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Ending Violence Against Girls and Boys

Partners: Bernard van Leer Foundation, Oak Foundation, UBS Optimus Foundation, Nduna Foundation, Anonymous Donor

Challenge: Despite the urgency of the problem, ending violence against girls and boys had not achieved global political priority or significant investment. How could leaders and advocates better communicate about the issue and gain more support from global opinion leaders?  

Approach: Foundational research with global opinion leaders and interviews with leaders in the field revealed four key barriers:

  • Communications focused too much on the problem and not enough on solutions.
  • Few prominent leaders championed the issue at the global and national levels.
  • ‹The field lacked collaboration and common advocacy goals. ‹
  • There was too little partnership with advocates working on intersecting issues like education.

In 2013, a funders’ collaborative sought to address these challenges through a pilot initiative, WithoutViolence, which was founded by Lisa Witter. Joanna Mikulski served as the program director. It had 4 main components:

  • Fellowship program to improve communication and advocacy practices for leaders working to prevent violence against children.
  • Support for advocacy for preventing violence against children in the Global Goals and development of the new Global Partnership.
  • Research to improve the evidence around how to communicate about violence against children in Uganda.
  • Development and design of unbranded communications materials like infographics and videos to support field-wide advocacy.

Results:  An independent evaluation found that during its pilot phase, WithoutViolence had three major accomplishments: 

  1. Improved the communications and advocacy practice of leaders and advocates in the field.
  2. Increased awareness of the need for a new solutions-focused and behaviorally-informed approach to communicating about violence against children.
  3. Built momentum for collective action by contributing to an emerging sense of community among key players, including playing a key role in the establishment of a the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children