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[liberationtech] IranCubator; United for Iran's Newest Project

United4Iran Info info at
Wed May 25 00:58:35 PDT 2016

Hello LiberationTech,

Human rights NGO, United for Iran (U4I), is starting a new project called
Irancubator and is reaching out to experts and partners....

What is IranCubator?

IranCubator is a two-year incubator program to support the development of
mobile technology tools and skills for protecting human rights and for
promoting civic engagement inside Iran. 14-25 mobile apps will be created
through the program, each linked to a specific need, and guided through
adoption by a community of developers, activists, and civil society

Examples of potential apps:


   A mobile application to connect victims of domestic violence to police
   and related hotlines, as well as social workers and women’s rights lawyers.
   This app could advocate helping them change their conditions by potentially
   leaving their abuser and successfully filing for divorce (which is very
   difficult for women in Iran even if they are being abused by their husbands
   because of the patriarchal penal code). In a later iteration, this app can
   also include related visualizations and statistical reports.

2. A crowdsourced map of open and blocked accesses to city transportation
and other facilities for people with physical and mental disabilities.
Later, this can also be used as an advocacy tool for these groups.

IranCubator objectives include:


   identifying the needs, as well as constraints, for civic technology
   tools development and adoption inside Iran;

   increasing Iranian civil society’s capacity to develop apps for social
   change as tools to organize citizens;

   facilitating the development of relevant, effective and engaging mobile
   apps; and

   training civil society, including vulnerable populations, to use mobile
   apps to protect themselves, engage in civil society, and advance democratic

Why Develop Mobile Apps?

Iran has an educated, vibrant, young, and technologically savvy population,
with more than 70 percent of its citizens under 30. The potential of this
generation is being crushed under some of the most oppressive human rights
conditions in history.

The number of smartphones in Iran is reaching 40 million by the end of
2015, and 1 million added to the network every single month, according to
Telna. According to Mander Group, Iran’s app market accounts for 10% of
Iran’s bandwidth <>, specifically for downloading and
using mobile apps. This growing trend has also encouraged practitioners to
host events and contests for developers, including IranMobiCode
<> and IranAppFest <>.
While these events have attracted hundreds of Iranian participants, none of
the emerging technologies are focused on promoting civil technologies, and
therefore are not protecting vulnerable populations nor promoting
government accountability.

Non-governmental and civil society organizations, and universities in the
country are banned from providing support for such projects. Finally, there
is no comprehensive project that analyzes Iranian civic technology needs
and opportunities, links app development with citizens and groups, and then
provides training and marketing to promote the adoption of the resulting
innovations. U4I sees a significant opportunity for promoting Iranian civil
society by embracing and adapting what the civil tech sector has to offer.

To this end, we are expanding our community of technical experts and
activists and would love to share the collaboration with us.

More information on the application and contest branches and our ongoing
and past projects can be found on Irancubator's website


United for Iran Team
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