iSaveAGirl

iSaveAGirl

St. Augustine, United StatesIndia
Organization type: 
citizen sector
Project Stage:
Idea
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Mission Arogya is committed to bringing social justice and bridging healthcare and gender disparity in India. Our project 'iSaveAGirl' will enable crowdsource philanthropy to stop female foeticide.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

While, India’s legal framework stipulates equal rights for all gender, in practice, India is witness to widespread prejudice against girl child & violation of women’s reproductive rights. Number of girls per 1000 boys has gone down from 960 to 914, prompting govt. to declare “Child Sex Ratio” the most important health/social indicator. Despite making sex determination tests illegal & many NGOs starting helpline/awareness to stop female foeticide, not much headway has been made due to:1)Lack of anonymity of the reporter (mother/concerned citizen),2) Fear of reprisal, 3)Even if reported, it’s often AFTER a forced abortion,4)If anonymously reported, lack of enough details for effective follow up, leading to the report going cold & 5)Lack of enough volunteers for NGOs to offer individual help.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We propose to build an SMS-enabled web application, “iSaveAGirl”, on Facebook development platform that will enable crowdsourced philanthropy to stop Female Foeticide in India. “iSaveAgirl” will specifically enable NGOs that are working in female foeticide area: a) to register and train social networking users as volunteers to create a virally growing “iSaveAGirl Volunteer Community”, b) to receive reports via SMS/Email/App from any expectant mother or well-wisher, who will, irrespective of their social and economical status, be able to report anonymously and easily their suspicion of possibility/threat of “child sex determination”, “girl foetus abortion”, c) to provide personalized follow-up & assignment of a suitable volunteer for each case and d) finally, to provide tools/information and other supports to the volunteer,while keeping mother’s privacy intact, so that s/he can effectively monitor and ensure that the mother gives birth to her child and doesn’t succumb to any pressure
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Program will be executed in 3 tracks: A) Building “iSaveAGirl Community”: NGO will use iSaveAGirl Facebook (FB) App to promote the cause via social media where volunteers can sign up to be part of the cause. Due to sensitivity of work, validation of signed-up users will be a two-step process: 1) An algorithm will identify authenticity of signed-up users based on published info./activities on FB & rank them per potential. NGO group will contact potential volunteers, explain the work (see C) & complete registration, creating registered, validated, trained iSaveAGirl Volunteers. B) Proactive anonymous reporting, follow-up & assignment: Pregnant woman/well-wisher (reporter) suspecting sex determination test leading to abortion for non-medical reasons can report anonymously to NGO using any of the communication channels (CC): SMS text, Email or Facebook App. To keep report anonymous, a unique case-id will be assigned. Using same CC, NGO will work with reporter to gather more info. & offer situation-based advice. iSaveAGirl software will use reported info. to create a short-list of probable volunteers. NGO will, per reporter’s preference & consent, assign a volunteer to the case. No personal info. of the mother will be revealed to volunteer, except case-specific info. needed for monitoring. C) Volunteer’s Proactive Monitoring: Volunteer will keep in touch regularly with reporter using the CC. If volunteer senses any threat of sex determination, abortion or abuse, s/he will notify NGO, which will intervene. After birth of baby, volunteer will earn an "iSaveAGirl Badge".
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Despite efforts of NGOs, girl child sex ratio has gone down in the last decade. Which means, traditional methods like helpline, community awareness prog. are not working. We’ll provide info & communication tech. tools for NGOs working to prevent female foeticide & our solution, first of its kind in this area, will complement traditional methods for max impact. Differentiation factors from NGOs are two-fold: a) Use of Info & Communication Tech. (ICT) & Social Network to reach & turn Internet Users into volunteers. b) Using ICT methods for proactive, anonymous & quick communication b/w the reporter-NGO-volunteer. Asynchronous methods for easy reporting w/o probing as compared to helpline, ensuring that the mother is not overheard on phone, one of the main social reasons for non-reporting.
Team

Founding Story

iSaveAGirl is motivated by our personal loss of miscarrying a girl child & more recently by the show, “Satyamev Jayate,” which discussed shocking instances & statistics about female foeticide in India, specifically in urban India. We were also struck by the immense potential of the Internet to be utilized for philanthropy through crowdsourcing, where innovation is not restricted by financial resources & is effectively promoted through collaboration & taking ownership of & attempting to improve existing social conditions. 1. Satyameva Jayate, Episode 1 - Female Foeticide http://www.satyamevjayate.in/issue01/ 2. Role of Internet & social network, Jennifer Pahlka http://www.ted.com/talks/jennifer_pahlka_coding_a_better_government.html 3. Crowsourcing Philanthropy, Katherine Fulton http://www.ted.com/talks/katherine_fulton_you_are_the_future_of_philanthropy.html 4. Crowsouring Health, Lucien Engelen http://www.ted.com/talks/lucien_engelen_crowdsource_your_health.html
About You
Organization:
R3G Foundation, Inc. (Mission Arogya)
About You
First Name

Rita

Last Name

Bhattacharjee

About Your Organization
Organization Name

R3G Foundation, Inc. (Mission Arogya)

Organization Country

, FL, St. Augustine, Saint Johns County

Country where this project is creating social impact

, XX

Age of Innovator

Over 34

Gender of Innovator

Female

How long has your organization been operating?

Less than a year

Has the organization received awards or honors? Please tell us about them

Mission Arogya’s idea to implement an integrated 'Kolkata Medical Emergency System' (KMES) was one of the eight winners of the Rockefeller Foundation Innovation Challenge, 2012. Mission Arogya was invited by Rockefeller Foundation to submit a grant to implement the idea which is currently under review by Rockefeller Foundation.
(http://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/news/press-releases/rockefeller-fou...)

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Innovation
How long have you been in operation?

Still in idea phase, but looking to launch soon

Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your innovation addresses? Choose up to two

Access, Equity.

Social Impact
What solution(s) does your initiative address to better the lives of girls and women by leveraging technology? (select all applicable)

Access to technology, Access to education/training, Access to health care, Policy change/advocacy.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

As mentioned, “iSaveAGirl” solution is currently in the ideation step.Once this solution is developed & adopted by NGOs working to prevent female foeticide, it should have a significant impact by solving issues identified in the “Need” section: shortage of volunteers, proactive-anonymized reporting & individual follow-ups. Using ICT tech. like SMS, email & popular social networking platform, we hope to reach >90% of the population.
Primary volunteer target group comprises of adult Internet users, who want to give back to society but have “Little time”, “Financial constraints” & are “Not sure about right causes”. Our approach solves these dilemmas & involves people in philanthropic work w/o financial commitment, offering convenient work time & satisfaction of positive outcome.Primary recipient group is any pregnant woman, who suspects a sex-determination test leading to an illegal abortion if foetus turns out to be girl, but cannot report due to lack of privacy and fear of reprisal.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

Indian Govt’s 12th 5-year plan report (2012) indicates that the only health outcome, Child Sex Ratio(CSR) continues a dangerous downward trend (graph attached). The 12th plan has identified “Low child sex ratio & discrimination against girl child” as health priority & has set a goal to increase no. of girls per 1000 boys to 935 from 914 by 2017. While the plan requests existing NGOs to ramp up efforts, it doesn’t offer any concrete solutions. By providing “iSaveAGirl” tool to the NGOs, we hope to achieve this number within next 3 years (2015). The trend in urban areas is worse, with a 902 CSR compared to 919 in rural areas (Total, nationwide 914). With a high-penetration of ICT (SMS, Facebook) in urban areas, we believe “iSaveAGirl” will have a strong impact in increasing the CSR number.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

Once the “iSaveAGirl” software is ready, the only barrier will be NGOs’ willingness to adopt this tool. But we are very positive about that. As explained, current methods to prevent foeticide are not working. There is a renewed emphasis in this area due to news in the public media & a socially relevant TV show (Satyameva Jayate, Episode 1). NGOs, such as Snehalaya, featured in this show, are eager to get any help & we believe “iSaveAGirl” will be a great tool to complement their work & make it more effective.
The current situation is one of “chicken and egg”. NGO organizations will only believe this software will work when they see it in action. But that’s only possible once the software is developed. We will require the funding to develop this software first, to overcome this barrier.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

To Complete the development of the “iSaveAGirl” software platform using Agile Scrum based methodology

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Requirement Analysis:The deliverables are User Stories, Product Backlog, Wireframe, and Traceability & Requirement Matrix.

Task 2

Development:Consists of four Sprints, each 3 weeks.Product Owner identifies user stories, which are implemented in each Sprint

Task 3

Identify the organization for the Pilot.Work with the NGO to refine requirements,complete testing and provide training

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

To pilot "iSaveAGiel" with an NGO in Northern India, where Female Foeticide is most prevelant, to see a increase in Girls Child

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Work with the NGO to create public awareness of this tool via social media and other public media (Newspaper, TV)

Task 2

Provide continuous training and monitoring of usage of the tool

Task 3

Collect & Analyze data from different sources(Hospital,Clinic) in the pilot area to confirm that Girl Child Ratio is increasing

Sustainability
Tell us about your partnerships

We propose to partner with established NGOs who have been working hands-on to prevent female foeticide in India. Once the “iSaveAGirl” software is ready, we are certain that NGOs will be willing to partner with us and adopt the iSaveAGirl tool to complement traditional methods, which have failed to prevent foeticide. Some NGOs we’ll approach are: Snehalaya (Maharashtra), Jagruti (Dharwad), Hopes (Punjab), TSPS (Rajasthan), Plan India (New Delhi), Bal Mahila Kalyan Vikas Ashram (Bihar), Tarun Chetna (Uttar Pradesh) and Datamation Foundation Charitable Trust (New Delhi).

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

We are a new organization formed by social entrepreneurs(Epidemiologists, Doctors,Educators,Engineers) who believe in applying proven business & market strategies to solve inequitable social problems. We have several ideas that we will like to implement, specifically in Healthcare. While we can provide help in any form except investment, we are open to any help that we can obtain from the network.