HarassMap: Using Crowdsourced Data in the Social Sciences

Women in Cairo are now able to report rape, harassment, and assaults through Harrassmap, a pilot project in Cairo, Egypt. The goal is to change the social acceptability of sexual harassment in Egypt.

The challenge of collecting data on sensitive issues like gender-based violence is well-documented across the globe. Stigma and shame prevent many victims from reporting these crimes or discussing them with researchers. These challenges have also stopped many countries - Egypt being a good example - from collecting data that might be useful in responding to the problem. However, new technologies and social media platforms open up possible ways to overcome some of the data-collection barriers.

A network of activists, researchers, and volunteers has created Harassmap. Using new technology and social media in tandem with a data collection technique called crowdsourcing, Harrassmap tracks incidents of sexual harassment in the Greater Cairo area. The goal is to change the social acceptability of sexual harassment in Egypt.

This research will offer an opportunity to compare the quality of data collected through this technique with data collected using more traditional qualitative and quantitative methods. The final report will consist of:

- information on the methodological issues in the collection and use of crowdsourced data
- research findings on sexual harassment in Egypt based on reports submitted by the users of the crowdsourcing website and by participants in focus groups, surveys, and in-depth interviews.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Sunday, June 3, 2012

End Date

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


24 months

IDRC Officer


Total funding

CA$ 361,000


Egypt, North of Sahara, South of Sahara


Networked Economies

Project Leader

Rebecca Chiao


Youth and Development Consultancy Institute

Institution Country


Institution Website