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Lessons on planning and implementation

Last edited: January 03, 2012

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Grounding the campaign in evidence: Research is essential to gain an understanding of the attitudes and behaviours, institutional mechanisms and situational factors that generate or reduce different forms of VAW in different contexts. Research should be participatory, involving representatives of the target audience, so that multiple perspectives are taken into account and assumptions underlying the campaign idea are tested and rectified. Theories and models of change grounded in social sciences can be used to anticipate possible routes towards change among the target audience and to devise effective implementation strategies.

Example: Breakthrough (India)

This global human rights NGO, launched its Bell Bajao!/Ring the Bell! campaign in 2008 to call on men and boys across India to take a stand against domestic violence, by performing a simple bystander intervention – ringing the door bell when they witnessed such violence taking place. The campaign’s integrated cultural, organizing and media strategy sought to make the issue part of mainstream conversation; increase knowledge about and change community attitudes towards DV and towards HIV-positive women; and alter individual behaviour.

As part of its formative research, Breakthrough conducted a baseline survey to gather state-specific information on gender-based violence, domestic violence, women’s rights and related legal provisions (Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act). In addition, the baseline recorded the target audience’s media habits, and the information sources they used and preferred. Secondary data sources were also used eg. from the WHO and the National Family Health Survey in India. As the campaign progressed, monitoring activities were initiated to build off the formative research – for example, the indicators or ‘markers’ measured at the baseline were used to create a benchmark, monitored at an interval after the launch of the campaign and then again at the end to guage the impact of the campaign as a whole.

Access the Bell Bajao/Ring the Bell Campaign.

Read the Baseline Survey on Domestic Violence and HIV/AIDS.

Read the Bell Bajao case study.


Defining specific goals and agreeing on a strategic plan: The more specific the campaign goals, the easier it is to define precise target audiences, communication channels, tactics and techniques. A deliberate, participatory strategic planning process generates informed choices and creates an agreed basis for action and accountability.

Devising a strong communications strategy: Effective communication is driven by the purpose of the campaign: what must change, why, and who needs to be reached so as to bring about change? Within the overall campaign strategy, a communication strategy that defines how to capture the attention of target audiences, convey compelling campaign messages, and stimulate action is essential. Particularly in recent times, with the growth of internet usage and social media networks, and the widespread use of mobile and video technology, well-planned communications activities can directly influence the success of a campaign. 

Monitoring and evaluation: It is critical for campaigns, and particularly their context and outcomes, to be subject to a well-defined monitoring and evaluation process.  Monitoring is a crucial element in verifying campaign progress, correcting any errors and adjusting to external changes. It enables campaigners to grasp new opportunities and avert risks. Evaluation measures outcomes and impact, and turns data and lessons learnt into knowledge that can be shared with others so as to strengthen and inform future campaigns to end VAW.

So far, publicized evaluations of campaigns to end VAW are unfortunately few and far between and none that are available demonstrate a direct link between campaigning and a reduction in violence against women and girls. The ones that exist address different questions in different contexts, using various methods to variable degrees of rigor. As a result, the conclusions that can be drawn are only tentative. More investment in research and analysis of campaign evaluations is needed to broaden the knowledge base for future campaigns.