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ideas that work!

Exploring practical actions within humanitarian response work to reduce gender-based vulnerability and violence

The majority of the world's poor are women. Around 70% of the 1.3 billion people who live in extreme poverty are women and girls. Gender based violence remains one of the significant mechanisms by which individuals, society and the state retain power over women's lives and choices. One in three women world-wide experience violence.
it is increasingly recognised that gender-based violence worsens in emergency situations caused by natural disasters or conflicts. There is a growing acceptance that all humanitarian interventions are more effective when they recognise and contribute to transforming current gender-based inequalities and violence.

Change Makers Tools

See related Gender in Emergencies
A pictorial toolkit developed in 2005
specifically for Oxfam humanitarian responses in Assam and Bihar, India.

About this kit

The ITW kit is based on a report on WASH interventions across the world, demonstrating how innovations have contributed towards reducing risk of vulnerability to violence against women. Click here to download the original report (2010), which includes unabridged case studies and analysis.

This training kit has been developed to aid humanitarian interventions analyse innovative practices that help reduce vulnerability to gender based violence and discrimination, and incorporate them into commonly used project designs, blue-prints and budgets. It is designed as a three hour session to be conducted at peace-time, with a group of 12-15 participants. The participatory mapping component can also be used to discuss relevant issues with community members.

Kit Users' Manual

A4 booklet, Cover + 8 pages

The manual has two sections; the first comprises six abridged case studies that give the facilitator a basic background on ITW. The second section describes five graded workshop activities using the different components of the kit.

ITW Manual (1 MB)

ITW Manual


Set of eight A5 picture cards with instructions

This set of cards are used in the first activity. It helps participants think about how existing inequalities and normalised forms of violence can get magnified or manifest differently during emergencies.

Challenge Cards (500 KB)

Challenges Card set

Processes and Stakeholders

Processes : Set of eight A5 picture cards with instructions
Stakeholders : Set of six card tents

This set of cards are used for the second workshop activity - which enables participants to think about all that needs to be done, and which stakeholders are needed to ensure they get done.

Process Cards (450 KB)
Stakeholder Cards (250 KB)

Processes Card set



Set of three A3 Picture Cards

This set of cards are used for the third activity - one that focuses on solutions that have worked in different context. This activity enables participants to appreciate practical, often subtle, details that contribute significantly to women's sense of security and dignity.

Innovations Cards (500 KB)

Innovations Cards


Set of two A3 Picture Cards, folded

These cards are for the fourth activity, and involves looking at technologies from a gender perspective. This enables participants to evaluate how any new technology works in the context of gender based vulnerabilities.

Technology Cards (300 KB)

Technology folders

Participatory Mapping

Set of illustrated acrylic blocks, 20mm square, 5mm thick

The kit is packaged in the a folder made of synthetic tarpaulin - the kind that is often used to make temporary shelters. The folder opens up to become a surface which can be marked with regular chalk. This mat can be used to draw a plan

A set of picture blocks provided are used to indicate positions of buildings, trees, fences, lights - elements important in the context of ITW. This enables community members, especially women, to visualise the plan, and participate in the process by shifting the blocks around and considering the different options.

Mapping blocks (50 KB)


Community mapping

Testing and Dissemination

The ITW kit was tested in two stages.

An early prototype was tested with fieldworkers at Adithi in Bihar in March 2011. in August 2011, a pre-production test was done at Delhi with senior and mid level programme representatives from Agha Khan Foundation, Caritas India, Megh Pyne Abhiyan, UNICEF, Christian Aid, Oxfam India, Plan India, Save The Children, ICRC and ECHO. Feedback from both tests were incorporated, and the kits were later disseminated among the participating organisations. more on facebook

Left, top to bottom Adithi Workshop - Prioritising Processes, Analysing "child friendly spaces", Contemplating the participatory map.
Delhi Workshop - Discussing safe water systems, the pond sand filter technology, mapping activity

Adithi test 01

Adithi test 01

Adithi test 03

delhi test 01

delhi test 02

delhi test 03


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