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Programmes should engage the hierarchical structure and chain of command

Changing practice and building skills takes time. Alongside the roll-out of broader policy and operational measures (e.g. training, infrastructure improvements and protocol development), the hierarchical nature of security institutions and chain of command structure can be utilized to facilitate changes in attitudes among personnel and increase institutional commitment to addressing gender-based violence. For example, leaders may articulate strong ‘zero tolerance’ messages on the issue to personnel across ranks and support reforms to improve responses to incidents. Prioritizing engagement with top leaders and management when planning and implementing programmes, as part of systematic reforms to improve institutional policies, capacities and operational practices can accelerate the effects and maximize the potential impact of a sector-wide approach.