Women, International Assemblies & multilateral fora.
Measuring gaps in representation, participation and influence
The G-app Project is designed to measure the active participation of women in international conferences and capture in which fora, the proportion of time, the topics, the capacity and delegated authority women speak in the conference chamber in order to provide concrete metrics to evaluate representation, participation and influence and highlight these figures to catalyze the outcome of more women in leading positions correspondent to their proportion in the population.
International Organisations provide the space and infrastructure for deciding the direction of the international community. Ensuring that a plurality of voices are heard is key for these decisions to have legitimacy. But how is this plurality measured? Do we understand the duration of time or the subjects on which women speak in international fora? Do we understand in which capacity women speak: as decision makers, as experts, or experientially? It is not sufficient for women merely to be present, or even to speak in the conference chamber, they must also have influence in outcomes.
Our ignorance of quantitative answers to these questions is not due to lack of information. All major international meetings are recorded in some form or other, but the sheer volume of recordings and the lack of automated ways of processing the information have been a barrier to answering these basic questions of representation and accountability in the international system. This is particularly relevant at a time when multilateralism (and even democracy) must reassert its legitimacy.
Developed over a two year period starting with a Women at the Table shout out on an EPFL panel sponsored by Credit Suisse evolving into an Inception Workshop facilitated by the Human Centered Design Team of Credit Suisse in consultation with teams from International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), UNAIDS and UN Women, to an EPFL Masters Thesis supported by Credit Suisse on visualizing the algorithm…
We are now thrilled to announce that Thoughtworks, one of the world’s premier global software consultancies, has elected to take the G-app on as one of their Social Change pro bono projects bringing us to a state of the art, quality controlled series of pilots in the spring of 2021. We are particularly honored that the entire Thoughtworks India office has decided to take this on as a special project.
December 2020 we worked for a week-long Phase Two Inception Workshop with full sets of Thoughtworks and Women at the Table teams revisiting data and IP aspects, assumptions, data flow, pain points, and outcomes.
We now embark on a series of hard core sprints with a full Thoughtworks development team supervised by Vanya Seth the Head of Technology Thoughtsworks India, and Satish Viswanathan Social Change Lead with 2 teams of software architects led by software developer head Kaleeaswari S, a data scientist, UIX designer, and biz dev and social support. Thoughtworks will bring their real world expertise solving complex problems with technology, helping us strengthen our core technology with a state of the art software architecture, security, and scalable design for our MVP phase in time for us to pilot and iterate throughout the spring of 2021 at various UN events to be announced.
We are also extremely pleased to announce that we have entered into an engagement with the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton who will act as pro bono counsel on the G-app project ensuring data privacy, GDPR compliance, and interoperability are implemented at a gold standard as we move to roll out and pilot with international organization partners.
Our goal ? Arriving at the COP-26 in November 2021 in order to map women’s influence and participation in the open negotiations at the Climate Change Conference.
We believe this project will contribute to our understanding and achievement of SDG 5 whose indicator 5.5 seeks to ‘Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life’.