Project Factsheet
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Project ID:00119127Description:Timor-Leste Spotlight Programm
Spotlight Initiative Fund
Start Date *: 21 Jan 2020
End Date*: 31 Dec 2022
Country: Timor-Leste Project Status: On Going
  Participating Organization:   Multiple

Programme Description

The overall vision of the Spotlight Initiative in Timor-Leste is that women and girls enjoy their right to a life free of violence, within an inclusive and gender equitable Timor-Leste. The programme is aligned to the Timor-Leste National Action Plan on Gender based Violence (2017-2021), and National SDG Roadmap. It will contribute to the elimination of domestic violence/ intimate partner violence (DV/IPV) by responding to the needs of women and girls and addressing the underlying causes of violence against women and girls, using a multi-sectoral and intersectional approach across the ecological model.


This will involve strengthening and widening partnerships and solidarity across civil society, government, media, private sector and development partners. The Initiative will empower individuals, equip institutions at national, sub-national and community levels with the policies, systems and mechanisms to prevent and respond to VAWG, and encourage the public to challenge harmful gender norms. Using innovative approaches, the SI will build a social movement of diverse advocates and agents of change for gender equality and social inclusion.


The Spotlight Initiative will accelerate Timor-Leste’s progress toward reaching its targets under the 2030 Agenda, particularly SDG 5 on Gender Equality, but also SDG 3 “Health and Well-Being”, SDG. 4 “Quality Education”, SDG 8 “Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all”, SDG 10 “Reduced Inequalities”, SDG 11 “Sustainable Cities and Communities”, SDG 16 “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions”, and SDG 17 on “Partnerships”. It will contribute to the National Strategic Development Plan and reinforce Timor-Leste’s implementation of commitments under the Beijing Platform for Action, the Concluding Observations of the CEDAW Committee, Convention on the Rights of the Child, among other international obligations.


The Programme is grounded on the core principle of leaving no one behind and reaching the furthest behind first. The interventions have been designed to target women and girls most marginalized (rural, poor, with disabilities and young mothers), at higher risk of intimate partner violence and groups that face multiple or intersecting forms of discrimination.


Number of beneficiaries: 341,231 (direct) | 1,183,643 (indirect)

Recipient UN Organizations (RUNOs): ILO, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN WOMEN

Spotlight Country Programme Focal Point at the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office: Alexandre Tilman; Email: Kanako Mabuchi; Email:


The total investment from the EU for Phase I (2020 – 2021) is USD 9,900,000 and is distributed according to the following;

Policies and legislation (outcome 1): Spotlight will enrich the implementation of legislation by analyzing its current reach and impact through Participatory Action Research and an analysis of legal gaps on domestic violence (DV). It will also strengthen the capacity of key stakeholders to develop and/or revise existing legislation related to DV. In addition, Spotlight will enhance the capacity of national partners to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the National Action Plan on Gender Based Violence (NAP GBV) to record progress and provide recommendations for its revision. Finally, Spotlight will create opportunities for right holders to conduct advocacy and brief oversight bodies on legislative gaps and processes for forthcoming legislation.

Institutions (outcome 2): Spotlight will strengthen institutional capacities to implement the NAP GBV (especially within justice, security, social protection and health) and support the inter-ministerial NAP GBV Coordination Entity and municipal coordination via the Gender Working Group. It will also improve institutional capacities to integrate violence against women and girls (VAWG) into sector plans and strategies. In addition, Spotlight will deepen knowledge and skills of line ministries and local authorities on gender-responsive planning and budgeting and support civil society monitoring of allocations and expenditures for ending VAWG. Finally, Spotlight will increase the role of public and private sector employers' and workers’ organizations in preventing and responding to domestic violence.

Prevention and social norms (outcome 3): Spotlight will develop a national VAWG prevention strategy and multi-media campaign for advocacy and behavior change. It will also promote non-violence and gender equitable norms through activities with caregivers, faith-based groups, young people and communities. In addition, Spotlight will implement a whole-school approach to prevent GBV and create safe school environments. Finally, Spotlight will conduct a research study of prevalence and behavioural impact of pornography consumption to inform the prevention strategy.

 Services (outcome 4): Spotlight will ensure that access to health services are aligned with UN Essential Service Package for Women and Girls Subject to Violence. It will also ensure that health and justice sector services are available and non-discriminatory to all women and girls, regardless of age, marital status, location, health, ability, sexual orientation, gender and/or experience of poverty. In addition, Spotlight will support employers and workers to play a critical role in ending violence against women and girls (EVAWG) and support survivors of DV. Finally, Spotlight will develop adequate systems to improve access to services, including frontline police, health and social services and to ensure that case management is coordinated.

 Data (outcome 5): Spotlight will strengthen the capacity of partners in collecting, analysing, publishing and disseminating census data and other surveys. It will also support the General Directorate of Statistics for the 2020 census to undertake a state-of-the-art mapping strategy to ensure all households are enumerated to lay the foundation for data collection on VAWG. In addition, Spotlight will invest in ethical data collection and analysis, improving accessibility and use of data on VAWG for monitoring and reporting of progress on commitments and increasing data literacy to inform programmes and prioritization by development partners and government.

 Women’s Movements and Civil Society (outcome 6): Spotlight will facilitate tailored mentoring and accompaniment on reflective practices on power and VAWG, rights-based programme design, M&E, and self-care practices for women’s groups and grassroots feminist organizations. It will also strengthen existing peer support networks/ communities of practice on EVAWG. In addition, Spotlight will establish a national EVAWG Forum for: a) improving collaboration and solidarity across groups working on EVAWG; b) documenting promising EVAWG practices; c) raising visibility of CSO support to accountability of service providers in VAWG response; and d) sharing lessons learned. Finally, Spotlight will enhance CSO capacity to design and manage EVAWG programmes and access diversified funding, potentially developing a new model for sustainable funding.


Linking Survivors & Legislators    

 The SI will involve participatory analysis of legislative gaps by women and girls at risk of violence and dialogue with legislators and oversight bodies for bridging the formal and customary justice systems and informing ongoing judicial reforms. This will ensure laws will protect all and leave no one behind.

 Whole-school Approaches

 The investment in whole-school interventions uses an evidence-based approach to create change on gender norms for the future generation. The SI will cover in-school and extra-curricular programming from basic through secondary education, involving students, parents, teachers, school administrators and mechanisms such as Student Councils as channels for promoting lasting change.

 Mobilizing Communities for Change       

 This SI will support gender-equitable norms, attitudes and behaviors, for healthy relationships, self-esteem and respectful masculinities through community level interventions involving parents, youth networks (Scouts, Youth Parliament) and faith-based groups. These will be complemented by mass media behaviour change communication products.

Women & Girls at the Centre of Services

The SI will improve the capacities of health and justice service providers to provide quality essential services and increase care-seeking. Involving survivors to improve internal case management systems will ensure data protects survivors and policies can better meet their needs. The approach will transform the power relationship between the institutions and clients toward more ethical and accessible services for all.


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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Timor-Leste 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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