Safe Blog

Lessons learned from the Together for Girls Partnership in Tanzania

18th July 2019

Together for Girls released a new case study highlighting groundbreaking country-led action to end violence against children and youth from a decade of the partnership’s collective work in Tanzania.

The study, Accelerating Action to Address Violence Against Women and Children: Key Lessons from the Together for Girls Partnership in Tanzania, showcases how the Government of Tanzania and multi-sectoral partners used the results of the Violence Against Children and Youth Report (VACS) to catalyze action.

In Tanzania, the national response to the survey serves as a powerful display of government commitment to use the data from the VACS to inform policies and actions that will address violence against children for years to come, which is now the standard TfG model.

Lessons from Tanzania Report cover

Turning Data into Action

To showcase their commitment to addressing violence against children, the government of Tanzania publicly launched the VACS findings at a high-level event in August 2011 where ministers from across sectors and civil society leaders made commitments to address the issues raised by survey findings.

Tanzania was the first country to introduce a government-led, multi-sectoral task force to oversee the violence prevention and response work in response to the VACS data. This process has been shown to be critically important to build capacity, ensure that the findings are used to inform comprehensive, multi-sectoral actions to address violence prevention and response programming, and leverage multi-donor funding.

Furthermore, Tanzania is the only country which, having implemented its first Multi-Sector National Plan of Action to Prevent and Respond to Violence against Children then modified its approach for the second National Plan of Action to End Violence Against Women and Children, which incorporated a response to violence against women.

Multi-sectoral action to end violence against women and children

Mbeya Tanzania
Addressing violence against children requires multi-sectoral support. Staff from the police gender desk, healthcare offices and child protection unit work together to end violence against children in Mbeya, Tanzania.

The newly released case study showcases the core components of Tanzania’s success, along with the challenges faced in implementing this innovative model to end violence.

Notably, in responding to violence against women and children, Tanzania has implemented multiple projects across sectors as per their National Action Plans, including:

Police gender and children’s desks: To provide a more integrated response and to reduce the barriers to reporting cases of violence cases, the Tanzania Police Force established Police Gender and Children Desks in major police stations around the country. These desks ensure that women and child victims of violence receive justice in a sensitive manner that avoids revictimization, and are managed by police officers who have who have been specially trained.

One stop centers: These health centers provide integrated medical, legal and welfare services, including counseling services to support survivors of violence, either on site or through referrals. These services are designed to be more client-friendly and to help survivors navigate the reporting and referral process, including filling out the necessary forms. Tanzania plans to expand the number of One Stop Centers from 10 (eight of which were initiated under the first national action plan) to 26 with the support of the government and international non-governmental organizations.

Supporting civil society organizations: Tanzanian civil society has played an important role in violence prevention and response, including advocacy.. Community based organizations throughout Tanzania work with the government and development partners to support programming to end violence, and are often on the frontlines, closer to children’s lives.

Key lessons

The Together for Girls model in Tanzania has shown the value and necessity of a multi-sectoral approach, based on solid data, to prevent and respond to VAC. The efforts in Tanzania have led to far greater awareness of the extent of violence, including sexual violence against girls, and the actions undertaken have produced key lessons to laying the foundation for a sustainable systems approach to violence prevention and response worldwide.

Key lessons from the case study include:

  • National leadership that prioritizes a coordinated, multi-sectoral response is key.
  • Coordination doesn’t just happen — incentives are critical.
  • Adequate human and financial resources based on the data are essential.
  • Ongoing data collection to inform programming and learning allows for continued progress.
  • Prioritizing adolescent girls and engaging them in programs ensures they are not left behind.
  • Sharing challenges and promising approaches helps support both local and global learning in what is still a relatively new field.

The case study’s findings were sourced from recent in depth interviews with multi-sectoral actors, including implementing partners, bilateral donors, civil society organizations and UN agencies to ensure a crosscutting examination on the impact of Tanzania’s national action plan. Together for Girls also profiled the work of professionals from across sectors, advocates, and young survivors who are working tirelessly on violence prevention and response.