WSIS Stocktaking Success Stories 2015

International Telecommunication Union World Summit on the Information Society WSIS Stocktaking Processsw

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This report refers to 18 projects selected as the most successful stories worldwide under each category, to serve as best practice models to be replicated by other stakeholders interested in ICT for development.The WSIS Prizes 2015 contest represents an ideal platform for identifying and showcasing success stories and models that can be easily replicated, empowering communities at the local level, giving an opportunity to WSIS stakeholders to participate in the contest, and, in particular, recognizing the efforts of stakeholders in terms of the value they add to society and of their commitment to achieving the WSIS goals.



The role of governments and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development

As the 2015 deadline nears, the world is eyeing the targets met and challenges faced in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). MDG 3 – to promote gender equality and empower women – calls for activities to end gender disparity. That goal remains out of reach in many countries, however, where violence against women remains a challenge. In South Asia, 40 to 70 per cent of women and girls report experiencing some form of physical, sexual or emotional abuse, and half of all women face violence in the home. The situation in Nepal has been aggravated by a prolonged political crisis resulting in unstable government authorities and lack of opportunity for development activities. Society continues to be infested by gender-based violence, with most cases of violence against women going unreported because of cultural norms and lack of opportunity and support for survivors. According to the World Bank 2014 regional report, Violence Against Women and Girls: Lessons from South Asia , gender-based violence is an acute problem in Nepal, with women being subjected to different forms of violence, namely, physical intimate partner violence, sexual exploitation, rape and forced labor. Despite the multiple efforts of stakeholders to address the issue, lack of knowledge about current laws against gender-based violence and services for survivors, plus distrust between institutions, contribute to underreporting of incidents of violence. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) uses technology to address socio-economic development, international development and human rights. Access to technology has increased considerably in Nepal. The Nepal Telecommunication Authority reported a penetration rate of 96.40 per cent as at November 2014, 86.25 per cent of which are mobile users. In Nepal, 35.70 per cent of the total population are Internet users. The numbers are increasing considerably every year. The prevalence of violence against women and the impressive penetration of technology in Nepal prompted the organization, on 16 July 2013, of a one-day Hackathon on Violence Against Women (VAWHack) intended to generate applications that could address the issue of gender-based violence in Nepal. The VAWHack, the first such event in Nepal, was organized jointly by the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, YoungInnovations and the Computer Association of Nepal. It brought together private sector representatives, gender experts and young techies to create ICT tools able to help survivors of violence against women and civil society organizations working to reduce its effect on society. After the event, all the partners encouraged follow-up of the winning apps, which were later integrated into a comprehensive platform, FightVAW . FightVAW is an ICT-based initiative that provides survivors of violence against women with an alternative means of reporting their cases, via phone call, SMS and online. It enhances coordination among civil society organizations that provide care and services. With an organized case-management system that records complaints and forwards cases to different institutions providing related rehabilitation and legal services, FightVAW uses technology to address a social issue. It has the additional benefit of reducing survivors’ trauma by sparing them the need to repeat their negative experiences in every organization they reach out to. It also serves as a one-stop site for information on organizations working to prevent violence against women. FightVAW provides a platform for sharing the inspirational stories of women who have moved on in life after such unfortunate incidents.


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