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Set clear objectives for different types of training

Three key objectives which training initiatives can support include:

  • Knowledge and social awareness-raising: Most training programmes attempt to provide information and raise awareness about the context of gender inequality and discrimination against women as part of an introduction to the causes, contributing factors and consequences of violence. They include topics such as: international laws and human rights standards which establish the role and responsibilities of police and armed forces in promoting gender equality within their institutions and addressing gender-based violence; national and local legislation on violence against women or crimes related to specific forms of abuse, as well as policies, protocols and standard operational procedures for responding to incidents of violence, including immediate actions to be taken, procedures in investigation and reporting, interviewing, providing referrals and coordinating with other agencies, among other survivor services. Examples of training objectives might include:

    • to help personnel to understand the socio-cultural context in which violence against women occurs (and is perpetuated);

    • to increase knowledge about the needs of victims and the services available, toward both empowering survivors and supporting stronger cases; and

    • to understand the principles of a ‘do no harm approach in order to ensure that survivors and witnesses are not further victimized as a result of the investigation (i.e. by ensuring a survivor-centred approach).

  • Attitudinal change: Some programmes acknowledge that prevailing social norms and attitudes are a barrier to women and girls accessing security and justice. These programmes may focus on self-awareness, life skills (such as interpersonal and communication skills, stress and anger management, attitudes and behaviours towards women), as well as broader awareness of violence against women. For example, a training might aim to promote attitudinal change among all uniformed personnel and security leadership or make personnel aware of their own attitudes on gender, sexuality and violence in order that they do not interfere with or prejudice investigation. See the Pakistan Rozan Rabta case study for an illustration of this type of training.

  • Skills development: Some training programmes may seek to build the skills of officers in specific practices (e.g. response protocols, investigating reports of violence, evidence collection, risk assessment, interviewing survivors, witnesses and alleged perpetrators, case management, and prevention activities). Such programmes focus on technical training for personnel providing frontline support to survivors, including immediate protection, medical assistance, referrals and coordination with other service providers, and working with perpetrators, in dangerous situations, etc. Training objectives might include:

    • To develop technical, analytical and social skills to design and manage complex investigations.

    • To develop skills to engage in risk reduction and prevention activities.

  • The following questions can help to establish clear objectives for training courses or programmes:   

    • Who does the training target (police officers and chiefs in a specific station, from a specific unit, all recruits, etc.)? Can training be delivered to these personnel together or should there be separate courses for different grades or roles of personnel?

    • Will the training be implemented over time or as a single, short-term intervention? One-off trainings or those conducted over a short time period are unlikely to lead to attitudinal change, and objectives should be based on realistic changes which can be achieved among participants.
    • Is the purpose to increase knowledge or raise awareness? On what specific areas?
    • Is the training also intended to change attitudes or perceptions held by security personnel? Which attitudes?

    • Is the purpose to develop specific skills? Which skills?

(Rozan, 2011; UNODC, 2010; IACP, 2010; Agneta M. Johannsen for DCAF, 2009).

Promising Practice Case Study:
Rabta Police Training Programme, Pakistan

The Rabta Police Training Programme was established in 1999, and is run by the non-governmental organization Rozan - in partnership with the National Police Academy, National Police Bureau, Islamabad Police and Provincial Police Departments. It aims to improve the relationship between the police and communities in Pakistan by providing training to increase the self-awareness and life skills of police personnel, to improve their knowledge of gender issues, and to enhance their capacities to deal effectively and sensitively with cases of violence against women and girls. Rozan has developed an “attitudinal change” training module which aims to explore how men themselves experience understandings of masculinity - in terms of societal expectations and norms about male behaviour. The module leverages this awareness to discuss the social roles and expectations of women. The training is implemented through a non-confrontational workshop approach, which sequences the building of life skills before explicit discussion of gender issues, enabling participants (who might otherwise become defensive) to participate openly and in a manner conducive to change. The programme has developed incrementally over the last 11 years in response to changing gender relations and feedback from participants and partners. In its first two phases (2000-2004), and in partnership with Islamabad Police and the National Police Academy, the Rabta training programme trained over 4,000 male and female newly recruited and serving police officers of various ranks, including Constables through to Senior Superintendents. Key achievements of the Rabta programme include Rozan’s formal partnership with the police leadership and the institutionalization of its training module into the official training curriculum for new recruits and serving officers. Read full Case Study.

Source: Seema Khan, 2011 in collaboration with Mr. Babar Bashir, Rozan Director; all quotes from Rozan staff and programme participants are from interviews conducted for the preparation of this case study in November 2010.