Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Risk Model to Channel Support to Those Most At-Risk in Mexico

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By Catherine Vogel

For several months now, the COVID-19 pandemic has been having a tremendous effect on the lives of millions of people around the world. The threat of the disease and increasing casualties are shaking the foundations of our highly interconnected society. State-imposed restrictions to our everyday life have forced us to change the way we work, connect and communicate.

The longer the pandemic spreads and claims human lives, the more we become aware that the associated challenges will not only dictate our actions in the next few weeks but represent a profound change that will become a new reality for us and possibly future generations.

Development cooperation strives for a desirable, sustainable and viable future for everyone. The pandemic hit us in a situation, where we were still coping with the challenges the digital age brings to our daily lives and the climate change seems to slowly gain the attention it desperately needs. Now, with Covid-19, uncertainties, risk scenarios and challenges dominate everything we do. Past alliances have changed, new alliances are being established.

And in this very insecure situation, we are currently experiencing something unique: An enormous wave of inventiveness, innovation and creativity! There is almost no day on which new ideas, progress and approaches to contain the pandemic and counteract its serious consequences are not reported.

Where there are challenges, there are also opportunities. How about turning one of the greatest challenges of our time into the greatest opportunities we ever had to create a future worth living in — for ourselves, our neighbours, our environment and climate? Can’t we all join forces and “bounce back to a better world”?

This motto of the Paris Peace Forum couldn’t have been chosen better. We need an incubator for multi-stakeholder initiatives, for a new form of cooperation, both on a high political level and on small scale initiatives on the ground. From past experiences, the Paris Peace Forum is a perfect occasion to prepare the floor.

I am very pleased that the GIZ Data Lab, along with 2 other GIZ projects, has the opportunity to shed a light on one of the more indirect and invisible consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is causing alarm among many governments and human rights organizations worldwide: The reports of drastic increases in levels of gender-based violence, particularly violence experienced by women and girls. In Mexico, we have partnered with the government, the civil society and data for development organizations, to use various sources of traditional data and big data, in order to predict high risk areas regarding gender-based violence. This gives unique insights, which can help to target interventions and analyze the root causes of this phenomenon.

To conclude, let me stress that this example of a data-driven solution is very promising. Moreover, I’m convinced that not only are concrete measures needed right now to jointly overcome this pandemic and its consequences, but also that overarching issues such as the ethically correct and inclusive use of big data must be pursued with increased caution and determination. We as GIZ stand for technology driven solutions — but in the right way. Jointly we need to work on the governance challenges of Big Data — and the Paris Peace Forum is a great forum for this. Let’s get to work — see you in November!

Yours sincerely,

Catherine Vogel, Co-Coordination GIZ Data Lab

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Views expressed in this publication are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Paris Peace Forum.

Since 2019, Catherine Vogel is Co-Coordinator of the GIZ Data Lab — a young, agile team at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), which explores the potential of non-traditional data for sustainable development. She also successfully manages the Data-Powered Positive Deviance initiative which represents a global network collaboratively created by GIZ Data Lab, Pulse Lab Jakarta, UN Accelerator Labs Network and the University of Manchester Centre for Digital Development.

Catherine started working at GIZ as a communications expert on the sustainable cultivation of coffee and cocoa in 2005. Throughout her career as a country and sector manager, focusing on climate, rural development and infrastructure topics, she developed a keen interest in the added value of big data for effective, targeted but responsible development. In her current role, she promotes the experimental use of data to develop and test new, cooperative methods while striking an appropriate balance between what is possible and what is ethic. She especially advocates for more attention to gender gaps in data in order to make a real change.

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