COVID19 & GBV: What’s Tech Got to Do With It?

Tuesday 26 May ICT4D Meetup: 
COVID19 Lockdowns, Domestic Violence,
and the Potential Role of Tech  

As the world has been on lockdown, unfortunately, domestic violence has gone up. The reality is that there are people without access to safe homes. Orders to “stay home” have created environments where some people, especially women and children, may find themselves in life-threatening situations where home is the last place they would rather be.

So what’s tech got to do with it?

On Tuesday 26 May 2020, I am delighed to be co-hosting a virtual panel (register to attend here) of three incredible speakers who will discuss their hands-on work and research examining the intersections of COVID19 lockdowns, domestic violence, and the (potential) role of tech.



1. Dorcas Erskine, Senior Consultant, World Bank and UNICEF. Dorcas will discuss a resource brief she recently authored “Not just Hotlines and Mobile Phones: GBV Service Provision during COVID-19“.

Dorcas is a specialist in preventing and responding to violence against women and girls in conflict affected countries. She is currently a senior consultant to the World Bank and UNICEF on these issues. Dorcas has held a number of senior roles most recently at ActionAid UK as the Director of Policy, Advocacy and Programmes as well as holding senior positions in programming and policy in ActionAid Tanzania .  Prior to working at ActionAid  U.K. she worked at theInternational Rescue Committee (IRC) where she oversaw relief and protection programmes for women and girls in conflict zones across the world. She has also worked in the UK not for profit sector and ran the Poppy Project – which supported female victims of trafficking and migrant workers in the UK.

2. Hera Hussain, Founder, CHAYN.

Hera is the Founder of CHAYN – a global volunteer-run project crowdsourcing resources on the web to address gender-based violence. Chayn has reached more than 360 000 people through its resources which are designed with survivors of abuse. Born in Scotland, raised in Pakistan and living in the UK, Hera knew from early on she wanted to empower women.

Hera is a passionate believer in using the power of open source technology and open data to solve the world’s pressing issues. When Hera isn’t running Chayn in her spare time, she works with governments and civil society to open datasets to fight corruption. Hera was on the Forbes 30 Under 30 and MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35 list.

3. Lakshmi Moore, Country Director, Action Aid Liberia, and Member, Liberia Feminist Forum. Lakshmi co-authored an insightful blog post that examines a few technology-linked mitigation strategies that Liberia might consider adopting for citizens while in lockdown.

Lakshmi is a Liberian Feminist, serving as the Country Director for ActionAid Liberia since 2018. As Country Director, Lakshmi provides leadership and oversight of ActionAid Liberia and the team, and also champions the International Platform for ActionAid International Federation’s work on Public Services and Civic Participation. Her role also includes strategic engagement and partnerships with the national government, civil society, women and youth groups, and communities for the promotion of women rights, including sexual and reproductive health and anti-sexual and gender based violence.

Lakshmi has over 14 years’ experience in nonprofit social justice work including fund development, program management, financial management, and technical support to community based organizations. Born and raised in Liberia, Lakshmi moved to the US in 2002, completing her undergraduate studies at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 2013, she returned to Liberia and joined ActionAid Liberia.

Lakshmi is a member of the technical working group of the Liberian Feminist Forum, a national chapter of the African Feminist Forum established in 2014 in Liberia. She also serves as a board member for SMART Liberia, a national youth organization developing innovative, youth-driven solutions to empower Liberian Youth to be change-leaders in their communities and beyond.


Each speaker will present for 12-15 minutes before we open up for questions from the audience. The event will occur on Zoom but you must register to attend the event via this Meetup link.

I hope to see you online next week!


    July 2, 2020 / 4:46 am

    The usage of social media have increased a lot in recent times. This situation can be used in a positive manner to raise public awareness on the unacceptability of domestic violence at any form by circulating important information to prevent it. Countries where women don’t have access to mobile phone or social media, the traditional media like community radio, television programs should highlight on this ‘invisible pandemic’ issue and services available for women in different context. We, as a community should also play an active role by posting those information in our Facebook or other social media platform to help others and aware women about their rights and services to seek justice in this crisis situation.

    • Ronda Zelezny-Green
      July 2, 2020 / 10:21 pm

      Hi Touhida, I agree with you! The UK has just also announced that at least 20 women died from homicide during the pandemic lockdown. Resources are helpful but in some cases don’t go far enough. The webinar was great though because the speakers provided lots of ideas about how information can be shared on this issue on social media. I look forward to your research when it’s ready!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.