Regional data collection toolkit to tackle gender-based violence, harmful practices in Africa

March 27, 2023


Addis Ababa, 27 March 2023 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), rolled out a regional toolkit to support the collection and use of harmonized and standardized data and indicators on violence against women and girls (VAWG), including harmful practices (HPs) and sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights (SRH&RR). 

The online rollout, held on 21 March 2023, presented the toolkit to stakeholders from the AUC, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), AU Member States, civil society organizations, and UN agencies. Participants discussed the development process, the focus of the toolkit, and its implementation as a means to optimize data collection on ending violence against women and girls (EVAWG). 

The toolkit is a crucial step towards addressing the pervasive issue of VAWG, which remains a significant concern globally and in Africa. While there have been improvements in policies and instruments promoting SRH&RR and ending VAWG, there is still a lot to be done to effectively implement these laws. To address these challenges, one of the objectives of the Spotlight Initiative Africa Regional Programme (SIARP) is to generate quality data to strengthen the evidence-base for policy action and other instruments in AUC Member States. 

This toolkit was specifically Id to strengthen the evidence-base to improve the adoption of human rights (HR) instruments and policies in this area. As such, participants in the workshop were provided with firsthand insights into the selection of indicators, the ethical dimensions of research in EVAWG, and different methodologies that can be employed in the field to produce quality and comparable data.

Victoria Maloka, Head of the Coordination and Outreach Division at the Women, Gender and Youth Directorate, AUC, remarked, “This data collection toolkit will enable policymakers, regional partners, research institutions and civil society organizations to evaluate efforts and improve policies on EVAWG. We must continue working within a ‘comprehensive framework’ to ensure an effective and integrated approach to data collection and use.” 

Cleopatra Hurungo, Gender Team Leader (OiC) at UNDP, added, "This toolkit will target the almost 95% of African countries that are able to generate and use vital statistics from their civil registration systems or routine administrative records related to VAWG and HP." 

Dr. Caroline Kabiru, Senior Researcher at the African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC), noted, "Although countries within the African region have taken significant steps to end violence against women and girls and to improve sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, progress is hampered by, among other barriers, the limited capacities of policy actors to collect, analyze and use quality data to measure progress and identify priorities and gaps." 

The toolkit was developed by UNDP in partnership with the AUC and a consortium led by the APHRC, within the framework of the Spotlight Initiative Africa Regional Programme. The toolkit was previously validated during a workshop attended by stakeholders from AUC, RECs, Member States, civil society organizations, and UN Agencies in Nairobi, Kenya, where they evaluated and provided feedback to inform the final toolkit. 

About UNDP 

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at or follow us @undpafrica on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin

About the AU 

The African Union is a continental body that leads Africa’s development and integration in close collaboration with the 55 Member States, the Regional Economic Communities and African citizens. The vision of African Union is to accelerate progress towards an integrated, prosperous, and inclusive Africa, at peace with itself, playing a dynamic role in the continental and global arena, and effectively driven by an accountable, efficient and responsive Commission. Learn more at: 

About APHRC 

The African Population and Health Research Center is the continent’s premier research institution and think tank, generating evidence to drive policy action to improve the health and wellbeing of African people. Learn more at or follow us @aphrc on Twitter.

For more information, contact: 

Housam Silim, Gender and Communications Analyst, UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa 

Tapiwa Uchizi Nyasulu-Rweyemamu, Head of Women & Gender Policy and Development, Africa Union 

Florence Sipalla, Communications Manager, African Population and Health Research Centre, APHRC