ResilientAfrica Network

Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG) Challenge » Call for Innovations

In partnership with UN Women, Resilient Africa Network (RAN) is implementing a project on equipping communities in Northern Uganda (Gulu and Kitgum Districts) and partners with skills directed towards the use of innovative approaches in Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG). A total of up to 7 grants will be awarded under this call (Anticipated range per Award: 5,000,000/= to 16,850,000/=.)

Download the complete EVAWG Document

Applications will be accepted until Sept 8th, 2017. Click here to apply now.

About UN Women

Grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, UN Women works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security. Placing women’s rights at the centre of all its efforts, UN Women leads and coordinates United Nations System efforts to ensure that commitments on gender equality and gender mainstreaming translate into action throughout the world. It provides strong and coherent leadership in support of Member States’ priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors

About ResilientAfrica Network (RAN)

The ResilientAfrica Network is a USAID funded Research and Innovation network currently operating in 19 African Universities in 13 countries. We are one of eight University development labs under the Higher Education Solutions Network. RAN is strengthening the resilience of vulnerable communities using innovative, evidence-based approaches developed in collaboration with University students, faculty and the community. To date, RAN is supporting over 151 innovative projects. The RAN team also nurtures and upholds strategic partnerships to strengthen the innovation ecosystem (fostering a culture of innovation and creativity) in Africa and beyond.

For more information and to apply, please visit Applicants may email any questions on the call or on any aspect of the application process to or call +256 414 343 597

Defining Violence Against Women

The United Nations Declaration on elimination of violence against women (1993) defines violence against women as "any act of gender based violence which results in or is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life"(WHO 2014). (Watts and Zimmerman 2002). Gender based violence (GBV) evolved from the term violence against women (VAW). Gender Based Violence refers to acts perpetrated against women, men, girls and boys on the basis of their sex which cause or could cause them physical, sexual, psychological, emotional or economic harm, including the threat to take such acts, or to undertake the imposition of arbitrary restrictions on or deprivation of fundamental freedoms in private or public life in peace time and during situations of armed or other forms of conflict. Since GBV almost always has greater negative impact on women and girls, it is often used interchangeably with the term violence against women and girls.

The Problem

Violence against women and girls in post conflict Districts of Northern Uganda is very prevalent (UDHS 2016). According to the UDHS 2016. More than 1 in 5 women aged 15-49 (22%) report that they have experienced sexual violence at some point in time, compared to less than 1 in 10 (8%) men (UDHS 2016).

For the purpose of this call gender based violence includes but not limited to the following;
  • Physical violence, which includes; battering and beating.
  • Sexual violence which includes; rape, child sexual abuse, defilement and incest, sexual assaults, sexual harassment, forced prostitution and trafficking in persons.
  • Harmful traditional practices such as Female Genital Mutilation, early and forced marriages and dowry related violence.
  • Economic violence such as denial of assets and economic livelihoods. Emotional and psychological violence such as verbal abuse, humiliation, confinement and as a result of the above forms of GBV

GBV reinforces inequalities between men and women, girls and boys and compromises the health, dignity and security of those affected. Most of the victims and survivors are women and girls. This has diverse effects on the individual, families, community and the country at large. The survivors face discrimination, stigmatization and isolation often leading to loss of self-confidence.

Causes of Violence Against Women and Girls

The main root cause of VAWG is the unequal power relations between men and women and gender inequalities and the social tolerance and acceptance of VAWG due to the social norms, attitudes, beliefs and practices of discrimination.

In Northern Uganda, the subordinated status of women was aggravated during armed conflict by their extreme vulnerability to armed men, and compounded by the general confusion, lack of social control mechanisms, poverty and poor access to resources which reign in conflict settings. These women and girls have been the brunt of violence in several ways. They have been exposed to rape and defilement, have experienced physical and psychosocial injury, and have been exploited and denied resources. In cases of dire desperation these women and girls have had to succumb to selling their bodies for their survival and that of their families. It is worth noting that women and young girls in Northern Uganda continue to face violence more than the men due to their weak statuses and positions, gender assigned roles the private realm, and the general bias against women and girls in different traditions and cultures. Married women are the most affected women as it is usually presumed that at marriage, their husbands legally gain absolute control over them including subjecting them to violence

The EVAWG Challenge seeks to support innovative solutions in one or more of the following priority areas

1. Capacity building of duty bearers and stakeholders

We are looking for innovative solutions that bridge the information, knowledge and skills gap of duty bearers on survivor centered, empowering and human rights based approaches, international and national laws and policies on EVAWG.

2. Reduce the social tolerance and acceptance of VAWG

Increasing awareness among women, girls, men and boys on VAW (prevention, response, impact, the law), respective relationships and gender equality at community and individual level and increasing knowledge of women and girls especially the most at risk of VAWG, their rights available services , how to access them and measures to protect themselves against violence

3. Translate in to action the legal and policy environment

Increase the visibility of the problem of VAWG at policy level (parliament etc.) and strengthen implementation of existing international and local EVAW laws and policies and improve Women's access to justice. Improve budget allocations for EVAW interventions by responsible ministries and departments and improve coordination of service delivery at district level.

4. Empowering and Engaging media, sports institutions, the Private sector adolescents and youth in and out of school for EVAWG

Many development partners have leveraged media as a tool for community involvement. However, a lot still needs to be done regarding EVAWG. We are looking for solutions that address (but are not limited to) the following;

  • Improved coverage of radio, TV, newspapers, and other forms of media in rural communities
  • New approaches to leveraging the media for EVAWG
  • Improved time dedicated to programs for EVAWG
  • Improved capacity of media for EVAWG

5. Economic empowerment of women and girls for EVAWG

Many women and girls are victimized because they are dependent on others for their daily survival. A number of interventions have been running to increase women and girls’ involvement in income generating activities to reduce their vulnerability to acts of VAWG. However, a lot still needs to be done. We are looking for solutions that address (but are not limited to) the following

  • Increased equitable access to employment opportunities through policies, programs and advocacy, among others
  • Build capacity for vulnerable women and girls in business /management/ entrepreneurship skills
  • Set up schemes that improve access to financial services and increase credit worthiness for vulnerable women and girls.


The EVAWG call is open to the general public including Individuals, Teams, Organizations, students and local innovators.
  • ALL disciplines and sectors are eligible to participate
  • Applicants should clearly demonstrate their potential to help women and girls stand against violence.
  • Proposed solutions can be in form of approaches, best practices or technologies and there should be a demonstrable proof of concept for the solution.

The general objective of the EVAWG call is to identify and nurture high impact innovations that improve implementation of the legal and policy frameworks and social systems in a manner that reduces women and girls vulnerability to the causes and effects of gender based violence in ways that are environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable. The specific objectives of the call are:

  • To empower (socially and economically) women and girls communities affected by Violence through promotion of gender equality, harmony and vigilance so as to create a vibrant violence free community.
  • To improve on the existing governance systems through justice and civic engagement for Women and girls.

Call Justification

This EVAWG challenge seeks to identify innovative solutions towards ending violence against women and girls. These can be initiatives or approaches with proof of sustainability and scalability starting with Northern Uganda

Benefits to the Winning Teams

Inclusion into RAN’s Resilience Innovation Acceleration Program, where teams will receive:
  • Support and guidance from RAN and UN Women
  • Mentorship and Business Coaching
  • Linkages to innovators and mentors within the HESN
  • Linkages to local, regional, and international expertise and contacts
  • Some financial support to further develop and pilot the solution or approach towards scaling
  • Technical support includes close guidance from our research team. Our expert research team is currently conducting quantitative and qualitative studies on climate variability, chronic conflict and resilience in Eastern Africa. The findings and results from these studies will closely support innovation development, implementation, and ultimately evaluate innovation impact and success.

(a) Eligibility Screening: Level 1 judging

Once the application period closes, all applications will undergo an initial screening for eligibility to participate at the exhibition. In order to be eligible for the exhibition, an idea should have been developed to at least a plausible concept or simple prototype that is ready for development into a refined testable prototype or concept. Thus, the innovators to be shortlisted for exhibition must verify availability of a prototype (either rough or refined) to be showcased at the exhibition. The shortlisted teams will be contacted and invited to the exhibition.

(b) Exhibition: Level 2 judging

This will involve a first/initial panel of judges who will go across the exhibition stalls, independently listening to the pitches and scoring the innovations using a set criterion. At the end of the exhibition, the panel will evaluate and name the top 10-15 exhibitors/innovations. These top 10-15 innovations/teams will thereafter be invited to make a final pitch that will be conducted at RAN offices.

(c) Final Pitching at RAN: Level 3 judging

In this final round of judging, the top 10-15 shortlisted innovations will be pitched to a second panel of judges who will select the final list of innovations to be supported. At both level 2 and 3 judging, the Judging Panel will be responsible for evaluating applications for alignment with UN WOMEN Core mandate. The Judging Panel will be comprised of highly qualified and impartial judges with expertise in line with the areas of innovation for this call (i.e., entrepreneurship, livelihood diversification, health, gender based violence, financial inclusion, psychosocial health and governance), resilience building, development programming, business modeling, and user-centered design approaches.

The Judging Panel will also be drawn from various sectors including academia, civil society organizations, the private sector, public sector, development partners and UN WOMEN/Uganda mission representatives. RAN and UN WOMEN retain the sole and absolute discretion to declare the finalists and award all grants in this call. Any entrant may not challenge any such decision. All members of the Judging Panel will sign Non-Disclosure Agreements and Conflict of Interest Forms, as well as statements acknowledging that they make no personal claim to the intellectual property developed by Teams or relevant partners.

EVAWG Judges

The following are the judges who participated in selecting the EVAWG projects. Click on the Judge to view the full profile.

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