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Develop mechanisms to ensure compliance and accountability

Last edited: December 29, 2011

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To improve the performance of the police and armed forces in providing appropriate responses to survivors, accountability is needed at both the level of the individual officer or employee and specific units of teams. In addition to the disciplinary systems that respond to reports of sexual exploitation and abuse, security institutions should:

  • Set performance standards to monitor the police handling of cases. These standards are often more specific than codes of conduct and establish benchmarks and targets for the police in a number of areas including compliance of practices with existing legislation; implementation of all relevant protocols (e.g. response time and approach following a report of violence, interviewing, case management; incorporating feedback from survivors; etc).

  • Implement monitoring processes to measure progress in meeting performance targets. Quarterly, six-month or annual reports summarizing incidents and status of gender-based violence cases reported to individual stations or nationwide, and community satisfaction surveys on police responses to survivors (e.g. the Australasian Centre for Police Research National Survey of Community Satisfaction with Police reports on Police-initiated Contacts and Self-initiated Contacts), are among the monitoring processes that can be used to track progress of individual units or the police institution as a whole in meeting performance standards and targets. This may also use database-generated statistics, such as the crime comparison statistics programme CompStat, which was initially developed in New York City (United States) in 1994 and has expanding considerably to track incidents (including rape), and can be used to facilitate police planning and performance analysis with appropriate management and oversight (Willis, et al, 2003).

  • Ensure that individual job descriptions include accountability for upholding the rights of women and girls, with specific references to violence. Job descriptions should (adapted from Denham 2008)

    • Explicitly include the duties that police/military officers are expected to perform in addressing violence against women and girls, which will depend on the laws and policies in each country and may include: the immediate response to a call for assistance and provision of security; receiving and interviewing survivors; proper documentation and collection of evidence for case investigation; provision of referrals to legal assistance and medical treatment and ongoing support survivors (e.g. to enforce orders of protection, other case follow-up); and conducting community outreach.

    • Describe and emphasize community policing activities related to violence against women, along with traditional law enforcement duties.

    • Emphasize the following knowledge, skills and attributes:

      • The ability to communicate with diverse community members such as elders, religious leaders, and women’s groups;

      • Knowledge of and value for cultural diversity;

      • The ability to de-escalate domestic violence and other violent situations and ensure immediate safety for women and girls in such cases;

      • The ability to organize and work cooperatively with community groups and develop joint responses on the issue;

      • Zero tolerance for domestic violence, sexual harassment/ exploitation/assault, trafficking, forced marriage, etc.; and

      • The ability to work cooperatively with other government and social service agencies responsible for addressing the issue.

    • Be developed with input from the community and non-governmental groups working on gender-based violence and reviewed by a legal expert to review the job description to ensure that it reflects equality under the law (e.g. with regard to gender equality, personal security, discrimination).

Promising Practice: Philippine National Police Performance Standards

In 2008, the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women, in collaboration with the Philippine National Police (PNP) – Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management’s Women and Children’s Concern Division and the alternative law group Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal (SALIGAN) developed a set of performance standards and an assessment tool to monitor and measure police compliance with policies addressing violence against women in the Philippines. The project was supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) as part of a broader initiative developed with the National Commission and the Departments of Interior and Local Government, which developed a set of performance standards and assessment tools related to five areas of service (police, health, local government, psychosocial services, and legal assistance/prosecution) for advocates, policy-makers and programme managers to monitor and evaluate local government compliance. The Performance Standards outline specific benchmarks around 7 key areas:

  1. Policies

  2. Physical Facilities (unit/station, Women’s Crisis and Child Protection Center)

  3. Personnel (number; training; attitudes, habits and ethics of work)

  4. Services (receiving complaints and calls for assistance; rescue operations; arrest and apprehension of perpetrators in violence against women and children and trafficking cases; conduct of interview and investigation; conduct of forensic interview and medico-legal examination; enforcement of protection order; referral system; confidentiality of police blotter, records and reports);

  5. Monitoring, Evaluation and Research

  6. Information and Advocacy

  7. Resources

See the detailed standards for the police and for other sectors.

The Standards are accompanied by an assessment tool to facilitate baseline and subsequent monitoring of progress across the sector.

Source: Philippine National Police. 2008. ‘Performance Standards and Assessment Tools for Police Services Addressing Cases of Violence against Women’. NCRFW.


Key Tools

Performance Standards and Assessment Tools for Police Services Addressing Cases of Violence against Women(Philippine National Police and National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women, 2008). This document sets out Performance Standards and Assessment tool for the police services in the investigation and handling of VAW. The standards are benchmarked against a Self-Assessment Tool to guide compliance with the standards as well generate data for monitoring and evaluation purposes. The data generated is also a tool for prioritization and planning particularly in the use of the gender and development budget. Available in English.

A User’s Guide to Measuring Gender-Sensitive Basic Service Delivery (Corner, L. and Repucci, S. for UNDP/UNIFEM, 2009). This guide is for programme implementers and practitioners across sectors. Including security personnel and policy-makers. The guide presents an overview of the current knowledge and information available on gender-sensitive service delivery, with illustrative country examples to highlight challenges in measurement; recommendations for selecting indicators of service delivery and an assessment of existing service delivery measures from a gender perspective. Indicators of security-related indicators from the existing tools are also highlighted. Available in English.