The project will develop an AI-based prediction model for those crime types that are the most serious problems for women in Uruguay, which will be incorporated into the application called SomosUna that has been under development by the executing agency.
After more than 2 years of the pandemic, the consequences for women have been disproportionately negative. The crisis has shown that women are the most affected by the increase in unemployment, poverty and the overload of unpaid care. But it also increased "the shadow pandemic", caused by gender-based violence.
Uruguay is not exempt from the increase in cases of gender violence. According to data from the National Institute for Women (Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres Inmujeres) released in 2021, every 13 minutes there is a complaint of gender-based violence and two out of ten women are afraid to go out on the street. More than 8 out of 10 women (84.2%) in the metropolitan area report being victims of gender-based violence in some area, while in the smaller towns of Uruguay, with less than 5,000 inhabitants, it is 6 out of 10 (60.3%). Likewise, inquiries and requests for telephone help increased 80% in the first months of the health emergency in Uruguay, according to information from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
To tackle the problem IDB Lab recently entered a partnership with Next2MyLife, a Uruguayan social impact startup, through a prototype project of up to US$150,000 (UR-T1271/UR-G0004) signed in March 2022, to test a solution/mobile application called "SomosUna", which aims to protect women from being victims of violence by articulating a network of support and accompaniment through facilitating effective communication between peers (volunteer women willing to help each other in any situation of gender-based violence). It will also offer training to women who join the community to understand and accompany each circumstance of gender violence.
SomosUna adapts the Next2MyLife's "Helpers" model , which consists of three pillars: (i) training, (ii) technology, and (iii) a community of volunteers. While this IDB Lab project UR-T1271/UR-G0004 was under design phase, JICA-IDB Lab open innovation challenge TSUBASA (Transformational Start Ups' Business Acceleration for the SDGs) identified a Japanese startup with an innovative solution which can enhance the value proposition of SomosUna mobile application: data-driven crime prediction algorithms. In addition to immediate help/care to be provided by SomosUna mobile application, prevention is also the key to combating gender-based violence.
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