What We Do


The GBV AoR works to promote a comprehensive and coordinated approach to programming that prevents and responds to GBV.  The GBV AoR accomplishes this through four key areas of work:

  • Supporting lifesaving services operating in humanitarian settings
  • Building knowledge and capacity on prevention of and response to GBV
  • Establishing norms and standards
  • Advocating for increased action, research, and accountability at global and local levels

Why are GBV prevention and response programmes needed?

During emergencies, systems of protection are weakened and disrupted, and forced displacement and separation of families and communities place women and girls at increased risk of multiple forms of GBV. Addressing GBV from the earliest stages of an emergency is a basic life-saving and protection responsibility. Taking appropriate action, through specific programming and service provision for GBV survivors and integration of GBV prevention across sectors, will contribute to positive survival strategies of the affected population.

Whether or not reliable data exists – and keeping in mind that any available data about GBV will represent only a very small proportion of the actual number of incidents – all sectors and actors (including donors and senior humanitarian leadership) should be aware that urgent action and dedicated human and financial resources are required, not only to address GBV in the emergency, but also to promote sustainable solutions for individuals, families, communities, and societies recovering from humanitarian crises.

What does the AoR do to foster GBV prevention and response?

The GBV AoR works to promote a comprehensive and coordinated approach to programming that prevents and responds to GBV at the global, regional, and field levels. The AoR assists in standardizing approaches to GBV coordination and response in the field through, for example, the newly released IASC-endorsed GBV guidelines (www.gbvguidelines.org). The AoR has established a “Capacity Building Strategy” to strengthen the GBV capacity in the field, an “Advocacy Handbook” to support global and local level advocacy efforts, in addition to being an active member in the Call to Action initiative. All of these projects serve to build capacity across humanitarian sectors and clusters and guarantee that GBV response and prevention are prioritized at the global and field levels. Finally, the AoR feeds into global processes like the World Humanitarian Summit.

How does the AoR work?

The GBV AoR has a small Coordination Team in Geneva to support and coordinate the implementation of the AoR work plan together with the AoR members and task teams. The current task teams include the Advocacy Reference Group, the Guidelines Reference Group, the Learning Task Team, and the Research and Information Management Task Team. In addition, the AoR provides tailored inter-agency operational support to countries through a team of Regional Emergency GBV Advisors (REGA) based in regional hubs.  Focus areas include: proactive sharing of updated information on GBViE, advocacy, inter-agency country support missions, remote support and sharing of tools and guidance.

The GBV AoR co-lead agencies, UNICEF and UNFPA, are responsible for ensuring response capacity is in place, and that assessment, planning and response activities are carried out at country level – in collaboration with partners and in accordance with agreed standards and guidelines.

Where does the GBV AoR work?

The GBV AoR aims to work in global humanitarian response contexts depending on need. Within the cluster approach, the GBV AoR has designated coordination mechanisms at country level, referred to as sub-clusters or working groups.  There are active GBV country level sub clusters or working groups in 29 countries, including all L3 emergencies.

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