Multi-Country Evaluation of Gender-based Violence in Emergencies

Janey Lawry-White
Publication Year:
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

UNICEF’s efforts to respond to gender-based violence (GBV) in situations of armed conflict and disasters are central to the agency’s mandate for the protection, health and well-being of children and women. Within its humanitarian programming, UNICEF facilitates access to safe and ethical multisectoral care for GBV survivors and supports gender-based violence in emergencies (GBViE), prevention and risk mitigation efforts.

This evaluation was commissioned by the Child Protection Section of the UNICEF Programme Division to support programme guidance, facilitate learning and improve UNICEF’s GBViE response. The findings, conclusions and recommendations will inform the finalisation of the GBViE Programme Resource Pack and the UNICEF Game Plan for Addressing GBViE, both which guide how UNICEF will meet its commitments to help tackle GBViE in the future.

GBV is the most pervasive, the least visible, and the least addressed human rights abuse globally. Whether or not a specific emergency is declared, there is an on-going global emergency whereby millions of women and girls are being killed, raped, injured and coerced on the basis of their gender. While GBV is prevalent in all societies, conflict situations and disasters can intensify many forms of GBV, with multiple negative consequences for both GBV survivors and communities.


  • Gaps and challenges: Levels of attention and resources for GBViE do not meet the scale of the problem
  • Elements of UNICEF GBV commitments are still neglected
  • Lack of GBViE capacity with partners
  • Limited integration of GBV risk mitigation in UNICEF sector programmes
  • Limited GBViE prevention
  • Adolescent girls are not addressed routinely in GBViE response
  • GBV is not a standard element of UNICEF Country Programmes
  • Insufficient evidence to demonstrate the impact of UNICEF GBViE programming
  • Limited familiarity on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) roles and responsibilities


  1. Clarify the scale, severity and impacts of GBViE, and UNICEF’s mandate, commitment and response to GBViE

  2. Bring Headquarters’ GBViE technical support in line with other leading UNICEF programmes. UNICEF should resource GBViE programming in line with its commitments and with resourcing of other programme areas.

  3. Clarify roles on GBViE prevention, risk mitigation and response, decision-making and programming

  4. Implement Resource Pack roll-out plans and 2015 IASC GBV Guidelines; provide basic GBViE training to target audiences in UNICEF

  5. Build capacity and partnerships for GBViE specialist programming

  6. Improve systems that generate and prove outcome-level results of GBV programming and that share knowledge

  7. Build GBV programmes into Country Programmes of at-risk countries

  8. Improve the global environment learning and innovation on GBViE

  9. Continue to invest in UNICEF’s role as a leader of the GBViE sector

  10. Ensure country office commitment to PSEA; strengthen UNICEF staff understanding of PSEA roles and responsibilities


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