New cost-free reporting tool is a breakthrough for community monitoring
June 23, 2023
A new system in Kenya allows community members to send real-time alerts of violations of women’s rights free of charge, further breaking down technology and financial barriers to citizen-led monitoring.
Since 2022, RFUK has worked in Kenya with the Kenya Land Alliance and TMG Think Tank for Sustainability to develop a digital reporting and monitoring tool for women who face eviction from their lands, unlawful omission from property titles and denial of widows’ tenure rights, among other issues.
Haki Ardhi – meaning ‘land justice’ in Swahili – enables community-based women’s organisations to transmit and crowdsource reports of such abuses in order to provide support to affected people and to generate data for wider advocacy on women’s rights in the country.
Building on RFUK’s real-time forest monitoring ForestLink technology, the system allows users to send SMS alerts at no cost via a toll-free number, and without the need for a smartphone. Users then interact with an interface to answer a series of simple questions by answering a series of simple set questions on the type and nature of the abuses. In doing so, this cuts down technological barriers and allows the tool to reach even more people.
Joe Eisen, RFUK Executive Director, said, “Too often technologies such as smartphones and even reliable internet connections are out of the reach of frontline communities. By democratising access to tools and data, ‘low-tech’ solutions such as Haki Ardhi can help them shine a light on what is really happening in rural areas and reverse power imbalances that exist in international development.”
Operating in in seven countries in Africa and Latin America, ForestLink unlocks the potential of environmental and human rights defenders to monitor and protect their lands and rights in real-time, even from remote areas with no connectivity. Since its launch in 2014, it has enhanced law enforcement, reduced environmental crime, led to landmark cases and strengthened communities and local civil society.
Image © Kenya Land Alliance