Campus Safety Initiative

About the Project

This project is one of the 2022 WISE Awards finalists. 


Context and Issue 

A survey conducted by the World Bank Group in 2018 affirms that 70% of female graduates from Nigerian tertiary institutions have been sexually harassed in school. Research and anecdotal evidence attribute this sad reality to lack of comprehensive policies, adverse social norms, power dynamics, absence of a survivor-centred reporting system, poor institutional response and an educational climate permissive of sexual assault. In response to this, the Campus Safety Initiative supports tertiary institutions to sustainably address sexual assault through mutually reinforcing approaches of innovative policies, technology adoption and bystander intervention. Anti-sexual harassment policies are developed through a participatory process with various constituents within the campus community to ensure that the policies are culturally relevant, context specific and pragmatic in addressing emerging and evolving issues.

The bystander intervention component fosters a sense of community and shared responsibility in eliminating sexual assault. This is anchored on a competency framework that builds the capacity of persons with the skills, knowledge and ability to identify risky situations, intervention opportunities and feel a sense of responsibility to intervene.


Solution and Impact

The Campus Safety Initiative drives high-impact policy advocacy, proactive bystander intervention, preventative education and creative technology integration to cultivate safe campuses for everyone to thrive and have educational experiences free from sexual assault. The project is designed and implemented by Gender Mobile Initiative, a non-governmental organization which has its headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria. Since its inception in 2019, the Campus Safety Initiative has reached over 50,000 members of Campus communities and relevant stakeholders across Nigeria through a series of Campus Townhall Forums; a National Dialogue; capacity building sessions on bystander intervention; virtual safe spaces, mobile app and dedicated helpline to report cases of sexual assault and access a range of support services.

The CampusPal mobile app is the technological component that integrates prevention and response mechanisms such as confidential and anonymized reporting, safe spaces to access information and services in a safe manner, character-driven contextualized module to educate faculty, staff and students on consent, power, priviledge, and bystander intervention, learning centre to access relevant policies, and case tracker to foster transparency and accountability

The cumulative impact is evident in the over 30 Institutions of learning adopting policies that diffuse power hierarchies, regulate social relations, stipulate grievance redressal mechanism, address definitional clarity, and preserve the physical and academic security of victims.


Future Developments 

The future development of our approach is an emergence of institutions of higher learning safe for the everyone particularly girls and women, to optimize learning outcomes. Second, it will create an institutional climate and culture that promote a culture of consent and bodily autonomy of girls and women, improved institutional response; effective case management and increased reportage through a wide-adoption of a survivor-centred reporting system; an accessible grievance redressal mechanism; and a social movement of proactive bystanders across campuses.

May 17, 2022 (last update 05-23-2022)