Coordinated Responses
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Overview

Last edited: February 21, 2019

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Before creating and implementing a coordinated response, it is crucial to assess the specific needs and characteristics of the context in which it is going to be applied.  Models and practices from elsewhere can be drawn on, but strategies that work in one socio-economic and cultural context may not necessarily transfer to another. That is, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Instead, a situational analysis can provide an essential overview of what is needed, and what can be effectively put into operation in a specific context.

A situational analysis is a data gathering exercise that provides a clearer picture of the current circumstances in a given context. With regard to violence against women, it can identify what is known (either from existing information or new material gathered as part of the analysis) about victims/survivors, perpetrators, the current responses of key sectors and institutions, and the existing gaps in policies, service provision and access to support. This information can be used to determine the specific needs of the locality and the options for coordination.

A situational analysis can do more than lay the foundations for a coordinated response. If there is a general lack of data and information on violence against women, it can also to provide a baseline to monitor and evaluate efforts to prevent and reduce violence.

Key aspects of a situational analysis should include:

  • An understanding of the scale and nature of violence against women in the specific context. The analysis should include examining prevailing cultural norms, attitudes and practices of men and women towards gender equality, gender discrimination and sexuality. The analysis should also examine other social inequalities (based on class/caste, race/ethnicity, age, sexual orientation and gender identity, and disability) intersect with violence against women;
  • A mapping of existing services addressing violence against women (or lack thereof);
  • A needs assessment of victims/survivors of violence, service providers, and institutional mechanisms addressing violence; and
  • An assessment of the financial cost of violence against women, and the resources required for interventions.

In addition, the situational analysis should also assess the national and local legal and policy environment, including the following:

  • the social, political and economic context in which violence against women occurs (e.g. intimate partner v. stranger or acquaintance violence, stable vs. volatile political environments, post-conflict or humanitarian emergency situations, impact of poverty) and related policy frameworks (or lack thereof);
  • the legal framework and how it is translated into national and sub-national government policies addressing violence against women, including obligations under international agreements;
  • the ability of law enforcement and justice systems to implement the law and policy (e.g. use of formal vs. informal justice mechanisms, law enforcement structures);
  • policies dictating existing institutional responses by health, education, employment, social service agencies, etc.), as well as existing local resources (services and/or capacity to provide them);  and
  • legal provision of support options for victims/survivors.