Digitalisation is transforming child protection services
In 2004, Vietnam’s National Child Helpline (NCHL) was established to make sure child protection is prioritised across the country. Now, ChildFund Vietnam has developed App 111 to make sure that everyone can access vital resources to help keep children around the country safe.
Children in marginalised communities are at risk of abuse, exploitation and neglect. The helpline is an important way for the public to anonymously report any child protection issues and find support services for children. It can also connect families with counselling services.
The helpline was hugely successful, receiving 506,000 calls in the first six months of 2019. But only about 6% of those calls were able to be responded to because of limited human resources.
That’s when ChildFund decided it was time to make the service more accessible. With help from Microsoft Vietnam, ChildFund worked with the Department of Child Affairs to develop App 111 or ‘Tong dai 111’. They built a mobile reporting app that people can access at any time to report child protection concerns, helping to relieve pressure on the helpline.
“App 111 is one of our programs designed to support the national government in using technology for child protection. It provides more opportunities for victims to receive support and more people will be able to access the National Child Helpline,” said Lien Thi Bich Nguyen, Country Director of ChildFund Vietnam.
The aim of the app is to raise awareness of the importance of child protection and to provide a better system for responding to reports.
“More and more people in Vietnam are using internet and smart phones and ChildFund is working with the NCHL team to create a more friendly public service for our users, as well as for government staff,” Bao Ngoc Le, Specialist Team Leader in charge of Child Rights & Child Protection.
The child protection app allows users to file anonymous reports. After a report is filed, the NCHL can safely collect and manage the reports and take appropriate action.
The app also hosts on an online digital library of resources so people can learn more about child protection and safeguarding in their community. It is accessible to people with vision and hearing impairments.
“We believe, with the success of our latest project and our continued efforts, we can continue to improve Vietnam’s child protection reporting and case management systems as well as increase the public take-up of App 111 to access information about child protection information and connect with the right services,” Lien said.
The app has completed phase one and just received a license to progress into phase two which will continue to improve the app and reach more communities across Vietnam.
Since being launched in December 2019, the app has been downloaded nearly 60,000 times. More than 1300 reports have been filed through the app.