Case Study

Stopping Abuse and Female Exploitation (SAFE) Programme

Client: UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) | Sectors: Social Policy

Violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in Zimbabwe, with younger girls disproportionately affected and most vulnerable. Over two-thirds of Zimbabwean women experience violence in their lifetime; compared to just one-third of women globally

SAFE Communities, implemented by Ecorys UK and our partners Social Development Direct and SAFAIDS has the core objective of reducing the perpetration of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) driven by economic insecurity and social norms which influence household-level dynamics in focal communities. The programme is also seeking to address the drivers of child marriage and other forms of violence happening at the household level, as secondary objectives.  

SAFE Communities is:

  • Preventing violence by changing harmful attitudes and behaviours towards women and girls through a family well-being approach, emphasising gender transformation and livelihood empowerment, and operating at both household and community levels. This is being delivered through an adapted gender transformative approach - Gender Action Learning System (GALS), which has been developed into a bespoke intervention which we call ‘Toose’
  • Responding to violence by increasing both service uptake and the quality of services in focal districts. The programme ensures deep integration of prevention and responses activities, applying the Toose model to identify barriers to accessing services and providing for the appropriate referral of survivors to access the services they need
  • Increasing the availability and use of evidence to ensure that the Toose model can be rigorously monitored and evaluated, and that evidence of its’ efficacy and cost-effectiveness can inform future approaches to both policy and scale.

Extensive analysis has informed our approach to developing the Toose model to prevent IPV and other forms of violence in Zimbabwe. This analysis included the extensive mapping of models already implemented in Zimbabwe, reviewing evidence of their effectiveness and impact and drawing in regional and global best practice. Implementing Toose - a model already informed by the application of GALS in Zimbabwe - offers the potential for a significant dividend. Toose has huge potential for producing valuable learning on mainstreaming VAWG prevention within economic empowerment interventions that can inform future GBV programming, nationally and globally. 

SAFE is being delivered through local implementing partners that bring vast knowledge on economic empowerment, gender transformation, GBV response and the different local contexts in each of the focal communities.

For more information please contact Barney Shiels, Technical Director, or Elena Ghitti, Project Manager.

Key Experts

Barney Shiels International Development Unit Elena Ghitti Consultant