Celia Delaney
Client: Australian Broadcast Company (ABC)
Angecy: Portable
Location: Melbourne, Tonga, Vanuatu
Date: 2020–21

The Challenge: Globally, online abuse and discrimination against women and girls is increasing, a fact particularly true for LGBTQIA+ women, and women of colour. As we increasingly rely on the internet more than ever for work, education, social and political engagement, the need for safe and empowering digital spaces is more crucial than ever in enabling women to meaningfully participate in society. 

ABC International asked Portable to plan and deliver a series of co-design workshops with young women in Vanuatu and Tonga to learn about the threats they face online, and design media interventions that educate and empower women to stay safe. As we began to book our flights, an international travel ban was set, throwing the original project plan into question, and forcing us to think outside the box.

The Work: I worked as the principle strategist in Melbourne, but this project was a truely international effort. We recruited 2 incredible facilitators from Tonga and Vanuatu, and worked together to plan and design sessions for them to run independently with a chosen team. The sessions, run over 6 months, involved young women exploring the topic of cyber safety within thier lives and wider culture, and designing interventions to support women in similar situations through awareness, education and entertainment. Working with an in-country team allowed sessions to be delivered in both English, Tongan and Bislama.

We then worked with the in-country facilitation teams to analyse and risk assess the groups ideas, and feed them back to ABC International with recommendations for the developement phase.

The Impact: The ideas designed are currently in production, with many of the participants involved in this stage. Young women reported feeling solidarity and belonging through participating in the workshop sessions, as well as increased confidence to speak about the issues affecting them both on and offline.

Outcomes from the project are being presented to Vanuatu’s government in response to thier National Cyber Security Strategy, which was recently developed without the voices of women involved.
To read a full article I wrote on this project, see here