Policy Tracker on Gender-Based Violence

  • Head

    Prof. Dr. Merike Blofield

    Former GIGA Team member

    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?

    Infographic | 02/2023

    Policy Efforts on Gender-Based Violence during COVID-19

    How government policies on gender-based violence (GBV) are implemented in terms of services for victims varies considerably across countries. We examine policy infrastructures, including helplines, support centres, and shelters since the pandemic’s onset. Our project identifies progress and challenges around the provision of services for GBV survivors.

    Prof. Dr. Merike Blofield

    GIGA Focus Global | 3/2022

    COVID-19 and Violent Actors in the Global South: A Complex Relationship

    A cross-regional comparative analysis of the effects of COVID-19 on violence shows high levels of variation between contexts and in terms of specific armed actors. While Latin America along with the Middle East and North Africa have experienced an overall reduction, violence in sub-Saharan Africa has increased.

    COVID-19 Gender-Based Violence Policy Tracker | 03/2022

    Policy Briefing Paper: Italy: Working Paper #4

    Federica Tronci

    Dr. Flavia Bustreo

    Benedetta Armocida

    Cecilia Rocco

    Prof. Dr. Gabriella Conti

    GIGA Focus Global | 6/2021

    The Shadow Pandemic: Policy Efforts on Gender-Based Violence during COVID-19 in the Global South

    With the pandemic, the risk of violence against women and children, especially within the home, increased further as people sheltered at home at the same time that they faced great financial and emotional stress. The authors of this GIGA Focus assess government efforts to address and treat gender-based violence.

    Prof. Dr. Merike Blofield

    Nancy Madera

    COVID-19 Gender-Based Violence Policy Tracker | 2021

    Policy Briefing Paper: Brazil: Working Paper #1


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