About the Accelerator Program
WHAT IS THE TAT ACCELERATOR?
The Tech Against Trafficking Accelerator is a fixed-term, cohort-based program intended to help anti-trafficking organizations deploying promising technological solutions accelerate the development, impact, and utilization of their tools.
The Accelerator connects participating organizations with technology companies that provide technical expertise, network access, mentorship, and educational opportunities, expediting operational processes and technical advancements that facilitate scale and optimize for long-term sustainability.
Applying for the Accelerator
The third Accelerator program is currently underway. Applications or the next round will open in fall 2023; watch this space for updates.
Diverse technological solutions are needed to advance innovative strategies to address human trafficking. Through an open and collaborative process, Tech Against Trafficking is looking to engage with tech initiatives and tools across all geographies, languages, sectors, and methods of application.
These solutions can be at any stage of post-concept development by must be tech-centered initiatives or tools. Below are four relevant stages of development:
- Prototype: An initiative or tool in the building and testing phase.
- Pilot: An initiative or tool already deployed and being used in a specific geography and/ or community.
- Mezzanine: An established initiative or tool that has a proven track record and opportunity for greater scale across multiple geographies and/or communities
- Mature: A largely self-sustaining initiative or tool with active operations in several geographies and/or communities, looking to work towards a global impact
Organizations from the Global South or countries / regions with high prevalence rates of human trafficking are strongly encouraged to apply.
2021 ACCELERATOR PROGRAM
The Lantern Project (formerly Seattle Against Slavery) is an organization dedicated to combatting labor and sex trafficking. Their online platform Freedom Signal enables direct service organizations to send targeted, text-based outreach to potential victims of online sex trafficking or sexual exploitation. [Since the close of the Accelerator, the Lantern Project ceased its operations; Freedom Signal is now being managed by Scarlet Hope ]
Unseen UK provides direct support to survivors and uses its frontline expertise to inform anti-trafficking and modern slavery advocacy efforts. Unseen runs the Modern Slavery Helpline and Resource Centre which provides victims, the public, statutory agencies, and businesses with access to information and support on a 24/7 basis.Workstreams
Software-as-a-Service Business Model: TAT supported both organizations in developing a sustainable business model for their respective technology platforms: Freedom Signal and The Modern Slavery Helpline and Resource Center.
Data Analysis and Productization: TAT supported both organizations in optimizing their data infrastructure and making sense of the human trafficking data they collect. In both cases, data was extracted and analyzed in a cloud environment hosted by Amazon Web Services. Leveraging technologies developed in the previous TAT Accelerator in partnership with the Counter-Trafficking Data Collaborative, the organizations created synthetic datasets from the human trafficking data they collect to share data responsibly and by preserving the privacy of victims. Dynamic graph technology developed by Microsoft Research was applied to these anonymized datasets, allowing the organizations identify patterns and generate insights. In turn, this will help the organizations improve operational efficiency and provide more effective services to reduce human trafficking. A more detailed description of the outputs is provided on our blog post.
Outputs were shared at a virtual Showcase event that brought together technologists, nonprofits, academics, governments, and policymakers from 60 countries to celebrate the close of the Accelerator in May 2022. Watch the recording of the event here.
“Data is powerful, but it’s only powerful if you do something useful with it. We’ve been so delighted with the TAT Accelerator program to maximize the potential of our rich data.”
2019 ACCELERATOR PROGRAM
Participant: The Counter-Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC), an initiative of the international Organization for Migration (IOM), is a global human trafficking data hub, publishing harmonized data from counter-trafficking organizations around the world. The goal is to reduce barriers to information-sharing and provide a mechanism for organizations to get data to public and policy audiences. In addition, CTDC helps to build a more complete picture of counter-trafficking trends based on up-to-date, reliable, and standardized data on human trafficking.
- Privacy-preserving Mechanisms: TAT and CTDC sought to develop a solution for analyzing case data while protecting victim privacy. The solution uses machine learning to generate a synthetic dataset which represent statistical properties of the sensitive dataset rather than actual (potentially identifiable) individuals, precomputes them in a way that doesn’t reveal small or precise counts (which may also be identifying), and creates a data interface that allows the user to explore the structure of the data. This solution is now being applied to the full IOM dataset and has been published and made available to the field, setting a new privacy standard for the analysis of human trafficking data.
- Data Standards: TAT and CTDC addressed data standards/consistency across the field by publishing a global data standard related to victim case management. The new Human Trafficking Case Data Standard (HTCDS) was developed and published, along with guidance for its implementation. The TAT team also worked with a new Indian case management service (Pathways) to apply the standard during its development, providing initial support for 10 NGOs in 2020. HTCDS will attract data contributions and partnerships from across the anti-trafficking sector which should enable efficiencies in data analysis, case processes such as referrals and data privacy.
- Stakeholder Engagement: TAT interviewed stakeholders and prospective CTDC data contributors to better understand the value stakeholders derive from the CTDC platform, what additional data, trends, or information stakeholders would find helpful, and what data or information different stakeholders could feed into CTDC’s current dataset and platform. Feedback from the interviews informed specific recommendations on how CTDC can improve the user experience and expand its strategy and offerings to partners. In addition, the workstream refreshed CTDC outreach materials to help improve engagement with dataset owners, show the value of contributing data to CTDC, and optimize the onboarding process for new datasets.
“The CTDC team was delighted to take part in the Accelerator and greatly appreciated the opportunity to get perspective and support from technology sector professionals. Their contribution will have a lasting impact on CTDC and the counter-trafficking community.”