Alight Botswana

Increasing Participation of Women and Girls with Disabilities in Gender-based Violence Prevention Programmes in Botswana

ALIGHT Botswana project aimed to accelerate the participation of women and girls with disabilities in gender-based violence (GBV) programmes in Botswana through the integration of programmes that address violence, GBV and HIV with disability inclusive development. In order to do so, the project was implemented in Gaborone, Francistown and Maun, achieving the following sub-objectives:

Objective 1: Inception - Establish a coalition on GBV and disability inclusion
  • A coalition between DPOs, NGOs, development partners, government, traditional leaders and researchers was established building a network to advance participation in programmes addressing violence, GBV and HIV.
  • People with disabilities participated actively in the ALIGHT project as project leaders, research assistance, event organisers, facilitators and participants.
  • The project ethical approval from the SAMRC, the Botswana Ministry of Health and was supported by the Office of the President.

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Objective 2: Identify risk factors and gaps in policy and practice
  • The study identify risk factors of violence against women and girls with disabilities (see main study report).
  • The study undertook a comprehensive SRHR policy and strategy audit and identified disability inclusion policy gaps that needed to ensure access to and participation of women and girls with disabilities in programmes that address violence (see situation analysis).
  • The study also identified opportunities to enhance participation and inclusion in the work of NGOs and Disabled Peoples organisation (see main study report).
  • The team members included women with disabilities and transferred research skills to people with disabilities in Botswana.

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Objective 3: Adapt a disability inclusive framework for Botswana
  • Results from the ALIGHT study were disseminated in the Networks stakeholder meeting in November 2018 and informed the ALIGHT framework development (see report)
  • The project team collaborated with NGO, Disabled Peoples Organisations, government representatives and academics to adapt a framework to address violence against women and girls with disabilities in in Botswana (ALIGHT framework)
  • The framework development team included women and girls with disabilities as leaders ensuring that the framework responds to their needs and enables self-determination and participation

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The ALIGHT project was identified as a good practice in the ALIV[H]E framework implementation report

Objective 4: Build human capacity to respond to violence including GBV among girls and women with disabilities
  • Representatives from 36 DPOs, NGOs, and government departments were trained with the ALIGHT framework and training approach aiming to increase capacity to  reduce violence against people with disabilities and here in particular women and girls with disabilities.
  • The project supported linkages between DPOs, disability focused NGOs, and women’s groups (NGOs) through training key programmatic staff

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Objective 5: Support implementation of learning into strategies for participation
  • The project improve the capacity, strategic planning, and material resources of implementing Disabled Peoples Organisations, NGOs, and women’s organisations
  • 27 of the participating organisation develop implementation strategies to enhance participation of women and girls with disabilities in programmes addressing

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Project Outline

Phase One: Building a coalition (2017)
The inception phase included a stakeholder workshop for initial engagement and a number of consultative meetings that aim at finalising the project approach, the monitoring and evaluation plan, and project timelines, as well as establishing a strong team of implementing partners. During this phase the ALIGHT team developed the Ethical proposal and received ethical clearance. The conclusion of this phase were compiled in the inception report.
 
Phase Two: Identifying individual risk factors and gaps in policy and practice (2017/18)

In collaboration with BCD and IDM, SAMRC collated evidence using a literature review (including a review of national statistics and evidence, and regional GBV and disability data), a policy and strategy disability inclusion audit, and qualitative study identifying the risk of violence. The latter engaged with four key groups (people with disabilities, women’s groups, government representatives, and other implementing organisations) in Gaborone, Maun, or Francistown. The team conducted focus group discussions and individual interviews with people from Disabled Peoples Organisations and NGOs and conducted case studies involving women with disabilities who had experienced violence. Women with disabilities were involved in all aspects of the study which strengthened the participatory approach of the study.

Conventional content analysis was used to analyse the discussion groups and interviews. Through the synthesis of existing evidence, the primary data from the qualitative study, and the systematic policy review was used to identify the risk factors of violence against women and girls with disabilities and the gaps in data collection and policy provision in Botswana.

Phase Three: Adapt a GBV framework (2018)
Led by BCD and SAMRC, key results were disseminated through a stakeholder workshop and, to a wider audience, during a key GBV awareness event (e.g. 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women and Disability day in Botswana, potentially with a sport event). Based on the evidence from phase two the team adapt the ALIGHT framework for the use in Botswana. This included strong leadership from women with disabilities and a series of discussions and meetings with the development group.
Phase Four: Building Human Capacity (2018/19)
BCD and SAMRC trained representatives from NGO, Disabled Peoples Organisations, and government representatives with the ALIGHT framework and training approach through a series of capacity building workshops in three different locations (potentially in Gaborone, Maun, or Francistown). These workshops reached out to grass-roots level. Through the participation of people with disabilities, women’s group representatives, and local government officials, the workshops provided not only information on the intersection of gender and disability, but also build human capacity through strengthening local linkages between disability groups, women’s groups, NGOs, and government.
Phase Five: Support Implementation (2019)
After the workshops, IDM and SAMRC assisted the participating organisations to developing implementation strategies that increase the participation of women and girls with disabilities in programmes addressing violence, GBV and HIV. This included the adaptation of recruitment or monitoring strategies to enhance participation, the adaptation of workshop procedures to train facilitators and trainers, the increased accessibility of services, specific targeted interventions or the development of strategic policy engagements. These strategies were presented in a final stakeholder engagement meeting in September 2019.

Radio interview: Professor Jill Hanass-hancock unpacks the Alight Botswana project: A project aimed at including people with disabilities in the fight against gender based violence, Channel Africa, 24 November 2017

Contact details
For further information on the project please contact: Jill Hanass-Hancock at Jill.hanasshancock@mrc.ac.za

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