Empowering Women to Promote Peace and Security

Promoting Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 by Enhancing Capacity to Address Gender-based Violence in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings

Brief Consultation Report on Gender-based Violence Training for UNFPA Indonesia and Relevant Partners, November 22nd-25th, 2006, Bali, Indonesia

I. Background

Five years ago the UN Security Council passed its landmark Resolution 1325, the first international agreement to specifically recognize the impact of armed conflict on women and their role as builders of peace. Key provisions of the resolution are captured by “three P's”: protection of the human rights of women and girls during times of conflict, the prevention of gender-based violence (GBV), and the equal participation of women in peace building and reconstruction.  The Resolution pointedly “calls upon all parties to armed conflict to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, and all other forms of violence in situations of armed conflict.”

UNFPA, as part of an inter-agency task force to implement the resolution, has been a key leader in ensuring that the mandate of 1325 is recognized and acted upon in the field.  In particular, the Women, Peace and Security Initiative of the Technical Support Division of UNFPA has spearheaded a wide range of activities aimed at narrowing “the gap between the provisions of this legal instrument and the reality on the ground.”

One such initiative, the UNFPA-sponsored workshop Reassessing Institutional Support for Security Council Resolution 1325, held in Bucharest 17- 20 October, 2005, brought together UNFPA staff, partners and international experts to discuss the successes and challenges in implementing the resolution.  The overwhelming consensus of the participants was that despite certain gains ensuing from 1325, such as greater political participation of women in countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Liberia, and Sudan, the UN has not done enough to ensure that all three of the major components of the Resolution--the three P’s--are adequately addressed in conflict and post-conflict countries around the world.  Participants argued that this failure in implementation is particularly true related to addressing GBV:  international experts, UNFPA staff and field-based partners alike maintained that women’s and girls’ special vulnerability to sexual and other forms of violence during conflict and its aftermath is a on-going health and human rights crisis in conflict-affected settings, and that international intervention related to GBV can too often be characterized as too little, too late.

In an effort to facilitate activities to redress gaps identified by partners at the Bucharest meeting, including representatives from Indonesia, UNFPA’s Women, Peace and Security Initiative launched a follow-up project aimed at providing field-based technical and financial support for GBV training and project development to country offices where preliminary assessments indicated a need and where UNFPA staff were enthusiastic about receiving external support.  A global expert on GBV was recruited to design and facilitate a four-day training.  This consultancy report describes the general content and outcomes of the training conducted in Indonesia.

II.  Objectives and Methodology of Training

The overall objectives of the training were:

A variety of methods were used in the workshop, including lecture/discussion, group work, and games.  Efforts were made to emphasize participatory processes, and to present participants with activities they might be able to use when conducting community sensitization related to GBV.  All participants were provided with a comprehensive CD of training and other resources related to GBV, that included all the training materials used in this workshop.

III.  Schedule of Training

The consultant traveled to Bali, Indonesia, on November 20, 2006, and worked with the logistics team to prepare for the training on Tuesday, November 21, 2006.  The training was held at Le Meridien Hotel from Wednesday, November 22 through Saturday, November 25, 2006, from 8.30am to 5.00pm each day.

IV.  Collaborators

Oversight of planning and implementation of the meeting was assumed by Martha Santoso Ismail and her extremely competent team at UNFPA in Indonesia.  Ibu Martha also acted as moderator during the training.  Logistical preparations for the meeting, as well as logistical responsibilities during the meeting, were very ably assumed by the staff of Yayasan Jurnal Perempuan, a leading Indonesian women’s advocacy organization.  The director of YJP, Adriana Venny, acted as assistant facilitator throughout the training, as well as rapporteur.  Funding was provided by Indonesia Country Program .Technical support for the training was provided by the Women, Peace, and Security Initiative of the Technical Division of UNFPA HQ, under the guidance of Sahir Abdul Hadi.  The meeting was inaugurated by the UNFPA Representative Mr. Zahidul Huque.

V.  Participant Profile

A total of 24 participants attended the four-day training.  They represented seven regions in Indonesia, as well as the four key sectors involved in the GBV prevention and response:  psychosocial, security, legal/justice, and health.  Professional profiles ranged from ministry officials, to police officers, to staff of local psychosocial NGOs.  The breadth and variety of experience and expertise of the participants contributed to rich discussions and other information-sharing.  Those working deep in the front lines of conflict and/or disaster had the critical opportunity, for example, to express their frustrations and needs in the presence of key representatives of the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment, as well as to receive support and recognition from colleagues based all over the country.

Notably, very few participants had ever received specific training on GBV—including officials from ministries tasked with women’s and/or gender affairs, police representatives working in women’s or family support units, and/or those currently working in NGOs serving victims of violence. In Indonesia where comparatively more policies and programs have been developed to address GBV than in other conflict-affected settings, most participants had never had the opportunity to receive a basic grounding in concepts related to GBV or theoretical models for best-practice program design.

VI.  General Content of Training (see agenda)

Day One.  Topics covered included introducing key concepts related to GBV, such as gender, human rights, violence and power.  Participants were provided with an overview of data on GBV around the world, and asked to identify key types of GBV prevalent in their communities.  Causes and contributing factors to GBV were discussed, as was the impact of GBV on individual survivors, families, and communities.

Day Two. Participants reviewed the content from the first day to clarify issues and improve understanding of basic concepts.  They were then introduced to basic programming models for addressing GBV, including the multi-sectoral and multi-level approaches, and were asked to consider how to apply these models to program design and implementation.

Day Three. Participants were trained on engagement strategies for working with survivors, including basic engagement skills, such as active listening, advising versus informing and attending contextually, behaviorally, and psychologically.  Participants were also provided a model for conducting supportive assessments with survivors.

Day Four.  The final component of the training focused on advocacy and community mobilization.  Participants were challenged to articulate their beliefs about GBV through a formal debate.  They were also asked to consider various prevention strategies, from policy reform to behavior change. 

The training concluded with participants applying knowledge gained during the trainings to develop broad-based action plans/recommendations for addressing GBV in their respective regions.

VII. Participant Recommendations/Action Plans from Trainings

Using the new conceptual knowledge gained during the training, participants were invited to develop a list of key recommendations or action points for improving their communities’ or country’s ability to prevent and respond to GBV.  Although in most cases the recommendations remained fairly general given the time allotted for brainstorming and the overwhelming lack of prior knowledge about GBV programming strategies, the process of developing recommendations not only gave participants an opportunity to apply the concepts presented in the training, but it also gave UNFPA representatives an opportunity to hear priorities identified by training participants.  Below are select highlights from the recommendations.

In Indonesia, where services and basic knowledge regarding GBV are more developed, recommendations were organized specifically in terms of prevailing best-practice models.  Participants suggested that at the level of structural intervention (law and policy reform), adjustments should be made in existing domestic violence legislation in order to make it more comprehensive, criminal procedures should be adjusted so ensure the rights of the victims and witnesses, and regulations should be put in place to ensure free and integrated response services across the country. 

In terms of systemic interventions (capacity building of relevant sectors), participants recommended that training be provided to key actors across all sectors, referral processes be refined, and mechanisms be developed to reduce the bureaucratic and procedural delays that victims often experience when seeking assistance. 

At the level of operative intervention (direct services), participants recommended that welfare and other forms of psychosocial support be expanded, that actors across all key sectors have the ability to respond with compassion and respect, and that comprehensive services be provided free of cost. 

Several other specific issues arose in Indonesia, the most critical relating to the abuses committed with impunity by the military forces.  The participants nominated the advocacy NGO responsible for organizing the training, Yayasan Jurnal Perempuan, to draft a statement regarding the issue to be signed by all members of the training and presented before parliament

VIII.  Participant Evaluations of the Trainings

Participants were asked to complete brief daily evaluations so that the consultant could track the progress of the trainings, as well as a more comprehensive final evaluation at the end of the four days.  The daily evaluations were consistently very positive, with many participants indicating appreciation of the concepts covered as well as the participatory approaches used by the facilitator throughout the training. 

When asked to rate the workshop on a scale of 1 to 5, with five being “most useful” and one being “not useful”, evaluations consistently illustrated a preponderance of “5s”:  12 on day one, 15 on day two, and 16 on day three.  The rest of the evaluations were “4s”, with one “3” on day one and one “3” on day two.

Feedback on the final evaluations was similarly positive, with all participants rating the workshop as either “excellent” or “good”, and none rating the workshop as fair or poor.

Most Useful Session of the Training

In general, participants expressed a keen interest in all aspects of the training, as indicated in the daily evaluations.  In the final evaluations, many participants prioritized the engagement skills training as most useful, and the majority of others reported that all sessions were useful.   When given the opportunity on the evaluations to provide general feedback, 13 out of the total of 19 participants who completed the final evaluations requested further training—several specifically on counseling techniques--and many expressed frustration that the current training was too short:

Overview of GBV

Engagement Skills

All Sessions


Other (i.e. record-keeping, multi-sectoral model, style of presentations, vicarious trauma/stress, etc.)






IX.  Consultant Conclusions

Overall, there was a strong sense of appreciation articulated by the participants about being invited to attend the workshop, and about UNFPA’s commitment to supporting their attendance.  Participants were very engaged and enthusiastic about the subject of GBV, and indicated a strong desire for future training on GBV.  They also indicated frustration about their capacity to address GBV incidents given the lack of infrastructure of the health, security, and legal/justice sectors, and lack of financial resources to build capacity.   Several expressed a desire to conduct research on GBV in their regions, and others expressed a desire to focus on training and advocacy targeting key stakeholders.  Many participants responded very positively to the engagement skills component of the training, and expressed a strong desire to build their skills in working with survivors. 

The recommendations of participants in their final evaluations made the point clear:  training and other capacity-building efforts need to be more widespread—top-down and bottom-up--and on-going.  The UNFPA-supported training in Indonesia was a first and promising step in a longer-term commitment to building local capacity to address GBV, particularly in the conflict-affected regions of the country.

Annex 1:  Training Outline

Agenda: Training on Basic Issues and Concepts Related to Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Response

Day I: Getting Started

Session 1: Setting the Climate                   

Session 2: Introducing Key Concepts 

Session 3: Defining Gender-based Violence                                   

Session 4: Key Types of GBV, Causes, Contributing Factors, and Consequences

Day II: Developing a Framework to Understand and Respond to GBV

Session 1: Understanding and Addressing Attitudes that Promote GBV                                   

Session 2: Review of Basic Concepts Covered So Far 

Session 3: Introduction to Programming Models

Session 4: The United Nations’ Response

Session 5: From Models to Action:  Developing Response Programming

Day III: Engagement Strategies in Working with Survivors

Session 1: Understanding the Survivor 

Session 2: Introduction to Engagement Techniques

Session 3: What is your role?  What is your goal?

Day IV: Moving Forward:  Prevention and Community Mobilization

Session 1: Developing Prevention Programming

Session 2: Becoming a Community Mobilizer

Session 3: Developing Recommendations/Key Action Points for Addressing GBV in Indonesia

Session 4: Review, Parking Lot, Wrap-up and Evaluations