Published 14 December 2017 in:

More than 50 students pulled an all-nighter in Honduras earlier this year to think up technical solutions to gender-based violence in the country’s first ever ‘diplohack’. The event, held in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, was a collaboration between the Swedish and Dutch embassies in Central America, UNESCO, Plan Honduras and the National Autonomous University of Honduras.

A ‘diplohack’ is a method that combines the know-how and skill sets of diplomats, tech developers, social entrepreneurs and others to ‘hack’ traditional diplomatic problems in start-up style groups.

Eleven interdisciplinary teams, with backgrounds ranging from programming to psychology, took part. Over the course of 36 hours, they engaged in non-stop brainstorming to come up with several outstanding ideas.

The various ideas were then assessed by a jury. They included an app to decrease vulnerability for LGTBI young people when dating online, an online tool to visualise and prevent sexual harassment in public spaces and an app to prevent sexual exploitation of children.

The winner was an app to help women subjected to domestic violence. It featured a self-evaluation test, recommending various courses of action, tailored information on support organisations, and an emergency function to directly contact the police.

Jury member Clara Molin, Second Secretary at the Swedish Embassy, says: “Sweden’s commitment to combating gender-based violence is longstanding. We need to be innovative and make use of all the possibilities that modern technology offers in this effort. Those directly affected should be co-creators of the solutions. That’s what this diplohack was all about.”

Pilar Álvarez-Laso, Executive Director of UNESCO’s Central American office, adds: “New communication technologies have permeated our modern societies to the extent that they can be used to spur considerable change: socially, politically and culturally.”

This case relates to Global Goal 10: Reduced inequalities