Project Factsheet
Tools for » Strengthening the medico-legal response to sexual violence in conflict settings
Project ID:00082194Description:UNA028 WHO Strengthening medic
UN Action Agst Sexual Violence
Start Date *: 22 Mar 2012
UN Action Against Sexual Viole
End Date*: 31 Dec 2015
Country: United Nations Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   WHO - World Health Organization


This project aims to strengthen national capacity in conflict affected countries by addressing key gaps in policy and practice related to collection and use of forensic evidence of sexual violence in these settings. As part of the increased focus on ending impunity for conflict-related sexual violence, there has been a need identified by donors and international justice actors for improving the collection and use of forensic evidence (including DNA). The tendency has been to focus on single interventions, such as training of providers, or construction of DNA labs rather than on imp/Os/ ing the components of the justice, health and social sectors which make up the forensic system as a whole. This approach has not led to the development of appropriate or sustainable responses, has created confusion among national and international actors and does not lead to an efficient use of resources. This project responds directly to requests for clarification of how best to integrate collection of forensic evidence of sexual violence into relevant country level systems and processes, what is needed to strengthen forensic systems and build capacity in this area. It aims to develop a tool to guide countries, the UN and donors in this process.

The project will be divided into two phases,

In phase 1 (2012), a technical meeting will be held in Geneva to review lessons learned from previous and on-going efforts to increase capacity for collection and use of forensic data, develop policy responses and address practical challenges of working on this issue in conflict affected settings. (for example, the project being undertaken by Physicians for Human Rights in the Great Lakes and UNODC's forensic assistance programme for the Palestinian Authority), It will also make reference to relevant international guidance and standards. Relevant UN and other international and national agencies will be invited to participate. The outputs of this technical consultation will include development of a UN Action policy/guidance note and a tool to assist coordinated country level analysis of what is needed at the policy and systems levels for forensic evidence collection and use, which could serve as the basis for programming.

Phase 2 (2013) will involve the pilot testing of the tool in one country and capacity building at the national level. The testing of the tool will involve not only the application of the tool but a process to bring together stakeholders from all relevant sectors to review and analyse the results of the assessment, address bottlenecks and plan next steps, including addressing capacity building needs, in a coordinated way.

Goal and objectives

The overall goal is to improve national system capacity for collection and use of forensic evidence of sexual violence in conflict-affected settings in order to reduce impunity. The specific objectives include:

  • To provide guidance, based on lessons learned, about what policies and system components need to be in place for appropriate integration of sexual violence forensic evidence collection.
  • To enable country level actors in the range of sectors related to collection and use of forensic evidence to analyse policies and. systems and services, address bottlenecks and plan in a coordinated way.
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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in United Nations or the lead agency for the programme. The MPTF Office Portfolio Manager (or Country Director with Delegation of Authority) for this programme:

The person with GATEWAY access rights to upload and maintain documents for the programme:

  • Laura Martin, Programme Analyst; Telephone: 1 914 924 4263; Email:
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