In April of 2017, a gap was identified: in the child protection world and other sectors, there was a disconnect between data and action. The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Chldren (OSRSG-VAC), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the Secretariat of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children (End Violence) joined forces to remedy that gap, convening a group of stakeholders to develop a solution. Together, these partners developed a "multi-stakeholder forum" — in other words, a platform for technical discussions on data, learnings and evidence. Once such findings were presented, practitioners would be equipped with the tools they needed to create effective, comprehensive programs for children, utilizing their networks from the forum to access expert and technical support and advice.
In March 2019, this forum — the Global End Violence Against Children Knowledge Network — came to life.
At the UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti in Florence, Italy, 40 data experts focused on ending violence against children came together to share research, explore each other's findings, inform programming, and more.
The meeting focused on conversation and consensus building around crucial issues in the field including:
- What data and evidence resources are needed to support countries taking action to end violence against children? How should the evidence community work together to achieve this?
- What tools are currently being used across agencies and places to collect data? How can this be streamlined to assure quality and greater standardization?
- What are the gaps in data, evidence and learning, and how can the evidence community work together to address them?
- How can current resources and platforms be linked and enhanced to create a dynamic, useful resource and avoid duplication?
- What actions should be taken to keep this agenda moving forward? What types of agreement or approach could help strengthen the evidence architecture on ending violence against children?
Over the two days of the meeting, participants also discussed:
- The policy and advocacy landscape for evidence on ending violence against children;
- A review of the sources, surveys, services and systems across sectors;
- How to measure and define violence, while taking into account culture and social norms in different contexts;
- Mapping evidence on interventions to reduce violence against children in low- and middle-income countries;
- How to learn from INSPIRE strategies;
- Engaging children in research related to child protection;
- How to share knowledge across countries, organisations and networks;
- And more.