Singapore, 30 July 2020 – Social services agency PAVE Integrated Service for Individual and Family Protection’s (PAVE) new app, Community Guardian, will enable it to expand its ability to detect domestic violence incidents, and provide help to victims more quickly.
Grassroots leaders and volunteers can use the app to report cases of domestic violence they encounter to PAVE. PAVE’s administrators will in turn be able to use the app’s location detection capabilities to quickly find trained first responders in the vicinity to investigate an incident. The first responders can also input the case details via the app, allowing administrators to immediately review the details of the case and assign appropriate additional support as necessary.
As of mid-June, the Community Guardian is being piloted across two group representation constituencies and five single member constituencies1 until December 2020.
“The social service sector is a high touch sector. But digital solutions can help to enhance the delivery of services. In addition, PAVE’s digitalisation efforts, through the Community Guardian app, help to rope in the wider community to play a part in the fight against domestic violence,” said Mr Desmond Lee, Minister-in-charge of Social Services Integration, Ministry of Social and Family Development
1 See Annex A for list of pilot locations
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and learning technology company Kydon Group collaborated to develop the app on a pro-bono basis. The app’s front end comprises user authentication, location detection and incident reporting interface was developed by Kydon. IMDA’s Digital Services Lab developed the back-end case reporting system that is critical to helping PAVE better track and manage cases.
“Over the Circuit Breaker period of April to June 2020, PAVE has seen to 516 cases of family violence, but there are many more cases out there that remain unreported. Domestic violence is more than a family issue, but a community issue, where friends and neighbours can play a part to help build safe home environments. IMDA and Kydon responded quickly to our call for a solution to help families experiencing abuse in the community. The Community Guardian prototype was ready for testing within two weeks. This partnership demonstrates a meaningful merging of the hard science of technology and the soft science of social services that we should leverage more on,” said Dr Sudha Nair, Executive Director, PAVE.
“COVID-19 has introduced new challenges for many organisations. We have seen how digital solutions can help organisations address evolving needs – scaling up their capabilities, improving operational processes and shortening turnaround times. By building common digital components our local tech partners can tap on, the IMDA Digital Services Lab has helped to accelerate the development of solutions such as the Community Guardian app. We look forward to working with the industry to build more new capabilities,” said Mr Lew Chuen Hong, Chief Executive, IMDA.
“We have the technical know-how and the people with passion to deliver high quality solutions quickly, even in complex environments. When IMDA approached Kydon about PAVE needing a solution for reporting community abuse and violence incidents, I agreed without hesitation because this initiative was important enough to improve PAVE’s effort in protecting our vulnerable citizens. We have also worked with IMDA recently on other related projects, which made this a natural extension of our partnership,” said Mr David Yeo, CEO, Kydon.
Annex A: Fact sheet: Community Guardian Annex B: Screenshots of Community Guardian App Annex C: Fact sheet: IMDA Digital Services Lab About the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)
leads Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore’s ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment, and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission. For more news and information, visit www.imda.gov.sg or follow IMDA on Facebook IMDAsg and Twitter @IMDAsg.
About the Kydon Group
Kydon is Singapore’s leading learning technology company that fuses sound pedagogy, latest research and cutting-edge technologies to create advanced digital learning environments. Kydon helps corporations and educational institutions achieve their business goals by infusing innovative technologies and digital training content to create impactful personal and team learning opportunities with positive business outcomes. Kydon’s strong engineering capabilities in digital learning solutions makes it also a leading software development house in custom applications, infrastructure and systems integration. Our goal is to make learning efficacious and organizational operations smarter through digitalisation. For more news and information, visit www.kydongrp.com or follow Kydon on Facebook and LinkedIn.
PAVE’s Integrated Services for Individual and Family Protection Specialist Centre (ISIFPSC) provides counselling and support to victims, perpetrators of domestic violence, as well as vulnerable family members such as children and the elderly. PAVE ISIFPSC aims to promote a healthy community, free from violence through empowerment, collaboration and advocacy.
PAVE’s services include assisting victims in applying for Personal Protection Orders (PPO) from the Family Justice Courts and organising various outreach events to raise awareness of family and dating violence. In addition, PAVE’s senior social workers train various professionals, including the police, legal and medical personnel and conducts research which it shares regularly with other social service practitioners. Since 1999, PAVE has helped over 20,000 clients. PAVE’s work focuses on ending the violence, and works with clients through one-to-one counselling as well as group sessions for women, men and children. PAVE believes that violence is a learnt behaviour and those who choose to use violence against their family members can learn to stop choosing violence. For more information, visit www.pave.org.sg or follow PAVE on Facebook PAVE and Instagram @paveorg.
COMMUNITY GUARDIAN (CG) APP
The reporting of domestic violence incidences has historically been a manual process. Calls received from victims or concerned parties such as neighbours will be assessed and a trained social worker dispatched to respond to the incident. This can be immediate for urgent cases or it may take a few days for non-urgent ones.
PAVE Integrated Services for Individual and Family Protection Specialist Centre sought to use technology to improve their ability to detect cases and shorten response times to provide faster assistance to victims.
Improving detection: To complement its social workers, PAVE recruited and trained 57 volunteers consisting of individuals and grassroots leaders. The volunteers are provided foundational training to make initial assessments, before ascertaining the appropriate follow-on responses. Grassroots leader volunteers play an important role in widening detection as they are more likely to encounter cases of family violence, or receive information of such cases, over the course of their community engagement work. Through the app, these volunteers will be able to report cases of possible domestic violence to PAVE.
Faster response: Through the app, a PAVE social worker would be able to see details of a reported incident and at a glance. Through the app, the social worker can also identify volunteers near the incident and find one with the appropriate training to respond to the case, where they can provide a preliminary assessment and determine the necessary follow-up.
Better case management: In addition to these benefits, the app will also provide PAVE with an overview of all cases logged, helping it to better manage the cases being worked on, cases closed or any further actions required
The Community Guardian pilot began in June 2020 and is expected to continue until December 2020 in the following areas:
- Jurong GRC
- Nee Soon GRC
- Teck Ghee
- Yio Chu Kang
- Tanjong Pagar
IMDA and Kydon will be further enhancing the app to add new capabilities including responder assignment acknowledgement and a search function to help PAVE quickly sort and match responders to cases. PAVE will assess the results of the pilot ahead of expanding the use of the app to more areas.
Screenshots of Community Guardian App
1) Incident reporting by responder via mobile app
2) Administrator’s back-end dashboard of cases reported and their status (demo cases)