Mumbai-based Elsa Marie D’Silva has won the World Justice Challenge for developing an app that addresses sexual and gender-based violence.
The World Justice Challenge is a global competition to identify, recognise and promote good practices and high-impact projects and policies that protect and advance the rule of law.
Selected from a pool of 305 applicants from 118 countries, the winners were among 30 World Justice Challenge finalists invited to showcase their groundbreaking work at the Washington D.C.-based World Justice Forum.
D’Silva, who is founder of Red Dot Foundation, was awarded the World Justice Challenge prize for Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination to Safecity: A crowdmap for sexual and gender-based violence.
The prize, which carries a $20,000 award, was granted to Safecity app that was launched in response to the horrific 2012 Delhi gang rape which shook the entire nation at the event which took place in The Hague, Netherlands.
The Safecity reporting platform captures anonymous data about community sexual assault incidents in a crowdmap. The platform differentiates the type of incidents/assaults, time, date, location, and other impressions from reporters.
By representing information on a map as “hot spots”, the project moves the focus away from the “victim” to the location itself, helping people view the issue through a different lens.
SafeCity transformed from just a reporting platform to a method for organising and engaging communities for safety in their neighbourhoods. The data has been used to collaborate with police around problematic locations/times of the day, and for seeking community input for crime prevention.
Besides D’Silva, four others were given to best-in-class local initiatives under the themes of Access to Justice, Anti-Corruption and Open Government, Data for Justice, and Alumni Vote, which was chosen by winners and finalists of Challenge competitions from past years.
“Rule of law is under attack around the world, and people are suffering countless injustices as a result,” said Bill Neukom, co-founder and CEO of the World Justice Project, in a statement.
“The World Justice Challenge demonstrates how communities are resisting these attacks, and how their innovations can succeed in delivering justice, opportunity, and peace. We applaud these rule of law champions and look forward to the additional impact they inspire through their exemplary work.”