safety apps

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General Overview

EICS Framework


Region of Reference

  • AfricaAfrica
  • AsiaAsia
  • AustraliaAustralia
  • EuropeEurope
  • North-AmericaNorth-America
  • South-AmericaSouth-America
  • WorldWorld


Though fear of sexual harassment, assault, and violence has affected women across the world, there has been a lack of reporting and recording them.

Safety and security apps can be employed to record/report incidences, collate information on these incidences, and start awareness for engaging women to report and address sexual harassment in public spaces and on public transport.

Types of Impact

Area Impacted

  • To/from the stop/station/rank
  • Waiting for train/bus/paratransit
  • In the vehicle
  • At interchanges
This intervention impacts all areas in the transport network.

Time of Day of Impact

  • Day-time travel
  • Night-time travel
  • Peak-time travel
  • Off peak-time travel
All travel time categories could be positively impacted by this intervention.

Mode Impacted

  • Bus
  • Train
  • Rideshare
  • 4 wheelers informal
  • 3 wheelers informal
  • 2 wheelers informal
  • Cycling
  • Walking
All modes of transport can be affected by this intervention.

Demographic impacted

  • Girls
  • Boys
  • Adult Women
  • Men
  • Elderly Women
All public transport users will be positively impacted by this intervention.

SWOT Analysis

  • Scalable to suit wide range of budgets

  • Rollout can be fast and effective

  • Stable technology with much experience to learn from globally

  • Possible to map incidences

  • System is only effective if those receiving the messages via these Apps are adequately trained and have the capacity to record and respond appropriately

  • Less effective in the context of informal transport without number plates and recognition identity

  • Reduction in criminal activities more broadly

  • Can aid existing law enforcement agencies to exercise their mandate more effectively and efficiently

  • Can be used as a mapping tool for place, time and types of incidence occurence

  • In larger cities with extensive transport networks, a large no. of incidences being reported can be difficult to follow up

  • If proper follow up is not undertaken and reported to the genral population, trust in such systems will quickly diminish


This is a low-cost method that can prove to be very effective provided a network of information sharing and response mechanism is set in place. Registering and creating a database of the complaints being received for places, routes, modes, etc. can assist in creating heat maps and identifying the trend with respect to spatiality and temporality. Low level of confidence in these ratings if immediate action is not undertaken and noticed by the general public. But high confidence if security personnel is trained to record and respond. Varies depending on the type of App. Low level of perception of effectiveness (by female passengers) if immediate action is not undertaken and noticed by the general public. Varies depending on how much is the data being used to inform ongoing or future projects and programmes. But as a generic rule, medium to a high level of confidence perception of effectiveness (by governing bodies) as they generally tend to equate establishing a system as being equal to being an effective system.

  • Perception by (female) passengers
  • Perception by governing bodies
  • Level of confidence in these ratings


This requirement can be introduced with immediate effect – the benefit remains so long as the requirement remains in place.

Implementation timeframe

  • 0-1 year
  • 1-3 years
  • >3 years

Timeframe to realise benefits

  • 0-1 year
  • 1-3 years
  • >3 years

Scale of Implementation

Station or

Ease of Implementation

Relatively easy to implement. Linking notifying protocols through WhatsApp is quite easy. But the follow-up at the receiving end of these messages / information is what needs to be bolstered.

List of References



1. Viswanath, K., 2016, Using data to improve women's safety in cities, transport. Asian Development Blog.

2. News18. 2014. Delhi Traffic Police asks people to use Facebook, Whatsapp to complain illegal parking. [2022, January 28].

3. Foundation, D.E. n.d. National Digital Literacy Mission. [2022, January 28].

4. Sharma, S. 2016. How India is inching closer to becoming digitally literate. [2022, January 28].

5. Mehrotra, S. 2014. 2 Years On, Delhi Women Helpline Struggles to Handle Load of Distress Calls. [2022, January 28].

6. Thokne, R. 2016. Women helpline number 181 receives 2.14 Lac calls in 6 months. [2022, January 28].

7. RP, S. 2015. 8 innovative ways WhatsApp is being used in India. [2022, January 28].

8. Nagarkoti, R. 2016. MC to start WhatsApp helpline number to redress grievances. [2022, January 28].