Seychelles: A model plan, the GBV costed national action plan

Date: October 7, 2011
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In early 2010 Seychelles worked on the development of a two year costed Action Plan on Gender Based Violence. The process involved the active participation of Government ministries and Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO’s). This participatory approach is in line with Article 8 in the SADC Protocol which states that “The Protocol obliges Member States to adopt integrated approaches, including institutional cross sector structures, with the aim of reducing current levels of gender based violence, by half by 2015”.

Yhe activities in the costed action plan outline clear outputs that aim to contribute to reducing the prevalence of GBV in Seychelles by 2015.

In 2008, Seychelles developed a National Strategy for Domestic Violence which covered the period 2008 and 2009. The Gender Secretariat came to the realisation that in order to ensure the effective and coordinated implementation of the GBV activities, a costed action plan had to be developed. It also became apparent that the country lacked local expertise in order to arrive at this costed action plan. A proposal was successfully submitted to UN Women for technical assistance.

Unlike the National Strategy on Domestic Violence, which focused predominantly on intimate partner violence, the costed action plan targeted a wider range of violence and a greater segment of the population that includes adults, children and juveniles. The Plan of Action incorporated policy makers and community leaders, victims and perpetrators of GBV as well as the general public.

The main aim of the plan includes to reduce the prevalence of GBV and build capacity for an integrated approach to dealing with this social ill. Other objectives include:

  • To provide a holistic response, the plan is divided into the following 6 pillars:
  • Awareness Raising and Prevention of GBV; Development of national sensitisation campaigns in the media targeting various groups in society to raise awareness of GBV.
  • Standard Procedures, Guidelines and Training Materials; In order to meet the holistic needs of GBV survivors and perpetrators in an effective and timely manner all service providers need to work together. To ensure this, coordination standard procedures, protocols and guidelines need to be developed. Training will also be organised to familiarise the stakeholders with the guidelines.
  • Strengthening Service Providers: To keep abreast with the issues of GBV service providers will be given generic and sector specific training.
  • Rehabilitation; the plan hopes to develop a national rehabilitation framework that provides support to both victims and perpetrators of GBV.
  • Legislation, Advocacy and lobbying; Advocate for a specific law on domestic violence to criminalise this act, improve Police enforcement and strengthen monitoring and evaluation.
  • Coordination, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation: A multi-sector body will oversee the plan, and develop monitoring and evaluation tools to ensure that the costed action plan is implemented in an effective and timely manner.

One of the challenges to the successful implementation of the costed action plan is that all the stakeholders will have to work together and remain committed to the cause and there is a threat others may not pull their weight. In addition some of the activities may not get funding. In order to mitigate these challenges and risks a GBV working group was set up to oversee the monitoring and evaluation of the plans implementation. To date the Gender Secretariat has been successful in securing some funds from the Government, WHO and the UNFPA. It is hoped that future collaboration between Seychelles and UN Women can be fostered.

The plan of action is results-based with each activity linked to tangible outputs and outcomes. These include: the development of a national media plan on GBV; a GBV ‘Working Together’ Manual for service providers; accredited core modules on GBV to be taught by local training institutions; a national rehabilitation framework; a specific law on domestic violence; and a GBV working group.

The expected outcomes of the plan are to: increase awareness; break the silence surrounding GBV; reduce prevalence; strengthen service response capacity; improve coordination of all agencies involved in responding to and preventing GBV; improve collection of GBV statistics ; and effect measurement through monitoring and evaluation methodologies.

Seychelles rolled out this campaign under the banner UNiTE for Peace to End Gender Based Violence. The wide variety of awareness materials developed and distributed for this campaign, included violence free posters, UNiTE for Peace pledges, t-shirts, leaflets on GBV definitions and leaflets on sexual harassment (in both English and the local Creole language). Maintaining links to such global and other continental strategies to address GBV enhance sustainability of this work in Seychelles. Being a Small Island Developing State, has its own advantages. The intended costs are relatively small but the potential for halving the national rate of GBV by 2015 is within the grasp of Seychellois. Success in implementing at least part of the costed NAP will provide examples of good practice for other countries in the region.


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