Prevention programmes
or services

Interventions that ensure safety and security focusing on violence, theft and fraud. These can take form of apps, online platforms or a combination of online and offline interventions.

An app or an online platform

Plugged in with local police station supported real time

Connecting members of the community

Likely to be championed by civil society and private sector

*Derived from the example of Yunga.ug and other civic justice apps connecting residence welfare associations

Prevention
programmes or services

Interventions that ensure safety and security focusing on violence, theft and fraud. These can take form of apps, online platforms or a combination of online and offline interventions.
An app or an online platform
1
Connecting members of the community
2
Plugged in with local police station supported real time
3
Likely to be championed by civil society and private sector
4

*Derived from the example of Yunga.ug and other civic justice apps connecting residence welfare associations

In what setting?

Preventive programs for theft and violence are becoming more pervasive with introduction of low-tech devices across geographies. They rely on social networks: citizens coming together with their neighbours and co-creating with the law enforcement agencies. They can be seen as a new-age community justice service with prevention and sharing of information as the primary objective.

Tanya Sourdin and Jacqueline Meredith, Digital Technology and Justice: Justice Apps, 2021. This book summarises opportunities and challenges for justice apps. 

Examples of Prevention Programmes

Yunga is a local rescue digital network in Uganda that connects neighbour to neighbour and neighbour to police in case of an attack or emergency. The Yunga app connects each home in the neighbourhood to reliable rapid response unit in case the matter escalates. The homes and properties are protected by using the Yunga Network, which are also connected to the local police stations. The app has features such as Yunga Doorbell or visitor management tool that provides added safety features to the users of the app.

Other examples of prevention programmes are: CrimeWatch (USA)

Scaling of Prevention Programs

Relates to basic need of personal security
Avoiding theft and fraud is essential to protect assets people hold. Prevention programs address this fundamental need of ensuring safety and security in communities.
Relates to basic need of personal security
Need support of the government agencies to grow
While these programs can be provided by private individuals and other market-based solutions, the business models are not always clear. These programs need support from the government to not only grow but also for basic sustainability in some cases.
Need support of the government agencies to grow
Revenue models need fast scaling
Business models for these services need attention. Willingness to pay for apps is limited, so huge scale is needed. One model we have seen is to sell hardware tools in combination with services. This is also the model used in the private security industry serving high end customers.
Revenue models need fast scaling
Teaming up with existing agencies is important
Prevention programs must aim to team up with existing agencies to create impact and scale. Courts and police can also think about shifting their budgets to such initiatives.
Teaming up with existing agencies is important
Define and show impact
Monitoring outcomes in this category is a challenge. Prevention is more difficult to measure or quantify than resolution.
Define and show impact
Starting privately, growing as a government service?
Operating in the field of security, the public-private partnership needs to be somewhat stable for this type of gamechanger to become an investable opportunity. If successful as a local solution, governments or donors may consider taking over the activities and invest in scaling. From the perspective of an early stage investor, this may be a possible exit.
Starting privately, growing as a government service?

Prevention programmes: business models are challenging

Suggestions for what should be addressed in a feasibility study

Most innovations preventing violence, fraud or theft are low tech platforms. People communicate about threats between themselves or with the police. The platforms are often clubbed as ‘civic-tech’, a broader area where communication platforms are created to strengthen the relationship between people and the government.

The revenue model needs attention. One model we have seen is to sell hardware tools in combination with services. This is also the model used in the private security industry serving high end customers. 

Monitoring outcomes in this category is a challenge. Prevention is more difficult to measure or quantify than resolution.

Prevention programmes usually need cooperation with the police. Operating in the field of security, the public-private partnership needs to be somewhat stable for this type of game-changer to become an investable opportunity. If successful as a local solution, governments or donors may consider taking over the activities and invest in scaling. From the perspective of an early stage investor, this may be a possible exit. 

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