Project Update #13: Neobis presents Aiymkana to Course
May 17, 2018
Part of: World Bank & Sexual Violence Research Initiative Project: ‘Combatting Sexual Violence in Kyrgyzstan through Innovative Education and Information Technology (Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia)’
Dr Elena Kim, Dr Elena Molchanova, Aigerim Bakubatova, and Dr Frank G. Karioris
In April, the ‘Gender, Ethics, and the Politics of Violence’ course had the great pleasure of inviting Neobis to give a lecture on the work that they have been doing on the application Aiymkana. Neobis has been working on this phone application as part of the project team. In November 2017, the team entered the application into the Hackathon, developing over the weekend and ending up coming in first place in the competition. You can see more information about the Hackathon in Updates 3 through 6 here. Since then, Neobis has been working to develop the application. As part of this process, we asked the team leaders from Neobis to join us in the class and present the application to the students. This presentation was an important opportunity as the Neobis team members are also students and alumnus from AUCA.
To present the application, Neobis gave a short presentation on the various components and capacities of the application. They also led the students through the process of downloading the application on their own phone as well. Once the students had downloaded the application, students were led through how to register and use the application.
After the team presented the application, students were invited to explore the application before an open discussion regarding the ways that the phone application connected with the issues that the class has been working through throughout the semester. Students provided feedback and questions, pushing the Neobis team to further think not just about the practical processes and usability of the application, but also about the conceptual issues related to sexual violence.
The application now incorporates both passive and active components towards addressing sexual and gender-based violence in Kyrgyzstan. This includes the ability to pin a map after incidents of violence or harassment. It also provides information about legal forms, issues, and processes written in understandable language – while this is currently in Russian, it will also be translated into Kyryz and Uzbek. The passive component of the application allows users to send out text message alerts to trusted contacts in the case of an emergency.
This presentation was important not just due to sharing the content of the application, but also because it brought together two of the large components of this project. Through integrating the technological component with the educational one, we were able to provide a further educational opportunity for both the Neobis team and the students in the course. Our goal throughout the project is to provide necessary education related to matters of sexual and gender-based violence and to assist in creating a pool of trained and educated individuals in society at large. Further, this provided students the opportunity to see the ways that technology can be incorporated into research and to assist in understanding, recognizing, and addressing social issues.
We are extremely grateful to the Neobis team, and are excited about the further developments of Aiymkana. In the coming months we will be expand and promote Aiymkana within Bishkek and Kyrgyzstan more broadly. In the next update, we will provide further information on the application and its roll-out.