Call for Expressions of Interest | Zimbabwe Spotlight Initiative country programme to end violence against women and girls


Zimbabwe is one of the eight countries in Africa selected to deliver the Spotlight Initiative (SI), a comprehensive programme on ending all forms of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Harmful Practices (HPs) and to promote the Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) of women and girls. The other countries are: Liberia, Nigeria, Niger, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique and Uganda.

This global partnership was launched in September 2017 by the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General and the European Union (EU) High Representative and Vice President (HRVP).

Some key facts about the Spotlight Initiative (SI) include:

  • It is a visible political and financial investment from the EU of EUR 500 million in eradicating violence against women and girls and achieving gender equality.
  • The SI promotes the UN Development System (UNDS) reforms for more effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • The initiative is a flagship programme for SDGs 5 and 16 and places the achievement of gender equality at the centre of efforts as a means to providing an enabling environment for the implementation of all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • The SI Country Programme has a comprehensive theory of change, evidenced-based interventions, and leverages the full range of partnerships (Government, Civil Society, Parliament, Private Sector, Traditional and Informal Leadership, women, men, girls and boys in rural and urban communities, among others) for sustainable national ownership and leadership.

The global programme covers five (5) regions, each with a specific focus area: Asia- trafficking; Africa – sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices; Latin America – femicide; Pacific -domestic violence and the Caribbean – family violence.

The design and programmes of the Spotlight Initiative uphold the principles of a human-rights based approach, transparency, accountability, participation and inclusion, and the principle of leaving no one behind, which is embedded in the 2030 Agenda.

The six Outcome Areas of Spotlight are:

1. Laws and Policies;

2. Institutional Strengthening;

3. Prevention of SGBV and HPs;

4. Available, accessible, and acceptable quality services;

5. Data & Information; and,

6. Supporting the women’s movement and relevant civil society organizations.


In Zimbabwe, all forms of violence against women and girls and harmful practices remain pervasive human rights violations. These violations are in contravention of the gender equality and women’s rights provisions enshrined in various domestic, regional and global human rights instruments ratified and endorsed by Zimbabwe, including the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development, the Maputo Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, among others.

Nonetheless, 1 in 3 women between 15-49 years report having experienced physical violence from an Intimate Partner; violence during pregnancy is highest among young women aged 15-19 years (11%) and 32% of women 15-49 years were married before age 18.[1]

As one of the eight countries in Africa, the Spotlight Initiative in Zimbabwe will be a positive contribution to the achievement of gender equality, peace, social inclusion and the protection of human rights, which are catalytic for the country’s sustainable development and inclusive economic growth.



Women and girls realize their full potential in a violence-free, gender-responsive and inclusive Zimbabwe.


  • To directly contribute to Zimbabwe’s achievement of two of the country’s prioritized Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): SDG 3 and SDG 5;
  • To eliminate SGBV and HPs and empower the women’s movement at national and community levels through a broad partnership with other civil society groups, Government, private sector, media, among others; and
  • To build a social movement of women, men, girls and boys as champions and agents of change at national, subnational and community levels.


  • SGBV, HPs and related SRHR issues are prioritized and addressed holistically through a comprehensive approach as national public issues that impact on the political, economic and social development of all women, men, girls and boys.
  • An accountability and feedback architecture for the delivery of acceptable and quality services in line with national, regional and global standards is established and is functional at national, subnational and community levels.
  • Financial investments in the eradication of SGBV and HP are increased through Public-Private Partnerships.
  • Communities of women, men, girls and boys are mobilized into social movements for the eradication of SGBV and HPs.

There are six (6) participating UN agencies in the Zimbabwe Spotlight Initiative. These are the International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN Women). The Resident Coordinator’s Office (RCO) provides overall strategic oversight and coordination for the Spotlight Programme within the UN, with UN Women acting as the Technical Lead.


Consultants, academic institutions, private sector entities, trade unions, religious organizations and Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) are invited to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to participate in any of the Outcome Areas of the SI Zimbabwe Country Programme. The outcome areas and a summary of some of the interventions for each is as follows:

Outcome Area One: Legislation and Policies

Expressions of Interest will be accepted for the following key interventions:

  • An assessment of the SGBV, HP and SRHR legislative and policy framework to identify the gaps in content; implementation weaknesses; barriers to protection; current investments, budget allocations; and monitoring mechanisms for the enforcement of the laws and policies;
  • Strengthening the capacity and knowledge of key actors that have a pivotal role to play in the harmonization of laws and policies on the linkages between SGBV, HPs, SRHR. These include the relevant parliamentary portfolio committees, responsible line ministries, the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on Legislative Alignment, women’s and children’s human rights defenders and civil society groups;
  • Creation of an enabling environment for a more participatory and evidenced-based SGBV, HP and SRHR law and policy making process that is inclusive of the most affected populations of women and girls of all ages and intersecting vulnerabilities; and which targets hard to reach communities (rural areas, mining communities and peri urban areas);
  • Engaging civil society to promote and mobilize support for public hearings, and for the simplification and translation of Bills in local languages for wider dissemination;
  • Building the capacity of women and girls with disabilities to participate in law and policy making processes
  • A mapping and analysis of the effectiveness of customary and informal justice and formal justice systems used by women and girls in SGBV and HP disputes to inform interventions and promote evidenced-based informal justice law reform;
  • The development of guidance frameworks and relevant legal standards for the justice workforce to improve investigation, prosecution and adjudication of SGBV crimes, including online SGBV crimes;
  • Development and strengthening of relevant methods and tools for monitoring, reporting and evaluating the implementation of laws and policies on SGBV, HP and SRHR, including post-legislative analysis tools and case law analysis; and
  • Strengthening the inclusion of civil society groups, trade unions and marginalized groups of women and girls, such as those with disabilities, sex workers, among others, in legislative reform and amendment processes through creating platforms to build these constituencies’ knowledge and understanding of the laws that affect them and of these consultative legislative processes.

Outcome Area 2: Strengthening Institutions

Expressions of Interest will be accepted for the following key interventions:

  • Engaging Government at the highest level – the Office of the President and Cabinet – to strengthen the leadership, direction and coordination of programs and initiatives to eliminate SGBV and HPs;
  • Strengthening and harmonizing the national, subnational and community based SGBV coordination mechanisms to improve their functionality, including the development of harmonized and integrated Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), protocols, guidelines, plans and programs of key institutions;
  • Enhancing the role of oversight and governance institutions (such as Parliament, the Office of the Auditor-General, and the relevant constitutional independent commissions, such as the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and the Zimbabwe Gender Commission) to create institutional accountability to SGBV, HP and SRHR issues;
  • Strengthening the capacities of selected local authorities to design and implement multi-sectoral interventions on SGBV prevention and response that include support to the most vulnerable groups such as women and girls with disabilities and those in marginalized communities;
  • Strengthening of Legal Aid and Legal Services provision for access to justice for and build prosecutorial capacities on SGBV, HR, and SRHR issues;
  • Strengthening the Disabilities board to plan and implement programmes on SGBV/HP/SRHR;
  • Development of tools and skills for SGBV responsive-budgeting at ministerial level, and by relevant national and subnational institutions;
  • Strengthening of capacities of relevant government agencies for human rights reporting under various human rights mechanisms including women’s and disability rights; and
  • Development and implementation of a robust framework for monitoring progress towards the elimination of SGBV and HPs.  

Outcome Area 3: Prevention

Expressions of Interest will be accepted for the following key interventions:

  • Strengthening and building on existing proven behaviour change interventions to influence communities towards behaviour change and social norms that promote gender equality and zero tolerance to SGBV and HPs;
  • Building the capacity of behaviour change cadres (community workers, village health workers, youth mentors, etc.) on integrated SGBV/SRH/HIV prevention, including a focus on linkages between SGBV/HPs and disability;
  • Strengthening the integration of SRHR, HIV/AIDS and knowledge on the vulnerabilities of women and girls who face intersecting discrimination into existing SGBV and HP prevention programmes and campaigns at national, subnational and community levels;
  • Development of an inter-active social mobilization communications system[2] for the dissemination of SGBV and HPs prevention messages to communities and targeted groups in urban and rural areas;
  • Facilitate participation of women with disabilities and their caregivers in community activities;
  • Establish Public-Private Partnerships for the dissemination of SGBV and HPs prevention messages; engage the private sector as an agent of change through the utilization of social marketing principles; sensitize private sector actors to embrace principles such as ‘do no harm’ in the workplace and within their corporate social responsibility programmes, lobby the private sector for investment into SGBV and HPs prevention awareness campaigns that are aimed at shifting gender and social norms; and develop links between the private sector and civil society organizations for the development and implementation of behaviour change interventions;
  • Designing and implementing interventions on women’s economic empowerment interventions focusing on developing trade skills and entrepreneurship and business management capacity, as well as linking women to markets and financial services;
  • Creation of a partnership between the media, Internet Service Providers, women’s and child rights organizations and Government to address the vulnerabilities of women and children to online sexual abuse and to raise awareness among women, men, girls and boys on safe, responsible digital media engagement;  
  • Development of SGBV and Gender-responsive Editorial Guidelines and monitoring of GBV ethical reporting in partnership with the media for responsible and consistent reporting on SGBV, HPs, SRHR and gender equality and women’s rights issues, and to shift media operational news values that inform the negative and sensational reporting on SGVB and HPs;
  • Engaging the private sector and the media to develop appropriate policies and invest in programmes and campaigns to create violence-free workplaces;
  • Working with role models selected by communities as SGBV and HPs prevention champions.
  • Engaging school teachers in SRHR social norms programmes as a first step towards the effective roll out of the Comprehensive Sexuality Education curricula in schools which entails leveraging on schools and educational institutions as entry points with the potential to introduce a system-wide approach to address gender inequalities and prevent SGBV and HPs, and to bring about normative change within communities;
  • Capacity strengthening of non-teaching staff in primary and secondary schools on SGBV and HP identification, reporting and response;
  • Reinforcing positive gender norms through supporting extracurricular clubs for learners;
  • Encouraging SGBV protection policies in schools and strengthening links between the schools, homes and SGBV prevention and response services;
  • Promoting policies and mechanisms for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) in higher and tertiary education institutions;
  • Supporting the development of a harmonized Sexuality, Gender, HIV and Human Rights Curriculum Framework for higher and tertiary education institutions.
  • Integrating a community-based education approach on gender equality with life skills and livelihood trainings; creation of Public-Private initiatives for access to productive resources for the most vulnerable and marginalised women and girls (e.g. women and girls living with HIV, women and girls with disabilities, and key populations).

Outcome Area 4: Available, accessible and acceptable essential quality services

Expressions of Interest will be accepted for the following key interventions:

  • The establishment of a standardized, well- coordinated GBV management system to enhance coordination among institutions and multi-sectorial service providers. Accountability mechanisms will be incorporated within the system; and, the capacity of stakeholders strengthened at all levels;
  • Engaging civil society groups at national, sub-national and community levels that focus on women and girls who face intersecting forms of discrimination in Information, Education and Communications initiatives to increase the most vulnerable groups of women and girls’ knowledge of their SRHR and on the available and accessible SGBV, SRH and HIV and AIDS services;
  • Strengthening the capacity of service providers (healthcare, security, legal, psychosocial) to deliver integrated SGBV, SRH and HIV and AIDS services to all women and girls including those with disabilities;
  • Providing training in basic sign language to multi sectoral service providers;
  • Providing community-based shelters through Faith Based Organisations;
  • Designing and establishing survivor-assisted support systems for women including women facing multiple forms of discrimination under leadership of MWAGCD, including modeling community-based temporary safe spaces;                                          
  • Developing and/or amending Guidelines to ensure harmonized services for multi-audiences (women, girls, children, key populations, people with disabilities, migrants, trafficking in persons survivors); and to improve coordinated responses in service facilities to improve uptake;
  • Engaging multi-sectoral service providers in initiatives to equip service facilities with access ramps, sign language, braille and audio versions of informative materials, among other disable-friendly measures, to increase the access of women and girls with disabilities to available SGBV, SRH and HIV and AIDS services; and,
  • Engaging community cadres in the dissemination of information on SRH, SGBV and HIV and AIDS services available at district level to increase uptake and demand.

Outcome 5: Data Availability and Capacities

Expressions of Interest will be accepted for the following key interventions:

  • Strengthening population-based surveys/ census, and other key national surveys such as the Zimbabwe Vulnerability and Livelihoods Assessments, to include SRHR, SGBV, VAWG and HP indicators;
  • Conducting an assessment on existing GBV Information Management tools and systems;
  • Developing a national GBV Information Management framework and implementation plan;
  • Supporting community-based SRHR, SGBV/VAWG and HP surveillance and incidence reporting systems on GBV/ HP;
  • Conducting secondary data analysis on crime statistics for SGBV/ HP, including to analyse the incidence among women and girls facing multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination;
  • Providing technical and coordination support to the Gender Sector Statistics Committees and user-producer dialogues;
  • Conducting qualitative research on GBV, SGBV, HP and SRHR issues to contribute to new knowledge and information to inform progress on SDG 5 and SDG 3; and,
  • Development of knowledge products on SDG 5 and SDG 3.

Outcome 6: Supporting the Women’s Movement and Civil Society

Expressions of Interest will be accepted for the following key interventions:

  • Capacity strengthening of women’s groups, autonomous social movements and civil society organisations[3] at community level to design, implement and monitor programmes on VAWG, including SGBV/HP, and to promote women and girls’ SRHR;
  • Support to organised groups in advocacy and the use of social accountability mechanisms to demand accountability for the elimination of SGBV, HPs and for the promotion of SRHR;
  • The promotion of enhanced networking and knowledge sharing among the women and civil society groups at regional, national, subnational (ward, district, province) and community levels;
  • Creation of a knowledge hub and platform for networking and activism among gender equality advocates at national and community level, and with a broad range of NGOs to contribute to the development of a broad social movement for the eradication of GBV, SGBV and HPs and for the promotion of SRHR;
  • Support to community activism on masculinities and key populations on GBV, SGBV and HPs; and,
  • Support to media to profile the women’s movement and community activism for ending VAGW, GBV, SGBV and HPs.

Interested individuals, institutions and organizations should complete the template below and submit this by cob Thursday, 12 September 2019 along with any supporting documents by email to the Resident Coordinator’s Office, to the attention of  Isabelle Abbott-Pugh: with copy to the Spotlight Initiative Technical Coordinator: Pat Made:  Any questions regarding the process may also be directed to these same individuals/emails.

Civil society organizations in Zimbabwe are also requested to register on the UN Partner Portal (UN PP https.// a portal where UN agencies and civil society partners connect.

[1] Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey 2015

[2]Interactive community-based models include story-telling, dramas. Edutainment products, social media, SMS-based mobile communication that connects with hard to reach areas, among others)

[3] Groups organised at community level such as burial societies, religious associations, women decision

makers within social structures (e.g. herbalists, chief’s wives and advisors), ISALS, CBOs, DPOs and FBOs