Briefing Note on Prioritizing Safety and Support in Digital Reporting of Gender- Based Violence

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Publication language
Date published
11 Jun 2024
Accountability to affected populations (AAP), Complaints and feedback mechanisms, Data protection / Responsible data management

Digital tools are more accessible than ever, which has led to a surge of technological solutions aimed at improving
access to and quality of services in humanitarian settings. One area where this trend is evident is the response to
gender-based violence (GBV). Digital tools have emerged as a potential game-changer for survivor reporting; however,
like any innovation, these tools carry both benefits and risks. There are value propositions1 to digitally reporting GBV,
but the potential for retaliation, stigma and loss of survivors’ trust adds a layer of complexity that requires diligent
This briefing note explores these complexities. It begins with a description of digital reporting and how it may be used
in relation to making and collecting reports of GBV cases. It examines some of the key ethical considerations linked to
establishing and using digital reporting for GBV, using a simulated reporting platform to highlight common pitfalls in
designing safe and effective GBV reporting tools. It then details foundational principles that should guide any efforts
to design and adapt digital GBV reporting. The note concludes with a checklist of key considerations in designing and
implementing an online GBV reporting platform.
The note is written for anyone engaged in developing, working with, or overseeing digital platforms for GBV, including
managers, decision-makers, technology developers, and GBV practitioners. The information included in the note is
based on a desk review of GBV guidelines, digital development principles, existing digital reporting tools, and codes of
conduct. Key references are included at the end of the briefing note.