UNICEF and Microsoft Launch Improved, Scalable Technology to Protect Vulnerable Children and Women Amid Rise in Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Due to COVID-19
UNICEF and Microsoft Corp. launched a new version of Primero called Primero X — an open source case management web application that helps social service providers coordinate critical support to vulnerable children. Key interventions include providing access to lifesaving services, such as family reunification and tracing, while still adhering to physical distancing and movement restrictions due to COVID-19. The launch of Primero X comes amid an increase in the rates of domestic and gender-based violence linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Millions of children are now more vulnerable to violence, abuse and neglect due to the socioeconomic consequences of the intensifying pandemic. There are 1.8 billion children in the 104 countries where violence prevention and response services have been disrupted due to COVID-19. Schools are shuttered, parents and caregivers are losing jobs, and families are under increasing financial strain.
Over the past 12 months, UNICEF and Microsoft have been working together to enhance Primero to allow governments and other partners to deploy the application more quickly in humanitarian crises; support usage in offline and online settings from any device; improve the quality and consistency of care to vulnerable groups; and protect the privacy of at-risk children. The new version of Primero is currently being piloted in Ghana, with expected release to dozens of other countries through 2022. UNICEF aims to have Primero X live in 60 countries and territories by 2025.
Photo courtesy of IICD.