Conference Overview

Background, principles and values, and objectives

Background, principles and values

The regional programme “Partnerships for Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls in Southern Africa” (PfP) is hosting a regional conference on December 4 and 5, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. SADC, MRC, DFID and the Ford Foundation, amongst others, are collaborating in this effort.

The ambitious task of preventing VAWG can only be undertaken by intensifying the cooperation amongst development partners, government institutions and implementing organizations, such as non-governmental organizations and foundations that have decades of valuable experience and expertise to contribute. The Regional Conference on Prevention of Violence against Women and Girls in Southern Africa represents the commitment of the organizers to build and enlarge the networks of relevant stakeholders in the sector, as well as to promote policy dialogue formats.

This event will offer a unique space, bringing together development partners, government officials and Parliamentarians, UN agencies, civil society organizations, global researchers, media and private sector representatives, as well as traditional and religious leaders from the Southern African region to exchange experiences and explore ways to implement effective and promising practices to address violence against women and girls.

Our aim is to shape prevention interventions based on existing evidence through joint action and to strengthen partnerships.


Firstly, the conference will provide a platform to share and discuss new evidence on the prevention of violence and explore how best to translate research findings into policy and practice.

The event aims to inform evidence-based legislation, policy and programming in the field of violence prevention in Southern Africa through sharing new evidence and learning on what works to prevent violence. The conference will also provide the opportunity to identify the gaps in data that need to be addressed for improved violence prevention policies and interventions.

Furthermore, the organizers plan to stimulate regional exchange (peer learning) and replication and scaling-up of demonstrated successful interventions.

In addition, this event will contribute to the building of partnerships and synergies for action across different sectors and disciplines.


Conference Partners

The German Federal Ministry of Development and Economic Cooperation (BMZ) through its implementing agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) through its programme “What Works to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls” implemented by a consortium under the lead of the South African Medical Research Council (MRC), in partnership with the Gender Unit of the SADC Secretariat, are jointly organizing a regional conference to promote turning evidence on effective programmes and approaches into policies and actions to prevent all forms of violence against women and girls. The organization of the conference is led by the GIZ-programme “Partnerships for Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls in Southern Africa” (PfP) with funding from PfP, the GIZ Sector Programme “Promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Rights”, The Ford Foundation and assorted sponsors.

German Cooperation

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has commissioned GIZ to implement together with its partners the regional project Partnerships for the Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls in Southern Africa (PfP).

This regional programme helps to implement the German Government’s Marshall Plan with Africa, which underscores the key social, political and economic role played by women and girls. Preventing VAWG by strengthening multi-stakeholder alliances is listed by the BMZ as the third priority issue and strategic objective in its Development Policy Action Plan on Gender Equality 2016 – 2020 (GAP II). The objective of the project is therefore to strengthen the capacities of and improve cooperation between governmental, non-governmental and private sector stakeholders in preventing VAWG. The project’s methodological approach is built around supporting the establishment of multi-stakeholder partnerships (SDG 17). Currently PfP is implemented at national level in three countries in the region: South Africa, Lesotho and Zambia. Implementation in Zimbabwe will start in 2020.

German Cooperation

Southern African Development Community (SADC)

At regional level, the PfP project is collaborating with the Southern African Development Community (SADC). In particular, GIZ partners with the Gender Unit of the SADC Secretariat, to disseminate and implement its regional strategies in terms of prevention of VAWG, which is a top priority

under the SADC Gender Based Violence Strategy and its Framework of Action 2018-2030, approved by the SADC Ministers responsible for Gender Equality and Women’s Affairs in Pretoria, South Africa in July 2018.

The SADC GBV Strategy states the following main objectives:
  1. To promote prevention and early identification of GBV by addressing associated social, cultural and/or traditional, religious, political and economic factors.
  2. To strengthen delivery of effective, accessible and responsive protection, care and support services to those affected by GBV.
  3. To strengthen regional and national capacity to efficiently and effectively respond to gender-based violence.
  4. To improve information and knowledge management, sharing of best practices and innovation on GBV for evidence-based policy and service planning and implementation.
  5. To ensure efficient and effective management, coordination and partnerships building for the regional and national GBV response.

The regional conference on Prevention of Violence against Women will contribute to make progress in the priority areas listed above, especially with regards to the Objectives 1 and 4 by providing a regional platform to discuss and showcase good prevention efforts and share information on innovative approaches to prevention of VAWG.

Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)

What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls

What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls is an innovative global programme working in 13 countries across the world building the evidence base on What Works to prevent violence in low-middle income settings.

DFID’s £25 million initiative ‘What Works to Prevent Violence’ research and innovation programme, which launched in 2014, engages leading international experts to produce rigorous evidence on the most effective interventions to drive down rates of VAWG. The evidence being generated is a global public good, intended to help DFID, developing country governments and international partners everywhere to improve the effectiveness of their efforts to prevent VAWG.

‘What Works to Prevent Violence’ conducts cutting-edge research around the world that will substantially advance the evidence on what drives violence, what works to prevent violence, what makes interventions successful and how they can be replicated, adapted and scaled up. The programme also supports innovation: since prevention is a growing field, much new and promising work is being done. The Global Programme supports ground-breaking work through an innovation grant scheme, to support non-profits working in DFID priority countries to develop and test pioneering approaches to preventing violence against women and girls.

The global programme is implemented by a consortium lead by the South African Medical Research Council

What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls

The Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation recognizes that violence against women and girls is rooted in systems of power and patriarchy and that it is both a consequence and a driver of inequality and social injustice. It transcends cultural boundaries and political contexts, reinforcing and exacerbating other forms of discrimination based on disability, race, class, caste, sexual orientation, and age.

Rooted in systems of power and patriarchy, violence against women and girls is both a consequence and a driver of inequality and social injustice. It transcends cultural boundaries and political contexts, reinforcing and exacerbating other forms of discrimination based on disability, race, class, caste, sexual orientation, and age.

By approaching this critical issue in ways that are driven by community realities, we see an opportunity to transform social norms that contribute to violence.

The Ford Foundation

Government of Canada

Canada’s Development Assistance helps reduce poverty , create new opportunities for the world’s poorest and most marginalised and build more inclusive societies. Our humanitarian assistance saves lives and alleviates suffering. Our international assistance also promotes peace and security and helps developing countries to benefit from global trade. Through the Feminist Foreign Policy, Canada firmly believes that promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls is the most affective approach to achieving sustainable development.

To Be Supplied


European Union

The Member States of the European Union have decided to link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Together, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders.

To Be Supplied

European Union
SADC Ford Foundation SAMRC What Works UK Aid Canada EU