Safe Mathare: A Mobile System for Women's Safe Commutes in the Slums

Mobile HCI 2012: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services Companion

Posted: 8 Nov 2017

See all articles by Margaret Hagan

Margaret Hagan

Stanford Legal Design Lab; Stanford Law School

Nan Zhang

Independent

Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye

Independent

Date Written: January 15, 2012

Abstract

The spread of mobile phone usage to slum areas raises the possibility of using mobile technology to address problems facing the poorest of the world's poor. We present a case study of Safe Mathare, a design project aimed at improving women's safety in Nairobi, Kenya. Safe Mathare provides community patrols with basic smartphone technology to help women commute safely through a slum neighborhood during dusk and dawn hours. The project started as a prototype developed in a university course and has found willing partners with local NGOs and government. During its pilot phase, it has run into many challenges in particular around the issue of vigilantism. This paper explores the development and implementation of Safe Mathare, raising the questions of whether and how design can leverage technology to build a social network for security.

Keywords: Design for Development, Kenya, Mobile Technology

JEL Classification: 13

Suggested Citation

Hagan, Margaret and Zhang, Nan and Kaye, Joseph 'Jofish', Safe Mathare: A Mobile System for Women's Safe Commutes in the Slums (January 15, 2012). Mobile HCI 2012: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services Companion. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3059888

Margaret Hagan (Contact Author)

Stanford Legal Design Lab ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305
United States

HOME PAGE: http://margarethagan.com

Stanford Law School ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

Nan Zhang

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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