VOICE: Violence Response and Prevention through Information, Communication, and Evidence
The project in brief
East, Horn, and Great Lakes Region of Africa (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia)
October 2018 – September 2020, with the possibility of extension.
The project harnesses a regional network of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) service delivery partners to provide technical support to UNHCR and NGOs in implementing a range of evidence-based models addressing SGBV in refugee programs.
- Foster change in humanitarian approaches to SGBV responses by harnessing a regional network of partners;
- Strengthen partnerships for working on SGBV by: ensuring that evidence-based approaches are amplified, partners are aware of each other’s work and capitalize on one another’s strengths, and that continuous South-South learning is instituted and sustained;
- Inform UNHCR’s global and regional SGBV policy.
- Technical assistance provided at multiple levels on-site, in refugee programs, and remotely by UNHCR EHAGL Africa Bureau, the Council, and network partners.
- Financial support provided by the Council to network partners and UNHCR partners.
- Strong and longstanding partnerships such as the technical cooperation agreement between the UNHCR EHAGL Africa Bureau and the Population Council since 2014. Additionally, the project draws from a network of partners that have worked together since 2006 to establish and refine evidence-based models addressing SGBV.
- The evidence base on which the project draws – i.e., previous feasibility and effectiveness studies conducted as part of introducing some of the project models in refugee settings, and of demonstrating that these models work in refugee settings prior to scaling them up.
- UNHCR country offices in 8 countries (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia)
- UNHCR’s NGO partners of SGBV programs in the 8 countries
- Ministries of Health in the 8 countries
- The National Police Service (South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda)
- Africa Regional SGBV Network
- International Conference on the Great Lakes Region’s Regional Training Facility (covering 12 Member States: Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia)
Challenges and how they were overcome
As with any regional project, the main challenges include the variability between countries in terms of environment, capacity of partners, and available resources.
The project is built around a technical assistance network, which was designed to respond to the challenges mentioned. The challenges continue to be overcome by drawing on the expertise and experience of the multi-country network in addressing such predicaments at multiple levels, in addition to that of the UNHCR EHAGL Africa Bureau.
Results of the Good Practice
- Refugees and host communities in 8 countries in the East, Horn, and Great Lakes Region of Africa are beneficiaries of 6 SGBV interventions that help to prevent and respond effectively to SGBV.
- More SGBV survivors are being proactively identified and connected to care, thus potentially mitigating the issue of under-reporting.
- More efficient care models are being used in health facilities to attend to SGBV survivors and ensure they receive comprehensive care.
- More male and female community members in refugee settings are working together to proactively prevent and mitigate SGBV in their communities.
- UNHCR and NGO partners have access to the resource and expertise of the Network to improve programming.
Chi-Chi Undie, Senior Associate, Population Council