Designing Screening Technology

  • In developing Apprise we sought to understand what role digital technologies can play in screening vulnerable populations to identify victims of forced labour and human trafficking.

    This research uses an iterative approach, following the basic flow of needs assessment, technology development, monitoring and evaluation, and then subsequent redesign.  For each sector and country that we work in, we work with frontline responders to understand their current screening activities, the intended outcome of the screening session, as well as to form working groups to identify sector specific practices of exploitation.

    Each intervention also involves the development of a knowledge base, to assess the vulnerability of workers’ situation.  To perform this assessment, we develop sector and country specific expert systems, to support workers and frontline responders to understand the severity of the work situation, as  well as next steps that can be undertaken by frontline responders.  This organically formed a new focus for our work in the role of artificial intelligence in supporting decision makers to assess working conditions.

    Typically we undertake baseline and endline assessments prior to and after a piloting period within each sector, enabling us to reflect on the way that each intervention has supported frontline responders and vulnerable populations to communicate in initial screening interviews.

    The following academic publications stem from the design of Apprise:

    • Thinyane, Hannah and Sassetti, Francisca, “Digital Technology for Unmasking Labour Exploitation in Supply Chains” in The Future of Digital Work: The Challenge of Inequality ed. R.K. Bandi, C. R. R., S. Klein, S. Madon and E. Monteiro (ChamSpringer, 2020), 267280.
    • Thinyane, H.& Bhat, K. (2019). “Supporting the Critical-Agency of Victims of Human Trafficking in Thailand”. ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Glasgow, 4-9 May.
    • Thinyane, H. (2018) “Supporting the Identification of Victims of Human Trafficking and Forced Labour in Thailand”. Communications In Computer and Information Science, vol 933. Springer.

    Apprise has also been featured in the following pieces

    Apprise featured in:

    • Thinyane. Invited panellist “Promoting Responsible Recovery: Detecting Mitigating, & Remediating Modern Slavery in Supply Chains” Global Fund to End Modern Slavery Webinar Series, 30 June 2020
    • Thinyane. Invited panellist “Using ICT to find hidden populations” Code 8.7: Using Computational Science and AI to End Modern Slavery. UN Headquarters, NY, USA. Feb 19-20 2019
    • Thinyane. Invited Presentation “Apprise: supporting first responders to proactively screen for signs of labour exploitation and human trafficking”. 3rd Global Annual Conference on Human Trafficking: Innovative Response to Migration, Conflict and War. Chicago, USA. 4 September 2018