Project Factsheet
Tools for » Afghanistan Spotlight Programm
Project ID:00119460Description:Afghanistan Spotlight Programm
Spotlight Initiative Fund
Start Date *: 14 Dec 2020
End Date*: 31 Dec 2022
Country: Afghanistan Project Status: On Going
  Participating Organization:   Multiple


Programme Description

The Afghanistan Spotlight Initiative (SI) aims at targeting the most at-risk groups, to accelerate efforts towards the elimination of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and harmful practices (HP). Across the six Pillars, the Spotlight Initiative in Afghanistan will bring women and girls, including those facing intersecting forms of discrimination and marginalization, to the centre of the interventions, recognizing that the empowerment of women and girls, and the unique experiences and solutions they bring based on their intersectional identities, is the key to designing and implementing a programme that responds to the needs and priorities of the women and girls of Afghanistan in all their diversity.

In Afghanistan, the Spotlight Initiative will work across the socio-ecological model, using a multi-sectoral and intersectional approach, to prevent and respond to SGBV/HP and impact lasting change at the national, sub-national, community and individual levels. The programme will be informed by a comprehensive prevention strategy to address structural issues through this socio-ecological model.


National actions will be connected with efforts at provincial and district level outside the capital (where the vast majority of the population lives) to strengthen the flow of information, expansion and reach of programming and operations as well as the engagement of communities. The functionality and impact of existing coordination mechanisms and institutions working on SGBV/HP will also inform and be informed by provincial and district level programming. In doing so, key coordination and decision-making structures at national level will be informed by the voices and experiences of traditionally marginalized communities.

The programme was designed through a collaborative process with government, civil society partners, and other key actors. The continued involvement of these partners will be critical throughout implementation.

Number of beneficiaries: 713,843 (direct) | 38,654,412 (indirect)

Recipient UN Organizations (RUNOs): UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women, UNICEF

Spotlight Initiative Country Programme Focal Point at the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office: Pamela Husain; Email:


The total investment from the EU and the UN agencies for Phase I is USD 16,921,384 and is distributed according to the following:


Policies and legislation (outcome 1): The Spotlight Initiative will support the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission to enhance the evidence-based knowledge on ending SGBV/HP by conducting nation-wide enquiries on SGBV/HP and/ or gender equality and non-discrimination.

Institutions (outcome 2): The Spotlight Initiative will identify and support vulnerable groups and key stakeholders in developing evidence-based local plans that target women and girls who are facing multiple forms of discrimination at the provincial level, working with Provincial Government Officers. It will also provide institutional capacity support for effective implementation and monitoring of the National Action Plan to Eliminate Early and Child Marriage 2017 – 2022. Further, it will establish and support an Eliminating Violence Against Women (EVAW) Forum as a multi-stakeholder platform for knowledge sharing, coordination, technical support and advocacy at the national and provincial levels for government, civil society, service providers, development partners and donors.

Prevention and social norms (outcome 3): The Spotlight Initiative will promote comprehensive sexuality education and safe schools through engagement with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Public Health, students, young people, parents and teachers and through the roll out of school-based SGBV/HP prevention and response initiatives. In addition, it will support social norms change approaches and engage influencers at the community level to prevent SGBV/HP and promote gender equality and positive masculinity. It will also support multi-media interventions and community advocacy platforms to promote gender equitable social norms, attitudes and behaviours as well as develop and support the implementation of a National Prevention Framework to guide prevention work and promote evidence-based and coordinated approaches to SGBV/HP prevention.

Services (outcome 4): The Spotlight Initiative will develop and ensure the implementation of guidelines, SOPs and tools for quality SGBV case management and SGBV referrals for women and girls. It will develop the capacity of frontline service providers, civil society organisations and community structures to provide quality, coordinated, child-centred and survivor-centered services. It will also scale up integrated quality essential services for women and girl survivors of violence (Family Protection Centers, Family Guidance Centers, Women Protection Centers, Girls’ Safe Spaces, Youth Health Line, Youth Health Corners, mobile teams and Child Protection Action Networks).

Data (outcome 5): The Spotlight Initiative will conduct a baseline survey in targeted provinces to inform the tailoring of interventions and the programme’s targets. In addition, it will map and support the harmonisation of SGBV data collection systems and develop and support police SGBV data collection systems, the GBV IMS database and SOPs. Further, it will build capacity of CSOs, CBOs and key stakeholders on data collection, analysis and utilisation at the national, provincial and district levels. The programme will also support the National Statistic and Information Authority to collect and analyse gender and age-disaggregated data.

Women’s Movements and Civil Society (outcome 6): The Spotlight Initiative will promote young women’s engagement in advocacy to end SGBV/HP through the establishment of girls-only Multi-purpose Adolescent Groups and support to Youth Parliament and Youth CSOs. It will also strengthen the capacity of women’s groups, young women networks and civil society actors, in particular grassroots women’s organisations, on social accountability mechanisms, advocacy, laws and policies, and programme design, implementation and monitoring. In addition, it will support CSOs, women’s groups and young women’s movement to help them organise, coordinate, and effectively advocate and lobby for change in laws and policies as well as develop knowledge and advocacy products.


Online CSO platform

A platform will be created online to promote sharing of knowledge and information among members of the EVAW Forum.

Real-time monitoring

A technology-based solution by the name of RapidPro will be used to facilitate two-way communication via phones and social media to monitor and adjust the programme. It is designed to support programmes in sending personalized messages over SMS, voice, social media, and internet-based channels with responses analysed in real-time. UNICEF’s RapidPro real-time monitoring systems will be used to address programme bottlenecks, better understanding of needs that allow adequate planning as well as taking corrective actions within ongoing project and programme interventions. RapidPro is one of the recognized and highly recommended ways from UNICEF to make affected populations accountable when it comes to participation in response decisions and local actions. This platform is a technology-based solution and is recommended for facilitating two-way communication approaches via mobile phones (e.g. voice calls, short message services), social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Weibo and others) or messaging apps (e.g. WhatsApp, Viber, etc.).

Bringing essential services to the most marginalized women and girls

Mobile teams will provide emergency essential support, referrals and information to survivors of SGBV/HP in hard to reach and remote areas.

Intergenerational dialogues and mentoring of women

This measure will support young women’s engagement in the women’s movement and bridge the gap between big organisations and grassroot organisations.

Operational Innovation

The programme provides an opportunity to explore common operations and modalities to deliver as One UN.


Spotlight Job Postings and Consultancies:

No ongoing postings.  


Spotlight Calls for Proposals for Implementing Partners:

No ongoing calls.


Recent Documents
Key Figures
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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Afghanistan or the lead agency for the programme. The MPTF Office Portfolio Manager (or Country Director with Delegation of Authority) for this programme:

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