One of the three transformative results in the UNFPA strategic plan 2018-2021 is to bring Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and all harmful practices to an end. As one of the UN agencies working to further gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as address the physical and emotional consequences of GBV, UNFPA provides guidance and coordinates partners’ actions to effectively promote the rights of all women and girls to live free of violence and abuse. In Nigeria, 1 in 3 women has suffered physical or sexual abuse. Gender-Based Violence is a grave violation of human rights, no matter when, where, or how it takes place. There are many forms of violence against women, which have many potential negative health consequences for women and their children.
Under the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies, UNFPA collaborated with the American University of Nigeria (AUN) Yola and successfully introduced the capacity building course on Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies (GBViE). This partnership aims at developing the capacity of course participants who are mainly local actors, to adequately respond to Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies, with a long-term sustainability plan to have AUN deliver the course based on global standards for sustainability. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) developed between UNFPA and AUN concerning the course aims to establish long-term cooperation and partnership in the advancement of knowledge to end GBV in line with the UNFPA transformative results and the Sustainable Development agenda. When the capacity of local actors is adequately built, they are able to effectively apply the skills in their daily work and interactions to prevent GBV or support survivors of GBV, help to safeguard women’s human rights, and promote physical and mental health and well-being for women throughout their lives. This also helps to alleviate pressure on already stretched essential public services, including the health system, thereby freeing resources for vital development.
The GBViE course was designed to enhance the capacity of between 20-30 local actors at least two times a year (spring and fall). Since its inception in November 2019, four cohorts have been successfully held. The 1st GBViE course which graduated 21 participants was conducted in November 2019 and was followed by the 2nd Cohort in July 2020 with 33 participants. The sudden disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated some modification to the content and mode of delivery of the 2nd Cohort course with the course delivered virtually. The 2nd Cohort, due to the virtual delivery, accommodated three international participants. The 3rd Cohort in March 2021 conducted in person graduated 25 participants while we had the 4th Cohort in June-July 2021 with 27 graduands. The 5th Cohort is scheduled to hold in May 2022 with a hybrid approach. The 5th Cohort has 34 local participants and 1 international participant joining the in-person session while 13 international participants have been admitted to participate in person.
The overall goal of the GBViE course is to increase the capacity of the local organizations and government actors to work in GBViE prevention and response programming.
The GBViE course is designed as an advanced course with four major components. The delivery of the course is structured in a blended approach of face-to-face as well as online learning. Prior to the face-to-face component, selected participants are expected to complete two free online courses on managing gender-based violence programmes in emergencies available at https://extranet.unfpa.org/Apps/GBVinEmergencies/index.html and prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse available at https://kayaconnect.org/course/info.php?id=273. Participants are expected to send an electronic copy of their completion certificates prior to the resumption of the two weeks face-to-face/virtual component of the course.
The two weeks face-to-face component of the course comprises classwork, individual and group activities, daily reflection, fieldwork and assessments. Upon successfully completing the two weeks face-to-face component of the course, participants are issued a certificate of participation. Participants are thereafter attached to organizations for a three-month internship period to translate their learning into practice. Each participant is further attached to a coach, mentor and academic supervisor. Each participant is expected to write a short research paper or project report on his/her area of interest in GBViE as well as a report on the internship. Upon successful completion of the internship and research work, participants are issued with a certificate of completion of the GBViE capacity building course.
The minimum qualification for admission into the course is a Bachelor’s degree with two years of professional experience. The two years professional is waived for graduate students. Preference is given to female applicants that meet the criteria.
Due to the structure of the GBViE course, non-graduates cannot be accommodated. The team coordinating the course have therefore developed a series of short courses to meet the needs of specific local actors. The short courses are designed to run for 3-5 days depending on the target audience. The courses may be facilitated either in Yola or the various locations of the target audience, thus, each short course will have different cost implications.
The cost of training each participant in the GBViE course is $1,305. This excludes feeding and stationery but includes accommodation for participants from outside Adamawa state.