The power of Data to Action: Country experiences and lessons following Violence Against Children and Youth Surveys

On September 15, 2022, USAID’S Health Evaluation and Applied Research Development (HEARD) Project, The City of New York Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH), Implementation Collaborative, and University Research Co., LLC (URC) in collaboration with Together for Girls, launched a new report, The power of Data to Action: Country experiences and lessons following Violence Against Children and Youth Surveys (VACS).

Power of Data to Action

Key highlights from the report

The VACS data, and associated processes to use the data, provide evidence that violence against children and adolescents is a knowable, solvable problem.

VACS data provides the foundation for developing interventions that work and measuring progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Coordination across sectors is critical to driving change.

Strong, government-led multisectoral coordination is the single most important factor in translating VACS results into positive action for children. Multisectoral coordination plays a role in every step of the VACS process.

VACS data generate learning and action.

VACS data and associated capacity-building processes generate learning and action, build capacity, and inform national responses to end violence against children.

All areas of VAC need more funding.

Gaps in funding is a barrier in all aspects of prevention and response to VAC beginning with the survey itself, to post-VACS efforts. Almost 90 percent of survey respondents cite inadequate funding as a barrier to post-VACS efforts.

The report consolidates findings from a landscape analysis prepared by URC and CUNY SPH. It is part of a broader effort led by USAID’s HEARD project to document and support learning around “data to action” (D2A) following VACS. It provides evidence that the process of undertaking a VACS and the D2A model contributes to meaningful policy change and action to end violence against children and adolescents and gender-based violence. It also showcases the urgent need for increased funding for violence prevention and response.

The VACS are the single largest global data source for violence against children worldwide. Led by national governments with technical assistance and support from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other partners, they are implemented as part of the Together for Girls partnership.

The landscape analysis is the first comprehensive review of country experiences in transforming VACS results into action and included 225 stakeholders across 20 VACS countries. Stakeholders from every participating country reported that VACS data and the post-survey processes effectively propelled important policy and programmatic changes to end violence against children. As part of the post-survey processes, many countries passed or advanced the implementation of laws related to abolishing child marriage (nine countries), banning corporal punishment (10 countries), and child safety (13 countries).

Related content

Blog posts


The power of saying “I am a survivor”

Daniela Ligiero, survivor of childhood sexual violence, explains how she uses her story to change perceptions about childhood violence and create a safer world for future generations.

  • 23rd March 2023