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
Date Written: January 15, 2012
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
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