Focus

Violence Against Children and Youth Surveys (VACS) measure the burden of sexual, physical, and emotional violence experienced in childhood and adolescence among males and females between the ages of 13-24.

With funding from USAID’s Displaced Children and Orphan’s Fund, ISC partners are supporting Data-Informed Strategies to End Violence Against Children. This includes direct support to country efforts to act on VACS data through strengthened policy and program efforts, with a focus on connecting learning across country experiences.

Global estimates indicate that as many as 1 billion children aged 2–17 years, have experienced violence (physical, sexual, or emotional), or neglect, in the past year. Violence experienced during childhood has lifelong implications for physical and mental health. Globally, ending violence against children is prioritized within the Sustainable Development Goals, where Target 16.2 calls for ending “abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against, and torture of, children.

Global Partners

Country Partners

Technical and Managerial Support

Activities

From Survey to Action: Protecting Children from Violence

Violence Against Children and Youth Surveys (VACS) are nationally representative household surveys of 13 to 24-year-olds that measure the prevalence and incidence of physical, sexual, and emotional violence experienced among children, adolescents, and young people. VACS also generate data on risk and protective factors, consequences of violence, and access to services. Following the VACS, countries work to act on the survey results through a range of policy and program efforts that respond to the unique violence situations illuminated by the VACS. This ‘post-VACS’ phase, illustratively depicted in Figure 1, typically involves a wide range of national and international partners to support policy and program action to address and ultimately end violence against children.

Figure 1. Typical Country Efforts in the Post-VACS Phase

These ‘post-VACS’ efforts aim to broaden the understanding of VACS results across multi-sectoral child protection stakeholders, including through Data to Action Workshops and Results Launches; and to develop and implement a data-informed and evidence-based national action plan to end violence against children. A multisectoral coordination mechanism is often established to facilitate the engagement across the many sectors of government and civil society needed to holistically address and prevent violence against children.  

ISC has invested in these ‘post-VACS’ processes, documenting and sharing successes in acting on VACS data by:   

1. Global landscaping to document the processes, technical support, and coordination mechanisms that have proven to be most useful in transforming VACS results from “data-to-action”  

2. Directly supporting countries to address key aspects of a country’s ‘post-VACS’ process through partnered priority identification and a Request for Applications process to select well-equipped implementers  to partner with governments on priority action and learning efforts  

3. Enhancing evidence communication through knowledge sharing hub and network development  


Examples of ISC Partnership Support in Colombia: 

Filling key gaps in support of National Action Plan development efforts through support to the Government of Colombia’s Instituto Colombiano para Bienestar Familial (ICBF) for the drafting of the National Action Plan, acc M&E plan, and sub-national action plan development, as well as through an institutional agreement with Maestral International to support the costing of the Plan.

INSPIRE Coordination Course implementation in 2021 by ICBF and University of Edinburgh/End Violence Lab with over 150 participants. The course aimed to strengthen capacity among a multisectoral group of government and civil society representatives to refine and implement Colombia’s National Action Plan, including translation of the plan to sub-national departments. 

Case study development both to document key processes and to explore the introduction and scale-up of priority interventions for addressing violence against children in Colombia. 

Facilitating routine partner coordination to leverage synergies and ensure complementarity.

Resources

Child Protection – A listing of Protecting Children from Violence resources on the ISC website. More coming soon!

Together for Girls Partnership Resource Bank: https://www.togetherforgirls.org/resources-bank/

Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children Knowledge Platform: https://www.end-violence.org/knowledge

IMAGINA Research Center at Universidad de los Andes: coming soon

East, Central, and Southern Africa Health Community Knowledge Hub: https://ecsahc.org/knowledge-hub/