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General considerations: process and content

Last edited: December 30, 2011

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General considerations for developing or improving national policies, strategies and action plans

Policy-development Process

  • National policies, plans and strategies should be developed based on recommended practices identified by global experts, and can draw on the experience and frameworks developed in other countries (see examples by searching the UN Secretary-General’s Database on Violence Against Women for policies, strategies and programmes).

  • Policy development should be informed by a comprehensive situational analysis drawing upon existing country-level data, including information on the extent and forms of violence, an assessment of the current security sector role in addressing the issue, challenges and opportunities to strengthen institutional and individual security practices as part of a holistic multisectoral effort for prevention and response.

  • Drafting committees should include representatives with specific technical knowledge on gender-based violence and gender equality issues broadly (who may be designated ministerial focal points or experts identified to provide support throughout the policy-development process).

  • Service providers, non-government organizations and others with expertise on the issue (including survivors) should be involved and engaged in providing inputs as part of broader consultations throughout the drafting process.


  • The different forms of violence against women should be acknowledged as a critical issue and threat to national security, with references to the legal definitions of these different forms.

  • There should be recognition of the equal right of men and women to participate in security institutions.

  • The importance of considering the security needs of specific population groups, such as girls, women and girls with disabilities, minority groups or marginalized communities should be acknowledged.

  • Gender-sensitive language should be used throughout the policies (e.g. ‘police officer’ not ‘policeman’).

  • Policies and strategies should:

    • outline the issues being addressed referencing the underlying legal framework and commitments;

    • present a vision with an implementation plan that contains clear objectives, specific approaches, actions and time-bound targets measuring performance of different actors/ institutions in prevention and response; and identifies allocation of appropriate human and financial resources to achieve these; and

    • include a list of indicators to track progress with implementation in the plan.

Illustrative Example:

Tanzania’s National Plan of Action for the Prevention and Eradication of Violence against Women and Children (2001-2015) contains a detailed log frame for each subject area addressed by the plan. As part of the Service to the Victims/Survivors of Violence section, the plan sets forth specific targets and indicators for working with the police:





Means of Verification


Time Frame

Budget (US $)

Objective 2:

To provide efficient and effective Police response, Gender sensitive prosecution health and social welfare services and establish specialized unit redress cases of violence against women and children

2,000 police officers and 100 social workers from 25 regions of Tanzania to be trained and sensitized on violence against women and children (20 from mainland and 5 from Zanzibar).


Capacity building on gender and sensitization on violence against women and children.


  • To conduct gender training and seminars, workshops and session to police officers, health officers and social welfare workers.

  • To establish and strengthen gender specialized unit in police force

  • Number of trainees trained.

  • Number of specialized police units to deal with violence against women and children

Records from organizations involved in training


  • MOHA

  • MOH



  • Relevant NGOs

  • Development Partners