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What can we learn from civil society organizations and their resiliency to crises for the prevention of violence against women and girls? 

It is now well documented that COVID-19 and the response to the pandemic are making women and girls increasingly vulnerable to various forms of violence. In addition, the global context of violent conflicts and humanitarian crises, including weather-related disasters and the impacts of the intensifying climate crisis, are affecting more people than ever before. In this context, civil society organizations are at the frontline of response and have been resiliently adapting to rapidly changing and complex contexts, to maintain services for women and girls and keep prevention of violence against women and girls high on the national to global political agenda. 

We want to hear from you on this issue to inform knowledge, advocacy, policy and programming efforts. Share your voice on the following questions anytime between 1 and 5th April 2022. Findings will be consolidated into a knowledge brief (anonymized unless permission is provided). 


  1. What is the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises in your context on: (a) specific forms of violence against women and girls (is it worsening, intensifying)? (b) on your programme to prevent violence against women and girls (has programming stalled, been adapted)? (c) on civil society organizations’ ability maintain operations? 
  2. How has your team / civil society adapted to these crises either (a) Programmatically and/or (b) Operationally/Organizationally? 
  3. Can you share any specific examples, including key challenges, lessons, and helpful takeaways? Feel free to Include links to resources, websites etc.
  4. What resources and/or support (financial and non-financial) are needed from donors, grant-makers, policy makers, other partners to sustain civil society programming and operations for resilience against future crises?

Make sure to click "follow content" at the top of the page.

In your answer, please add the number of the question you are answering. Please provide details of your context/setting, type of organization, country, and specific area of work to prevent and address violence against women and girls and explain what types of crises impact your work (e.g. is it just COVID-19, or has your work also been affected by natural disasters or conflict? What has been the impact of intersecting crises if relevant?)  If you wish your answer to be anonymous, please email and the SHINE team will add your contribution without affiliation to a specific user. We also welcome further information, links, and resources via email if you wish.


Comentarios (37)

Amélie Gontharet
Amélie Gontharet UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women Moderador/a

Dear colleagues, 

Many thanks for your insightful and thoughtful comments and feedback, which will certainly be extremely valuable for future knowledge products. 

Thank you also Anna Nemirovsky  UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women  , Diep Nguyen  UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women   shared two case studies in the contexts of Viet Nam and Ukraine, reminding us the importance of leaving no one behind but also the critical aspect of taking into consideration changing and challenging contexts. More globally, Dosse Sossouga   explained how the pandemic has globally amplified gender inequality, especially due to economic factors. Maria Väkiparta  International Solidarity Foundation  and Renato Jesús Nieto Ramos  both shared how their organisations adapted their programmes to reach marginalized groups, adjusting to their needs, but also used it as entry-points to maintain a relationship and ensure the success of the projects. 

The resilience and adaptation of civil society in times of crises at local level need to be supported by donors at the global level. Etsehiwot Eguale  UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women   and Fiona Dalmier  UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women   highlighted how important it was for donors to keep an open-mind about how funds should be used according to different context and priorities determined by the organisation, whether it would be used to support its staff via mental-health support or adjusting its activities to emerging needs. 

We will now summarizing this exchange and post the summary here within a few weeks. Please feel free to look at the other discussions available on SHINE to amplify knowledge!

Gemma Wood
Gemma Wood UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women Moderador/a

Hello everyone! I will be your moderator for this discussion in the first week. I am looking forward to hearing from you all on the 4 questions above. My name is Gemma and I am Knowledge Manager for the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women. Tell us what country you live or the context you are working, answer all 4 or just one of the questions. Share resources, chat and get to know one another. The UN Trust Fund also just published a paper on the impact of COVID-19 on prevention of violence, check it out and add your own resources.

Adina Wolf
Adina Wolf UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women

Hi all, I'm Adina, Resource Mobilization and Reporting Specialist with the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women. Looking forward to learning from your responses to the above! Even before question 4 above was proposed, we have been hearing from organizations about how donors can better support civil society and women's rights organizations - we've heard about the need of core and flexible funding (such as in this interview from SOAR in Nigeria: and in this interview also learned about how funding has built resilience to address sexual violence against girls affected by crisis. Interested in hearing from other participants on their experiences.

Danya Marx
Danya Marx UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women

Hello fellow SHINE members! My name is Danya, and I support the Monitoring & Evaluation and Knowledge Management team at the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women. In reading the fascinating brief on the impact of COVID-19 on prevention of violence, I noticed that many civil society and women's rights organizations found it challenging to reach the women and girls involved in and impacted by their programmes and projects due to lockdown containment measures, as well as health risks. Some organizations decided to move their programming online, some did smaller group interventions to meet COVID-19 compliance measures, and others used community agents and activists to reach those women and girls that could not be reached by the organizations (due to issues with travel and access to communities). 

I would like to hear from other practitioners on their experience with adapting their programming and practice around COVID-19 lockdown measures, and what benefits or disadvantages these adaptions created. Thanks!



Elimane Bousso
Elimane Bousso UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women

Salve a tutte e tutti, prima di lasciare il mio primo commento a questa discussione, volevo augurar una buona festa internazionale della donna a tutte quante! Mi chiamo Elimane e coordino le attivita di formazione mírate a organizzazioni non governative finanziate dal Fondo Fiduciario dele Nazioni Unite per mettere fine alla violenza sulle donne. Da anni ormai lavoro a stretto contatto con varie ONG che hanno a cuore questo tema. Vorrei rispondere alla domanda numero uno parlando della situazione attuale in Etiopia. Ultimamemente mi sono molto interessato alla crisi in Tigray e altre zone dell’Etiopia e dell’impatto della guerra su donne e ragazze che vivono nelle zone di guerra. Migliaia di donne, ragazze e bambine sarebbero vittime di stupri di guerra nella regione del Tigray. A denunciare il ricorso agli stupri come arma di guerra sono diverse associazioni sul territorio, ma anche ufficiali delle Nazioni Unite che parlano di stupri come mezzo per umiliare, terrorizzare e traumatizzare un’intera popolazione oggi e una generazione successiva domani. Purtroppo, il conflitto ha reso il COVID 19 una pandemia trascurata in Etiopia. Molte associazioni della societa civile hanno dovuto sospendere la loro assistenza umanitaria nelle zone di guerra per via dell’alta pericolosita o perche non hanno ricevuto l’ok da parte del governo ad accedere in zone dove sono necssari servizi essenziali per vittime di stupri di guerra. Nel caso ci fossero in questa piattaforma, sarei curioso di sapere come altre organizzazioni non governative siano riuscite in contesti di guerra al di la dell’Etiopia a fornire servizi essenziali a vittime di violenza sessuale. Sarei anche curioso di sapere come siano riuscite ad assicurare che il proprio personale potesse lavorare in sicurezza nonostante il conflitto in corso. Grazie mille, Elimane.

Mallorie B-Thomas
Mallorie B-Thomas SPOTLIGHT INITIATIVE Moderador/a

Hi Elimane, thank you so much for your comment about this  incredibly difficult situation. I appreciate you sharing this and hope others can provide some insight into how they've adapted in environments with conflict. May I ask what would be helpful from governments or donors to help these civil society organizations continue operating?

The Spotlight Initiative in Kyrgyzstan provided free legal aid and psychosocial support to those affected by a border conflict in 2020. I will reach out to colleagues and see if they can be in touch with you in case they may be able to share what worked for them.

This tip sheet for CSOs on pillar 4 (essential services) was developed to support CSOs continue implementation through COVID-19. Some of the points may be useful for this context as well.


Elimane Bousso
Elimane Bousso UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women

Mallorie B-Thomas  SPOTLIGHT INITIATIVE  Ciao Mallorie, grazie mille per aver condiviso il documento. Tra tutte le raccomdazioni, ho trovato quella sul ‘sostenere ed espandere centri di rifugio, spazi sicuri, hotline, ecc. attraverso risorse e spazi per rispondere all'aumento dei casi di violenza di genere’ tra le piu’ utili che un governo possa prendere in considerazione per supportare le soprravvisute all violenza. Spesso a fornire questi tipi di servizi sono le organizzzazioni della societa civile, quindi il ruolo del governo, cosi come quello dei paesi donatori e’ di canalizzare piu’ risorse possibili vero le ONG che se ne occupano se veramente l’intenzione e’ di voler aiutare le sopravvissute. Oltre cio e’ importante anche riconoscere che questi tipi di servizi offerti dalle ONG sono essenziali e che il vero recupero di una persona vittima di violenza non finisce con una semplice visita medica, ma anche attraverso un percorso di supporto físico, finanziario e psicolgico. Di conseguenza, il mio auspicio e’ che questi servizi siano sempre gratuiti per le sopravvissute, ma cio’ sara’ realmente possibile se le ONG vengono finanziate adeguatamente e lasciate lavorare in sicurezza.

Mallorie B-Thomas
Mallorie B-Thomas SPOTLIGHT INITIATIVE Moderador/a

Hi, everyone! It's such a pleasure to engage with you here. I will be your moderator for the discussion in its second week. I very much look forward to hearing your insights on the 4 questions above. Please feel free to share any other thoughts you may have on this topic as well! My name is Mallorie, and I'm part of the Spotlight Initiative Secretariat. I focus on Knowledge Management, Capacity Development and provide technical support for the Spotlight Initiative. 

If you'd like to learn more about how the Spotlight Initiative has worked to strengthen the humanitarian-development-peace nexus in its efforts to end violence against women and girls, check out our knowledge brief here

I very much look forward to hearing from you this week!

Vesna Jaric
Vesna Jaric UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women

Hello SHINE community! My name is Vesna Jaric and I cover the position of acting Chief of the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women. For 25 years the fund has been supporting civil society, especially women's right organizations to deliver life-saving, demand-driven initiatives to put an end and prevent violence against women and girls (EVAW/G). Navigating through various contextual challenges, including active and passive resistance to advancement of women's rights, backlash and shrinking spaces for civic activism, the CSOs/WROs' work on EVAW/G has never been a straightforward pathway to success in transformational change. COVID-19 has further exacerbated already existing challenges and difficult circumstances. On the one hand, the lockdown measures to curb the spread of the virus correlated to the rise of violence against women and girls while in the same time the escape routes for survivors were dramatically reduced. CSOs/WROs supported by the UN Trust Fund registered an unprecedented increase in demand for support and services (in some cases more than 500% increase in calls to SOS helplines for survivors of violence). We've seen them clearly stepping in as first responders to survivors in a general context where the state systems (e.g. healthcare, social protection, law enforcement) were fully employed in COVID-19 public health crisis response. In that context, the UN Trust Fund recognized the life-saving role of CSOs/WROs and provided as much flexibility for programmatic adaptations as possible, along with the investment in their organizational resilience in the recognition of their essential role in preparedness for crises. A lesson learned that we can share with the donor community is that the investment in core and flexible funding allows for prompt adaptations to rapidly changing circumstances and supports the organizational stability which are key for effective delivery to survivors of violence. 


Hello Vesna, thank you so much for the introduction and for sharing what UNTF has been doing for the past 25 years to end violence against women and girls. As you've said, COVID-19 has exacerbated the already existing challenges. CSO's roles are incredibly crucial to support the continued joint efforts to EVAWG.

Fiona Dalmier
Fiona Dalmier UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women

Hello fellow SHINERS - My name is Fiona and I am the Small Grants portfolio manager at the UN Trust Fund. Echoing what my colleague Vesna was saying, and in the interest of sharing more information on what the UN Trust Fund has been doing, I just wanted to highlight that we have been allocating funds for collective/self-care and core funding to small organizations since cycle 20 (2018) and recently introduced a 'contingency costs' budget line. Feel free to ask more about that if of interest. 

One of the findings from these initiatives, which also came across more clearly in recent months/years (exacerbated by pandemic) is that collective/self-care and ultimately resilience will look different depending on the context but has to be prioritized for any organization/entity to survive and thrive. Therefore, it is important for donors to keep an open mind about what these funds should go to.

The other thing that I would like to point out is that for many organizations, the question of resilience and survival isn't just something that comes up during "crises" and we must also acknowledge that what looks like an unprecedented crisis somewhere may well be another crisis somewhere else, aggravating preexisting structural/contextual challenges (recurring natural disasters, political instability, organized crime, racial discrimination, land access inequality, corruption, etc).  

While the pandemic had the 'merit' to put this topic on the table, it is important that it remains a priority for all, practitioners and donors alike. 


Hello Fiona, thank you so much for sharing your insights on this, I definitely agree with you. I would love to learn more about the organizational resilience budget line you've mentioned. Could you please share some more information and some key takeaways?
Thank you!

Fiona Dalmier
Fiona Dalmier UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women

Rand  SPOTLIGHT INITIATIVE  Thanks - actually it's called a 'contingency costs' budget line - it was introduced in cycle 24 (2020) and it's for all grantees (not just small grants). This budget line is essentially a reserve to allow for adjustments necessary in the light of unforeseen requirements resulting from COVID-19, and during times of sudden unforeseen crisis. We have yet to formally collect takeaways but we know grantees are appreciative to be able to set aside funds to respond to the unexpected, especially as we know many are overstretched and many haven't secured additional funding by the time a project ends. This type of uncertainty and the inability to plan takes a toll on organizational capacity and impacts women's/feminist movements in general. 

Daniele Elizaire
Daniele Elizaire UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women Moderador/a

Hello name is Daniele and I work with the Monitoring, Evaluation and Knowledge Management team at the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women. This week, I will be moderating the discussion, but also want to hear about you! So when responding/reflecting on the four questions above, please also share about yourself! Looking forward to the conversation :)

Mildred Garcia Rodriguez
Mildred Garcia Rodriguez

¡Hola comunidad SHINE! Mi nombre es Mildred Garcia R.  Soy la Gerente de Desarrollo de Capacidades y Operaciones del Fondo Fiduciario.  El tema de la adaptación programática y operativa es sumamente importante, sobre todo en el contexto de COVID y el cambio climático.  Durante la convención con nuestros socios desarrollada en el 2020, Katharine Flately, de la Iniciativa de los Derechos de la Mujer, una organización joven que trabaja en Guatemala, compartió su perspectiva sobre la importancia de invertir no solo en actividades programáticas, sino también en adaptaciones operativas para ser más eficaces. Ella dijo: "teníamos que asegurarnos de que después de que el proyecto estuviera terminado, pudiéramos mantener nuestro trabajo directamente con nuestros beneficiarios". Katharine también habló sobre cómo invertir en las operaciones de su organización, "nos permitió movilizar recursos y duplicar nuestro trabajo".

La creación de un cambio sostenible requiere sistemas operativos que garanticen capacidades sólidas para servir eficazmente a las mujeres y las niñas. ¿Qué adaptaciones operativas han realizado en su organización para responder a estos contextos cambiantes?

Daniele Elizaire
Daniele Elizaire UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women Moderador/a

Hi, Mildred, and thank you for your contribution to the conversation! As you recall the learning exchanges we've had with civil society partners and the big ideas around adaptation and its links to effectiveness and efficiency, we are reminded that these issues have been front of mind for many EVAWG practitioners even before the health crisis. The question you pose is quite fitting, so hope to see others engage in a reflection on climate justice, sustainability and operational adaptation, linking to question #2 above.

Jialu LI
Jialu LI

大家好!我是佳璐,现任职于联合国信托基金会,主要负责新的赠款管理系统的开发和运营。最近,我们结束了第 25 轮提案征集,收到了来自世界各地民间团体的资金申请。这也是我们第一次使用新的系统,这个过程非常令人兴奋,我也学到了很多东西。  

根据我的经验,COVID-19 的持续影响是巨大的,全球经济需要一段时间(甚至几年)才能完全恢复。由于大流行,许多人失去了工作,妇女和女童承担了更多的家务责任,也有更多女童失去了上学的机会。另一方面,一个人或一个家庭的财务对于谋生来说尤其重要,在这方面,我坚信民间社会组织可以做很多事情来支持有需要的妇女和女童。 




Daniele Elizaire
Daniele Elizaire UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women Moderador/a

Hi Jialu & thank you for engaging in the conversation! What a unique perspective, as well, with regard to the global economy and technology. It would be interesting to see whether and how this may transform the nature of the grant proposals received/appraised during this 25th call for proposals and funding requests from civil society organizations. And, begs the question...are CSOs/WROs equipped with adequate systems, technology, infrastructure to effectively engage people and partners in their communities? Your reflections definitely link to question #4 above regarding the types of resources and/or support that may be be needed from donors, grant-makers, policy makers, and other partners to sustain civil society programming and operations for resilience against future crises. I wonder what others think?!

Renato Jesús Nieto Ramos
Renato Jesús Nieto Ramos

1. La pandemia del COVID-19, no ha insidido en la violencia, lo que incidio en su crecimiento ha sido el aislamiento obligatorio, las mujeres y niñas padecian abuso fisico y sexual por parte de sus parejas y/o cuidadores y la cuarentena les impedia pedir ayuda o ser auxiliados.

2. Tenemos que adaptarnos al cambio, y las circunstancias, lamentablemente se ha tenido que esperar a que el gobierno levanate la cuarentana, el aislamaiento y restricciones para poder realizar una labor algo eficiente hacia las victimas y prevención y no perder el tiempo en lamentos y quejas

3. Se realizo una campaña de entrega de alimentos a personas vulnerables, que son las principales victimas de violencia; la campaña fue la estrategia para poder acceder a la vivienda y auxiliar a las victimas derivandolas a un centro de atención médica y en otros casos la adetención de agresor y abusador.

4. Nunca se ha recibido apoyo ni economico, ni material , nu muchos menos finaciamiento para realizar a labor en apoyo de las victimas lo realizamos con nuestros propios recursos porque queremos hacerlo, ayudar a salvar la vida de mujeres y niñas victimas de la violencia y abuso sexual. 

Daniele Elizaire
Daniele Elizaire UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women Moderador/a

Hi Renato & thank you for your contribution to the conversation!  Your reflections on all four questions track with so much of what we have been hearing from our civil society partners -- whether via rapid assessment or knowledge exchange events. These recurring themes around increased risk and occurrence of violence in isolation, programmatic adaptation, community mobilisation, support to access adequate services, and the need for funding (flexible and core) are coming through loud and clear. Could you tell us all a little more about the adaptations you have implemented --including any details on the challenges you have faced over time? What can others learn from how you mitigated them?


Also, Renato, if/when you have chance, it would be great to know a little more about you! --for example your organization, where it is located and the focus of your work. 

Renato Jesús Nieto Ramos
Renato Jesús Nieto Ramos

Daniele Elizaire  UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women  

La adaptación es algo complicado, toda vez que no aceptan que un hombre este interesado en temas relacionado a la prevención de la violencia familiar, física y sexual contra las niñas, adolescentes y mujeres, existiendo un estigma que se apoya o colabora solo por un interés sexual, aunque nunca me ha interesado la opinión ajena, solo la satisfacción de haber realizado una buena acción y salvado una vida. <la experiencia diaria ha demostrado que cuando realizas una acción sin esperar nada a cambio, solamente por la satisfacción de haber hecho algo bueno, sin espera nada a cambio, te sientes bien contigo mismo,

No tengo ninguna organización, hasta antes de la pandemia colaboraba con organizaciones comunitarias, club de madres, comedores populares, colegios, parroquias, juntas de vecinos, etc., Me autofinancio con mi trabajo, lo que no me crea vinculo ni dependencia con nadie, ya que en una ocasión creyeron que pertencia a alguna ONG, que la mayoria de la población, al menos en mi pais; lo relacion con dinero facil, al darse cuenta que no pertenezco a ninguna ONG y que no habia dinero, simplemente desertaron,

Gracias por el espacio brindado,

Atte. Renato Nieto

Daniele Elizaire
Daniele Elizaire UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women Moderador/a

Well, everyone, time really does fly! Last week some new voices joined our discussion centring 'What we can learn from civil society organizations and their resiliency to crises for the prevention of violence against women and girls.' 

We heard from @Mildred Garcia-Rodriguez on the importance of programmatic and operational adaptations during times of crisis. We heard from @Jialu LI on the emerging technological needs of civil society organizations. And we heard from @Renato Jesús Nieto Ramos with reflections on adapting programs, scarcity of resourcing, access to services, and the realities isolation during lockdown measures. 

There is still time to ADD YOUR VOICE! What are you (your organisation) and your partners doing, adapting, facing as you navigate the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises in your context?

Etsehiwot  Eguale
Etsehiwot Eguale UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women

Hello fellow SHINE members - My name is Etsehiwot, a programme specialist at the UN Trust Fund. Looking forward to learning from all of you. I want to highlight one key challenge we are hearing from partners as they respond to COVID 19 and another crisis.

Mental health and staff wellness is a new frontier that partners are learning and navigating as they deal with COVID 19 and other crisis. Partners reported that in the past two years, their staff experienced increased anxiety and stress as well as increased workload pressure and demand amid rapid change and uncertainty, which required staff members to constantly interface with survivors of violence, beneficiaries, and partners whilst juggling their personal life experiences with the impact of the COVID 19.

We have also learned that some partners implemented capacity-building training on mental health and well-being wellness sessions for both beneficiaries and staff to help them recover and deal with mental health issues that arise from covid-19 and other individual stresses and unmet demands, which include increased health insurance coverage, in house counselling and peer to peer exchanges.

I would like to hear if other Practitioners are facing similar challenges and steps are taken so far.  

Amélie Gontharet
Amélie Gontharet UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women Moderador/a

Absolutely Etsehiwot Eguale  UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women  , and it also echoes Fiona Dalmier  UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women  's comment on the importance for donors to keep an open mind about how funds should be used according to different context and priorities determined by the organisation. 

I would also be curious to see how practitioners navigated this, but also how donors adapted and increased flexibility. Let us know!

Anna Nemirovsky
Anna Nemirovsky UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women

Bonjour SHINErs – ravie de vous e-rencontrer ! ? Je m'appelle Anna Nemirovsky et je travaille au Fonds d'affectation spéciale des Nations Unies pour l’élimination de la violence à l’égard les femmes. Cette discussion portant sur les crises et leur impact sur l’implémentation de programmes visant à éliminer la violence à l'égard des femmes, je souhaite reconnaître le travail incroyable que les organisations de la société civile et des droits des femmes accomplissent en ce moment même en Ukraine et dans toute autre région du monde affectée par le conflit. Parmi ces dernières, l'ONG "Club Eney", bénéficiaire d'une subvention du Fonds d'affectation spéciale des Nations unies, a adapté son travail pour continuer à aider les femmes et les filles les plus marginalisées en Ukraine : les femmes vivant avec le VIH, les femmes qui consomment des drogues, les femmes qui s'identifient comme des travailleuses du sexe et les femmes sans abri, dont beaucoup sont victimes de violence ou risquent de l'être. Si vous souhaitez en savoir plus sur l'impact disproportionné des crises sur la vie des femmes et des filles, et sur la réponse apportée par le projet, je vous recommande de regarder la déclaration de Vielta Parkhomenko, présidente de l'ONG "Club Eney". J'aimerais également connaître l'avis de celles et ceux d'entre vous qui travaillent, ont travaillé ou s'intéressent à la prévention et à l'élimination de la violence à l'égard des femmes et des filles dans les zones touchées par les conflits. N'hésitez pas à répondre directement dans les commentaires !

Amélie Gontharet
Amélie Gontharet UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women Moderador/a

Thank you for sharing this great example of impact of crises and resilience Anna Nemirovsky. Indeed, many organisations were already implementing their projects in challenging and increasingly difficult contexts before the pandemic, while for others, a political, climate or social crises happened after the beginning of the pandemic. It would be great to hear from different practitioners about the impact of crises in various contexts! 

Amélie Gontharet
Amélie Gontharet UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women Moderador/a

Hi everyone and thank you to all who shared their thoughts and experience on the topic of Resiliency to Crises! 

My name is Amélie, I work as a Research Assistant for the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, and I will welcome your contributions this week. 

Last February, the UN Trust Fund held a webinar on Adaptative Programming to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls where Dr. Erin Stern, external researcher, shared her findings on this thematic based on the experience shared by practitioners. Two civil society organisations participated as panelists: Beyond Borders (Haiti) who shared how community mobilization was key to adapt without leaving anyone behind and SIHA (South Sudan) explained their strategies in place to continue raising awareness while taking into consideration increasing challenges brought by the pandemic. 

And you, what has been the impact of COVID-19 and other crises on your context and your work? 

I also want to remind everyone that instant translation is available by clicking on the symbol Google translate symbol at the top right of your screen.  

Diep Nguyen
Diep Nguyen UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women

Xin chào các đồng nghiệp và cộng sự! Tôi là Diệp, hiện công tác về truyền thông và vận động tại Quỹ ủy thác LHQ.

Tôi muốn chia sẻ một số kinh nghiệm nghe được từ các tổ chức xã hội dân sự ở Việt Nam trong bối cảnh COVID-19, đặc biệt là từ các hội nhóm hoạt động vì quyền của người LGBTIQ+ và về hoạt động phòng chống HIV/AIDS. Khi đỉnh điểm COVID, nhiều nhóm phụ nữ chuyển giới đã mất việc làm do lệnh cấm đi lại (công việc chủ yếu có thể là buôn bán nhỏ, các gánh sạp hàng nhỏ, làm shipper hoặc là mại dâm), vì thế mà nhiều người mất nhà cửa do không có thu nhập, hoặc bị khách hàng lợi dụng tấn công. Ở Việt Nam hiện chưa có luật hướng dẫn để người chuyển giới có thể thay đổi giới tính trên giấy tờ, nên họ gặp nhiều khó khăn hơn. Các mạng lưới chuyển giới nữ đã rất nhanh chóng kêu gọi từ thiện để hỗ trợ nhu yếu phẩm và hỗ trợ một chút tiền trong thời điểm khó khăn.

Đối với hoạt động của các nhóm quần thể đích, việc tiếp cận hoặc đảm bảo điều trị theo phác đồ cũng gặp khó khăn khi họ không được di chuyển để đến chỗ cấp thuốc (chỉ được nhận thuốc mỗi 3 tháng, tùy nơi) do cấm đi lại mà mọi người biết đối với người đang sử dụng ARV vì việc dùng thuốc liên tục quan trọng thế nào rồi đấy! Trong những trường hợp này, các mạng lưới quần thể trong cộng đồng thường kết nối với nhau để "cho vay" thuốc hoặc hỗ trợ kịp thời các sản phẩm đảm bảo tình dục an toàn, hoặc các dịch vụ hỗ trợ khi gặp phải bạo lực.

Hiện nay khi COVID đã vãn hơn ở Việt Nam thì các nhóm hoạt động tại cộng đồng vẫn luôn luôn hiện diện và đóng vai trò quan trọng trong việc hỗ trợ kịp thời những trường hợp yếu thế đặc biệt là với các nhóm mà khó liên lạc và không sử dụng công nghệ thông tin tốt. Rất mong muốn được kết nối với mọi người!

Amélie Gontharet
Amélie Gontharet UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women Moderador/a

Hi Diep Nguyen  UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women  , thank you for sharing the impact on COVİD-19 in Viet Nam, especially on vulnerable groups, and the increasing challenges for women's organisations supporting them. They have and continue to play a key role in making sure no one is left behind, designing new strategies and advocating for more funding and visibility. 

If anyone has worked in Viet Nam during COVİD-19, please feel free to reply to this comment!

Diep Nguyen
Diep Nguyen UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women

Amélie Gontharet  UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women  Cảm ơn Amelie. Đúng như vậy! Tôi sẽ kêu gọi các đồng nghiệp cùng tham gia chia sẻ kiến thức.

Maria  Väkiparta
Maria Väkiparta International Solidarity Foundation

I'm working as the Programme Manager for International Solidarity Foundation (ISF). ISF is based in Finland and operates currently in Kenya and Somaliland to prevent VAWG (particularly FGM) and to promote women's livelihood resilience. We mainly implement through local partners. Currently, one of our FGM projects in Somaliland is funded by the UN Trust Fund (2020-22). I hereby share a brief input reg. Q2/how we adapted to COVID-19, considering our core EVAWG work consists of face-to-face grassroots awareness raising:

During the lockdown, ISF partners and other local CSOs were trained and equipped to use Zoom and Teams to maintain communications with key stakeholders. We piloted and intensified utilization of digital channels (such as bulk SMS, interactive voice response, WhatsApp and Facebook live) to reach out to target communities. In the rural/remote villages of Somaliland where the reach of the aforementioned channels is poor, we introduced vehicle-based awareness raising, merging EVAWG messages with COVID-19 awareness messages. In our Kenyan target communities, traditional media was increasingly used to replace face-to-face meetings. ISF partners broadcasted interactive radio shows that reached 5 million people, an average of 450,000 people per show. 

Action was also taken to respond to the acute needs raised by the pandemic. Over 18,000 households received protective gear and soap, and 1,000 most vulnerable households received one-month food supplies. This action saved lives but also helped the project team to sustain connection with the target communities, and thereby keep the project operational. 

Amélie Gontharet
Amélie Gontharet UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women Moderador/a

Thank you Maria for sharing ISF's experience with us! This is a great example of resilience through programmatic adaptations. You also remind us how important it is to know about the community and adjust to the level of access to leave no one behind to disseminate COVID-19 and EVAW integrated messages. 
Renato Jesús Nieto Ramos  and you both adapted your operations to adjust to the needs of the population with the distribution of food and hygiene parcels while also using this as an entry point to ensure the projects could continue. Have you found any similar strategies that you would like to share with other practitioners? 

Dosse Sossouga
Dosse Sossouga

You know,  violation againt women and no respect of their rights is for a long time and concerned multidimensionnelle aspects: culture, tradition, education, religious, poverty, ignorance, men egocentrism, inequality, lack of international convention domestication and respect.

Covid-19 comes to amplify poverty which is the main discrimination factor of violence against women and girls.

Amélie Gontharet
Amélie Gontharet UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women Moderador/a

Hi Dosse Sossouga, thank you for sharing and indeed discrimination and violence against women and girls is not limited to one aspect...

Did A.D.E.T. focus on women's economic empowerment in their activities or distribution of hygiene and food parcels to adjust to the needs of women and girls? 

Amélie Gontharet
Amélie Gontharet UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women Moderador/a

Exceptionally re-opening the discussion to post one last message from Shpresa Banja   from Woman Forum Elbasan, Albania: 

"Because of the isolation caused by Covid 19, WFE staff quickly adapted all the services to be closer the beneficiaries. The telephone numbers of the psychologist, social worker and the layer became visible in the social media platforms. On WFE web site throughout the pandemic situation, has been distributed online information and messages against domestic violence and how help can be sought if you are abused. In addition of the official telephone number of WFE were also made available the telephone numbers of the employees presented above, to all the women and girls who needed help.

During this period, apart from the means of communication that were active such as the telephone number, Messenger and WhatsApp of WFE, everything was already done online; psychologic and legal counselling, but also the issues of their basic needs for survival (food, etc). The immediate loss of jobs increased poverty among women and girls by not being able to provide the living conditions and pay the rent od the apartment where they lived.

The challenge was the lack of information and contact that the abused women/girls didn’t have enough space (opportunity) to contact us because their abusers were always present in the family premises. Being 24/24 with the perpetrator as a result of the isolation, led to an increase in cases of violence against women and their children.

From March 10 2020 to June 10 2020, the work of the court and other legal institutions was suspended, developing only emergency cases such as Immediate Protection Order (IPO) or Protection Order (PO). This situation led to delays in adjudicating cases that were open in court for the WFE beneficiaries, mainly marriage resolution. Women/girls with IPO or PO continued living in the same house with the abuser.

As a result of measures taken by the government for Covid 19, were released from the detention many abusers of the WFE beneficiaries who returned to live in the same house with the victim, making the living conditions of violence survivors very difficult.

There were not enough open shelters for women. Due to the pandemic situation, shelters didn’t meet the conditions of quarantine and social distance protection in accordance with the protocols issued by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, where the shelter managed by Women Forum Elbasan was also in the same conditions.

The closure of public and non-public institutions to come to the aid of the various needs of the survivors of the violence, was another negative factor. Furthermore, the need of protection measures for the staff and violence survivors, the need for disinfectants, gloves and masks was another factor that affected negatively or hampered the work of WFE staff. It is necessary to have an emergency fund in every project of NGO to cope with such situations where protection measures were a necessity in this period.

We ascertain in this post-Covid situation, an increase in cases of assisting women and their children not only with violent problems, but also with increased anxiety, panic and mental health problems (a double number of assisted cases compared to one year ago). Improper implementation of the legislation by public institutions is mainly causing the violence increase to alarming proportions.
Specifically, many women work in the black. In the situation we went through, women still didn’t benefit from the assistance provided by the Albanian government as they do not appear in the list of the people who are insured or pay monthly health and social insurance. What does the state inspectorate do when it has the duty to check every company for the number of people employed, for the payment of monthly health and social insurance, if they are paid with the minimum level of payment set by the government and don’t declare it. In fact, they are paid less than that.

During the Covid period the employees that were fired massively, were women and girls. Where is the legislation in force that shows that we are legally equal, women and men? According to the legislation, each municipality should have a coordinator or an employee who covers domestic violence. We ascertain that out from 61 municipalities in Albania, not even ½ of them don’t have such a position. Specifically in the Region of Elbasan out of seven municipalities, only two of them have an employee who performs only this function.

On the other hand, this structure must be engaged 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as violence occurs at any time of the day and night. We ascertain that after 4pm the official schedule of the Municipality, these employees do not answer the phone when the survivor presents herself to the police for IPO/PO and the police, according to the legislation, rightly informs her about the case. Legally the coordinator is the main person that every violence case should be related to, and is the duty of the coordinator to accompany the survivor wherever he/she needs, to the police, to different NGO, to the hospital, etc.

According to the legislation in force, each municipality has a mechanism for coordinating violence cases, consisting of:

1. Steering Committee
2. Local Coordinator
3. Interdisciplinary Technical Team

According to the legislation in force, the Steering Committee must meet not less than once every three months to analyze and make decisions on cases of violence. The last DCM is in force for about a year and there are still municipalities that have not yet held any meeting (DCM No. 327 dated 02.06.2021).

Something different is the situation with ETN that collects and analyzes every difficult case.

According to law no. 125/2020 for some additions and changes in law no. 9669, dated 18.12.2006 ¨for measures against domestic violence¨, as amended, states: The court, as a protection measure of domestic violence, immediately orders the abuser to leave the apartment for a certain period of time, when the victim and the abuser live in the same shelter. While the court is almost implementing it in every case, the responsible state structures (mainly the police and the municipality) do not implement it, saying where can we take the perpetrator, we can’t leave him on the street. On the other hand, there is nothing yet for the rehabilitation of the perpetrators or the rendering of services.

On the other hand, politics and the media are playing a very negative role in generating domestic violence. The way they communicate is a very bad model for the community that degenerates into domestic violence."


Amélie Gontharet
Amélie Gontharet UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women Moderador/a

Contribution from Milagros (Paz y Esperanza): 

  1. Cuál es el impacto continuo de la pandemia de COVID-19 y otras crisis en su contexto sobre: ​​(a) formas específicas de violencia contra las mujeres y las niñas (está empeorando, intensificándose)? (b) en su programa para prevenir la violencia contra las mujeres y las niñas (¿se ha estancado la programación, se ha adaptado)? (c) sobre la capacidad de las organizaciones de la sociedad civil para mantener sus operaciones? 

La pandemia del COVID 19 ha impactado fuertemente en las mujeres y niñas con discapacidad en diferentes formas por ejemplo en su sustento diario ya que muchas de ellas tenían pequeños negocios y con el confinamiento tuvieron que cerrar.

Por otro lado, la salud mental de las beneficiarias empeoro ya que el confinamiento, la enfermedad y muertes cercanas las hizo entrar en cuadros depresivos y no les permitió concentrarse en capacitaciones.

Las beneficiarias mujeres y niñas con discapacidad no pudieron acceder con facilidad a los medios virtuales ya que no contaban con equipos con cobertura de internet ni planes de datos.

El confinamiento hizo que permanecieran más tiempo con sus agresores, expuestas, fueron pocos los servicios de protección abiertos para hacer denuncias.

Igualmente, las mujeres con discapacidad cuándo empezaron a salir se sentían desvalidas ya que las personas no las apoyaban por ejemplo en su desplazamiento por temor al contagio.

Nuestra institución tomo la decisión de implementar los programas en línea y para ese efecto se doto de tablets y celulares con el apoyo del Fondo para lideresas con discapacidad, así como de planes de datos para poder generar espacios virtuales, simultáneamente capacitamos una a una para que puede acceder a estos espacios.

El proyecto no se atrasó ya que se modificó las actividades y se redirecciono el financiamiento a bonos económicos para la compra de alimentos y materiales de protección, todo esto fue de gran ayuda.

Los equipos transitaron a la virtualidad como testimonio de ello adjuntamos una pequeña sistematización respecto a nuestra experiencia.

  1. ¿Cómo se ha adaptado su equipo/sociedad civil a estas crisis, ya sea (a) programáticamente y/o (b) operativamente/organizacionalmente? 

Creo que hubo bastante capacidad de respuesta de parte de las instituciones y colectivos de sociedad civil, quienes transitaron rápidamente al uso de los medios virtuales, tuvimos mucho personal que enfermo dentro de las instituciones y dentro del proyecto lo que nos llevó a atenderlos con los recursos que tuvimos a nuestro alcance.

La virtualidad y el uso de las tecnologías digitales ha sido muy importante para la sociedad civil, creo que llego para quedarse y facilitarnos algunos espacios de reuniones y coordinaciones. 

3. ¿Puede compartir algún ejemplo específico, incluidos desafíos clave, lecciones y conclusiones útiles? Siéntase libre de incluir enlaces a recursos, sitios web, etc.

             En esos momentos era muy importante el apoyo del personal del equipo a las mujeres con discapacidad, así como  de las psicólogas a cargo, cada día recibíamos varias llamadas de las beneficiarias contándonos que                        enfermo su familia, que falleció, su papá, sus hermanos, su mamá, que el Ministerio de Salud quería llevarse el retirar el cuerpo de su familiar, todo fue lleno de mucha angustia y desconcierto, nosotros nos encargamos de dar el soporte a cada una de ellas para ayudarlas a transitar las situaciones que les tocaba vivir que eran simultaneas a las que nosotras pasábamos cada día en casa. En la virtualidad las acompañamos y nos acompañaron para poder pasar los momentos más difíciles de nuestras vidas.

  1. ¿Qué recursos y/o apoyo (financiero y no financiero) se necesitan de donantes, donantes, formuladores de políticas y otros socios para sostener la programación y las operaciones de la sociedad civil para la resiliencia frente a futuras crisis?

Apoyo emocional para los equipos que deben prestar apoyo a los beneficiarios en momentos de crisis. Fondos para alimentación y aseo que fueron muy importantes en medio de la crisis Fondos para la compra de equipos con la finalidad de conectar a las mujeres con discapacidad de manera virtual Acompañamiento de los donantes en momentos de crisis.