apps for EVAW or other social causes, including:

App Toolkit: This toolkit outlines a “refined” HCD process – a set of techniques used to create new solutions with powerful methodology to help ensure women’s voices are included in solutions for EVAW. The toolkit layout follows the HCD model used widely across the social sector, which guides designers through the process and encourages tailoring the process to the unique sensitivities of EVAW.

Learning: The VXW Award inspired considerable learning that is condensed and made accessible through this publication. The featured content, curated by the Foundation project team, is recommended for anyone starting to build their own app, whether for ending violence against women or other purposes.

Case Studies: The case studies provide a high-level overview of the different EVAW apps. The studies provide an entry point for those wishing to develop an EVAW app, for stimulating thinking on the different functionalities apps can have, lessons learned for each apps, and approaches to app development.

Summary Report: The report represents an inventory of apps related to violence against women and girls currently available on the app market. 34 apps were identified and assessed for type of EVAW intervention, functionality, language, operating systems, date of release, download volume, and frequency of updates.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our programs address critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century—governance and law, economic development, women’s empowerment, environment, and regional cooperation.

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Related locations: Cambodia
Related programs: Empower Women