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Policy Tracker on Gender-Based Violence

The policy tracker aims to provide context, insight and analysis into governmental response to issues of gender based violence during the coronavirus pandemic. We will collect data globally, and engage in more detailed case studies of a smaller set of countries. Our goal is to create a publicly available knowledge exchange platform for policy-makers, scholars and advocates.
BMZ, GIGA, 2020-2021

Research Questions

What measures have governments implemented to support survivors and prevent violence against women and children (VAW/C) since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic?

This can include sub-national as well as national policy responses. We will adress the following questions:

- How have donor agencies responded? How have private actors/civil society responded?
- How do these post-COVID-19 measures compare to the policy infrastructure in place before the pandemic?
- How do these measures pre- and post-COVID-19 align with ‘best practices’?
- What policy recommendations emerge?

Contribution to International Research

Our goal is to create a publicly available knowledge exchange platform for policy-makers, scholars and advocates.

Research Design and Methods

The policy tracker initiative will use existing platforms such as the UNDP/UN Women tracker and other sources as points of departure, and produce more detailed assessments of policy efforts since the COVID-19 onset. This entails assessing these efforts in relation to what each country was doing before the pandemic, and in relation to ‘best practices’. We will collect data globally, and engage in more detailed case studies of a smaller set of countries.

First, we plan to monitor and analyze governments’ policy responses across countries, drawing on and expanding on the data in the UNDP/UN Women tracker that captures these policy responses at a national level. We will also draw on other global trackers and, especially, country-based sources. We currently have an Airtable in place, where anyone from the group can add information on policies for any country. We are also working with the timeline graphics app, on the basis of the information in the Airtable.

Second, we will conduct ‘deep-dives’ with more extensive tracking to collect and document government policy responses in a subset of countries (based on the expertise and time resources of group members), and at a subnational level in select countries (e.g., Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Malaysia). We will outline the existing violence-related policy infrastructure (in place before the pandemic) and government responses since the pandemic broke out. This will involve monitoring government responses in both broader social assistance programs (for example, cash transfers) as well as direct measures intended to respond to VAW/C and to prevent it. It will also involve collecting information on and consulting with non-governmental organizations, such as women’s shelters and hotlines, and advocates. Finally, we will compare current policy responses against the literature on “what works” to combat VAW/C and support survivors. Depending on the country, this may also include donor investments. On the basis of these more in-depth analyses, we plan to produce publicly available country policy reports.

Below is an outline of the policy indicators we plan to collect data on for both the Airtable and the more in-depth policy reports. These indicators draw on Peterman et. al’s Center for Global Development working paper, published at the beginning of the pandemic, listing best-practices policy and program responses. Our goal is to assess pre- and post-pandemic onset policy effort on these indicators:

1. Where there changes in violence-related first-response systems?
2. Whether and how is violence against women and children integrated into health systems response?
3. Have legal services related to violence against women and children remained accessible?
4. Have social protection policies been revised or expanded?
5. Have shelter and temporary housing for survivors been expanded?
6. What communication and support during quarantine mandates have been established?
7. How have budget commitments been and was there implementation of and investment in flexible funding mechanisms?


Related Links

Airtable has data for GBV policies tracker: https://airtable.com/invite/l?inviteId=inv267jS6OHYufYSf&inviteToken=58aa36bfbf24c20a258d8b27ba170381da7281382f024fcc864dd73a264a8056

Timeline is a visual demonstration for the data over time: https://time.graphics/editor/a4a49d8a1a6accd49cd68b20b619e313

The policy tracker includes 22 researchers from 11 different countries, and is linked to the Lancet Commission on Gender-based Violence and Maltreatment of Young People, at: https://mia.as.miami.edu/initiatives/lancet-commission-gender-based-violence/index.html