Sisters For Change is committed to conducting primary research, data and evidence collection in every country where we work, and to robust monitoring and evaluation of our programmes and advocacy initiatives. Each aspect helps us better understand what works, identify barriers that impede progress, and ensures we continue to innovate, experiment and strengthen our programmes.
The data and evidence gap relating to violence against women and girls
Across the world there is a recognised gap in data and evidence relating to the prevalence of violence against women and girls, social attitudes towards violence, discrimination and gender inequality in households, communities and institutions. Sisters For Change is committed to conducting research and primary data collection in every project it delivers. This includes surveys measuring the prevalence of violence against women and girls in local contexts and attitudes towards gender equality, gathering legal case evidences. We adapt and deploy global best practice in ethical research, complying with World Health Organisation guidelines and Oxfam’s Empowerment Index, build the capacity of our local partners in the varied methods of data and evidence collection.
Local and national policy contexts and legal frameworks
Critical to our work is an in-depth understanding of public policy, national and local strategies, legal frameworks and domestic laws relating to combating violence against women and girls.
“…our advocacy activities are well honed, constructive and targeted at the institutions and individuals most likely to help deliver the change we seek.”
Sisters For Change does extensive policy and legal analysis – involving literature reviews, desk analysis, direct and sustained stakeholder engagement, comparative legal analysis, and assessment of regional and international good practice – to understand the operational context, challenges, local politics, gaps and developments in each region where we work. This ensures that our legal research, legal reform and legal advocacy activities are well honed, constructive, and targeted at the institutions and individuals most likely to help deliver the change we seek.
We conduct robust monitoring and evaluation across the full breadth of our project portfolio. Each programme we deliver has a clear change strategy with defined metrics, targets, outputs and outcomes. We work closely with our partners to collect this data on a quarterly basis in order to ensure accurate and timely evaluation of performance against targets.
Metrics cover a range of common indicators across projects and locations, including whom we are reaching, levels of activities (workshops, paralegal academies, organisational capacity building, fact-findings, stakeholder roundtables, high-level dialogues) and the outputs we produce (Paralegal Academy training materials, case studies, reports from events, research reports, case management and victim support tools, paralegals trained, and cases analysed for advocacy purposes).
We work to create change. As a result, we track outcomes on 4 levels:
- Individual: Number of victims of violence supported
- Social/community: Changes in social attitudes towards gender equality (measured through attitudinal surveys); changes in awareness, knowledge and application of laws to protect women and combat violence against women (measured through pre- and post-training surveys)
- Structural: Changes to public policy or implementation of domestic law; changes in corporate compliance with laws to protect women workers
- Systems: Impact on international or multilateral agenda to combat violence against women
We recognise that data and statistics cannot capture critical aspects of our work. It does not reveal how knowledge of the law empowers and mobilises rural women, how being trained as a paralegal changes a woman’s position in the community, nor how our engagement with partner organisations and criminal justice system authorities builds not only their legal capacity and improves implementation of domestic law, but also develops gender sensitivity and a victim-centred approach to supporting women and girls who have suffered violence.
“…improves implementation of domestic law, but also develops gender sensitivity and a victim centred approach to supporting women and girls who have suffered violence.”
As a result, we undertake a range of qualitative assessments as part of our project work. These include focus group discussions and one-on-one interviews to capture feedback from participants; testimonies from paralegals; and stories of ‘most significant change’ from the communities, women and girls with whom we work. These reflect the true impact of our work at the grassroots. We provide a small sample in the Impact Stories below.
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