Dell Social Challenge Semi Finalist Video

We are honored to be the idea prize winner of the Ashoka Changemaker & Intel organized "GirlTech" competition 

The Problem
While India’s legal framework stipulates equal rights for genders, in practice, India is witness to widespread prejudice against girl child & violation of women’s reproductive rights. Number of girls per 1000 boys (Child Sex ratio or CSR) has gone down from 960 in 1998 to 914 in 2011 nationally. The trend in urban areas is worse, with a 902 CSR compared to 919 in rural areas. This has prompted India government to declare “Child Sex Ratio” (CSR) as one of the most important health/social indicator & has set a goal to increase number of girls per 1000 boys to 935 from 914 by 2017. Despite making sex determination tests illegal & many Government & NGOs starting helpline/awareness to stop female foeticide, we are still lacking in effectively reducing female foeticide 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) The reports are often anonymous and lacks enough details for effective follow up, leading to the report going cold 
5) Lack of enough volunteers for Government & NGOs to follow-up and offer individual case by case intervention.

The Solution
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 Government & NGOs that are working in female foeticide area: 
1) To register and train social networking users as volunteers to create a virally growing “iSaveAGirl Volunteer Community”
2) 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”, 
3) To provide personalized follow-up & assignment of a suitable volunteer for each case and 
4) 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

Despite efforts of Government and NGOs, girl child sex ratio has gone down in the last decade. We’ll provide information & communication technology tools to Government & NGOs who are working to prevent female foeticide & our solution, first of its kind in this area, will complement traditional methods for maximum impact. Our solution, which is first of its kind in this area, will complement and strengthen the operations of the Government & NGOs on ground for maximum impact by deploying
1) Use of Info & Communication Tech. (ICT) & Social Network to reach & turn Internet Users into volunteers.
2) Using ICT methods for proactive, anonymous & quick communication b/w the reporter-NGO/Govt-volunteer. Asynchronous methods for easy reporting without probing as compared to helpline, ensuring that the mother is not overheard on phone, one of the main social reasons for non-reporting.

The Model
Program will be executed in 3 tracks:

Track I: Building “iSaveAGirl Community”
The Government/NGO (ORG) will use the 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: An algorithm will identify authenticity of signed-up users based on published information & activities on FB & rank them per potential. The ORG will contact potential volunteers, explain the work (see Track III) & complete registration, creating registered, validated, trained iSaveAGirl Volunteers.

Track II: 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 ORG using any of the communication channels (CC): SMS text, Email or the web based Facebook App. To keep reporter anonymous, a unique case-id will be assigned. Using same communication channel, the ORG workers will communicate with the reporter to gather more information & offer situation-based advice to stall any threat of abortion. iSaveAGirl software platform will use reported information to create a short-list of probable volunteers. The ORG worker will, per reporter’s preference & consent, assign a volunteer to the case. No personal information of the mother will be revealed to volunteer, except an anonymized case-id needed for monitoring in Track III.
The important part of this track is that the lead should not go cold.

Track III: Volunteer’s Proactive Monitoring
Volunteer will keep in touch regularly with the mother(or reporter) using the preferred Communication Channel. Volunteer will never be directly in touch with the mother to establish any-form of identity. All the communication will be via the software platform using the case-id assigned to the specific reported case. 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".

The Social Impact
Once this solution is developed & adopted by Government & NGOs working to prevent female foeticide, it should have a significant impact by solving issues identified above , such as: shortage of volunteers, proactive-anonymized reporting & individual follow-ups. Using ICT tools 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.
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 Government & NGOs to ramp up efforts, it doesn’t offer any concrete solutions. By providing “iSaveAGirl” tool to the Governemtn & 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 in favor of girl-child.