1.6. Administrative data on VAW

Last edited: August 18, 2020

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 Background Paper: A Synthesis of Evidence on the Collection and Use of Administrative Data on Violence against Women:

  • Administrative data are defined as any data generated through routine operations. These data are generally drawn from the routine service-based records or from the internal administrative processes of an organization.  Administrative data on VAW is (or could be) gathered routinely when providing services and support to a survivor or responding to an alleged or convicted perpetrator. These data come from different types of service providers, such as the police, prosecutors, courts, social welfare agencies, social services providers, child protection, women’s shelters, violence hotlines, and the health sector.
  • The need for data on violence against women (VAW), including from administrative sources, is currently high on the global agenda. Yet, despite the potential importance of such administrative data for improving policy and programmes, benefiting survivors and ensuring accountability of perpetrators, synthesis of good practices and guidance for their collection from and use by different sectors is generally lacking.
  • The objective of this background paper is to synthesize evidence and expert knowledge on the collection and use of VAW administrative data. Its development was guided by a Technical Advisory Board of experts on the subject. It was used as the technical document for an Expert Group Meeting (EGM) convened in September 2019 by UN Women (see below). The background paper and the discussions and recommendations coming out of the EGM will inform the development of global guidance on the collection and use of VAW administrative data.
  • The paper can be downloaded in English.


Expert Group Meeting on Administrative Data on Violence Against Women, 24th – 26th September 2019, New York:

  • This Expert Group Meeting (EGM) was a critical forum convened to build momentum on the work on violence against women (VAW) administrative data. The meeting presented a collective learning opportunity to address VAW administrative data gaps under the broader umbrella of efforts to end VAW. The meeting brought together experts from relevant sectors from different regions to discuss strategic and feasible approaches to collect and use administrative data.
  • This EGM sought to gather guidance, advice, and expertise to inform the development of global guidance and to solve challenging issues identified in the background paper developed for this purpose. The meeting objectives were: (i) to gather technical expertise and advice from global, regional, and national experts to guide the development of global guidance; (ii) to draw lessons learned from regional and country experience to inform thinking about the pathway forward for the collection, storage, analysis, sharing and reporting of VAW administrative data; and (iii) to seek specific recommendations from experts on critical and challenging elements for collection, storage, analysis, sharing and reporting of administrative data on VAW.
  • Meeting report 
  • List of participants
  • Experts’ recommendations


UN Women - WHO Guidance on Administrative Data on Violence Against Women, 26th May 2022, New York:

Administrative data on violence against women (VAW) is collected when survivors and perpetrators of violence interact with hotlines, police and courts, the health system, shelters and other services. The collection and use of high-quality VAW administrative data is crucial to inform the policies and programmes developed by governments to prevent and respond to VAW. The data can help us: •

  • Understand which survivors are seeking services because of violence; •
  • Estimate the need for such services and their costs; •
  • Understand the need for training among service providers; and •
  • Monitor service delivery and outcomes to improve quality and identify unmet needs.
  • VAW administrative data can also provide insights into who is not accessing services, helping to make sure no one is left behind as we work to end VAW, and can provide timely information for decision-making and planning. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, VAW administrative data collected from hotlines, shelters and police demonstrated increased demand for VAW services. This information helped global and local organizations advocate for measures to address VAW in governments’ COVID-19 response plans.


    The Global Technical Guidance for collection and use of administrative data on violence against women is relevant for diverse sectors and contexts. It identifies eight steps for improving the collection and use of VAW administrative data, and was produced by the UN Women-WHO Joint Programme on VAW data.


  • The paper can be downloaded in English.