Since its launch in July of 2016, the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children has promoted the concept of pathfinding, which aims to raise awareness, stimulate leadership commitment, galvanize action, and establish a standard of national violence prevention throughout the world. Today, 26 countries have joined the partnership as pathfinders, spreading its reach to every continent.
Pathfinding countries are those whose government leaders do two things:
- Make a formal, public commitment to comprehensive action to end all forms of violence against children; and
- Request to become a pathfinder within the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children.
Within 18 months of pathfinding status being confirmed by the End Violence Secretariat, pathfinding country governments are expected to:
- Appoint a senior government focal point to lead the in-country process;
- Convene and support a multi-stakeholder group;
- Collect, structure and analyse data on violence against children;
- Develop an evidence-based and costed national action plan that sets commitments for three to five years, and a related resource mobilization plan; and
- Consult with children and adhere to partnership standards on child participation.
Jamaica became a pathfinding country in 2016. To follow through on the country's commit to ending violence against children, the Government of Jamaica teamed up with the Violence Prevention Alliance to develop a National Plan of Action for an Integrated Response to Children and Violence. With catalytic funding received from End Violence in 2018, the Violence Prevention Alliance finalized a road map toward implementation based on this national plan of action, articulating clear approaches to preventing, mitigating and improving the response to violence against children.
After a national survey confirmed high levels of violence against children in Uganda, UNICEF Uganda and the Uganda National Academy of Sciences used End Violence funding to map the current programming landscape for ending violence against children. Their mapping revealed that Uganda's many implementing partners were duplicating each others' efforts, and needed to better align their work and build on the Government of Uganda's planned protection system. These findings had promoted the government and implementing partners to better define and organize the national protection system, creating a more effective protection mechanism for children.
In addition to supporting each pathfinding country individually, the Secretariat is developing public resources to enhance practitioners’ goal of ending violence against children. The following resources are available to practitioners, regardless of their affiliation:
Schools and Master Classes
Schools and master classes, which will soon be credited training courses, are currently being piloted by the University of Edinburgh. While INSPIRE is harnessing policymakers and practitioners around a common set of strategies shown to reduce violence, practitioners are facing challenges to ensure these strategies are a good fit on the ground. These courses tackle the challenges organisations and individuals may face while translating INSPIRE to on-the-ground realities.
Our first course, which was held between 3-7 December 2018, brought together research practitioners from seven pathfinding countries, including Canada, Honduras, the Philippines, Romania, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. Our second course, which is slated for August 2019, will explore similar issues within online-offline violence prevention with eight pathfinding countries based in Asia.
The Global Ending Violence Against Children Knowledge Hub
In March 2019, working with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children, UNICEF and other partners, over 40 practitioners from around the world gathered to kick-off the Global Ending Violence Against Children Knowledge Network: A Forum for Users and Producers of Data.
The meeting helped End Violence and partners envision a role contributing to knowledge, information and a platform for exchange. The hub will complement the work of the UN Statistical Commission's Inter-agency and expert groups on violence against children, providing a bridge to the broader community working on related data, monitoring, evaluation and research. Serving as a broker of (and a linkage to) existing knowledge platforms — and capturing the tremendous progress of the larger violence prevention community — the hub will also manage access to INSPIRE tools and implementation information, expanding into untapped areas of collaboration across sectors. Stay tuned as we develop our dedicated site!