Spotlight Initiative Fund
Spotlight Initiative, a collaborative venture by the United Nations and European Union, invests in programmes that improve the rights and opportunities of women and girls around the world through the prevention of and response to all forms of violence against women and girls. Pointing the light toward the shadows, Spotlight supports comprehensive and inclusive approaches that enable women and girls to live lives free from the debilitating experience or effects of harmful practices and various forms of violence.
- Spotlight Initiative Fund Consolidated Annual Progress Report 2021
- Spotlight Initiative Fund Certified Financial Statement (Sources and Uses of Funds) 2021
OverviewKey financial figures
The work of the Spotlight Initiative Fund is possible thanks to the efforts of . These resources are pooled and channelled to participating organizations to promote joint action and multi-stakeholder partnerships, making a difference on the ground.
ObjectivesFund scope and theory of change
Worryingly, conservatism and hostility towards women’s rights agendas are on the rise in several parts of the world. This has led to backlash and/or the reversal of hard-won gains with women’s civil society organizations and human rights defenders face unprecedented crackdowns by legislative powers on foreign funding or restrictions on association. Or anti-protest and gag laws, legal tools for criminalizing online dissent, and blocking citizen access to social media are cemented in place.
The Spotlight Initiative points the torch toward the shadows, supporting comprehensive approaches to preventing, and responding to, violence against women and girls (VAWG) at all points on the spectrum. Building on lessons learned, the Spotlight Initiative supports global and national policy reforms that uphold the rights of women and girls, as well as innovative and sustainable solutions that end discrimination and VAWG in the workplace, public and political life, intimate relationships, and community spaces.
Because violence against women and girls is complex and layered, several funded projects address intersecting forms of marginalization and discrimination. Eliminat
ing VAWG/harmful practices requires, from the outset, ongoing political commitment at the highest levels of government to guarantee enduring action. Countries supported by the Spotlight Initiative are encouraged to provide matching domestic resources, while Heads of State and senior leaders are invited to champion the cause.
The success of the Initiative relies on unwavering drive, strategic coordination, active and inclusive engagement, and timely sharing of knowledge. Most fundamental, perhaps, is making visible the causes and forms of violence that exist in countless communities around the world—your town, their village, my city.
Theory of change
The Spotlight Initiative, with dedicated large-scale resources, comprehensive design and focus, and an evidence-based programmatic theory of change, creates a momentum for intensified action in strengthening legislation and administrative policies, building institutional capacities, delivering accessible violence prevention services, and collecting, disaggregating and sharing data. Evidence and rights based, programmes launched under Spotlight strengthen multi-sector responses that help us bring about an end to one of the most pervasive human rights violations. Funded action addresses the underlying causes of VAWG/harmful practices, including discriminatory social and socio-cultural norms, stereotypes, and unequal power relations.
A foundational aspect of the Initiative is the 2030 Agenda principle of “leave no one behind.” Outcomes matter most when they reach the most marginalized women and girls, including those with disabilities, the elderly, from ethnic minority or indigenous groups, living in poverty, with HIV/AIDS, living in rural areas, from underrepresented LGBTQAI+ groups, and survivors of violence or harmful practices.
Eliminating VAWG/harmful practices requires shifting social norms within communities and a complete reform of national, regional, and local institutions. Although significant changes take time, all stakeholders are tasked with identifying short, medium and long-term objectives that generate the transformational change envisioned by the SDGs and the Spotlight Initiative.
In this respect, civil society is the primary stakeholder of the Spotlight Initiative as their engagement is crucial in upholding the movements and groups that have made great strides in advancing progress on ending VAWG. Guided by a human-rights based approach, civil society organizations are partners of the Initiative in outreach, advocacy, implementation, and monitoring. A national and grass-roots presence makes these organizations well positioned for the Fund to broker success.
The Spotlight Initiative operates under an overall governance structure led by the Governing Body. The Governing Body acts as the overarching high-level strategic direction, partnership and cohesion mechanism for the initiative. It is co-chaired by the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General and the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission. The Development Commissioner of the European Commission, and the Executive Director of UN Women are additional members of the Governing Body. Each member’s alternate may also participate in the meeting of the Governing Body. The Governing Body of the Spotlight Initiative will also include a representative from civil society in an Observer role. The civil society representative will be nominated to the Observer role by the 8-10 member Global Civil Society Reference Group.
As the partnership and cohesion mechanism for the Spotlight Initiative, the Governing Body provides high-level strategic direction. It facilitates consultations among stakeholders, agrees on common methods of strategic communication, and takes stock of overall Fund progress. The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General and European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission serve as co-chairs while the Development Commissioner of the European Commission and Executive Director of UN Women sit on the Governing Body as additional members. Representatives from civil society can sit on the Body in observer roles if nominated by members of the Global Civil Society Reference Group.
Operational Steering Committee
Ensures effective management of the Initiative and coordinates all operational and technical aspects, including the launch of programmatic cycles. The Committee makes recommendations on investment plans, advises on resource allocation, agrees on joint programmes and budgets, and proposes fund transfers. The Operational Steering Committee considers feedback from the Management Unit on the overall management of the initiative, and gives feedback on substantive issues related to programme implementation.
Country/Regional-level Steering Committees
Thematically sub-divided by region, Country/Regional-level Steering Committees offer strategic direction and oversight on the coordination of joint programmes at the country level.
The Secretariat supports the Operational Steering Committee and is comprised of a Management Unit and a Technical Unit—both work in close collaboration.
Participating Organizations receive funds through the Administrative Agent, Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) Office. The Administrative Agent is responsible for the receipt, administration and management of contributions from donors, disbursement of funds to Participating Organizations, and consolidation and dissemination of progress reports to donors.
Programme implementation is the responsibility of Participating Organizations. Each organization is programmatically and financially responsible for resources received.
The work of is possible thanks to the efforts of contributors. Since together they have contributed . In the annual contributions amounted to .
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FinancialsProjects by Country
FinancialsProjects by Theme
ProjectsSpotlight Initiative Fund
Spotlight Initiative Fund is currently implementing count_projects ongoing projects in count_countries countries. This table shows the most recently approved ongoing projects. For operationally and financially closed projects please select from the “Status” drop-down below.
Contributions to trust funds administered by the MPTF Office are pooled with other partner resources to achieve greater impact and leverage the SDGs. This map provides a geographical breakdown of all investments.
* The designations employed and the presentation of material on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations or UNDP concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
> $55M $55M - $25M $25M - $5M < $5M
Budget amounts in US$
ResultsImpact and results
Evidence and rights-based, the Spotlight Initiative is a collaborative endeavor that supports global and national policy reforms which uphold the rights of women and girls. Delivering integrated and innovative responses help bring about an end to one of the most pervasive human rights violations. The Initiative’s solutions address the underlying causes of VAWG/harmful practices, which include discriminatory social and socio-cultural norms, stereotypes, unequal power relations, and forms of VAWG in the workplace, political life, intimate relationships, and public spaces.
In this section you will find the latest editions of reports that detail Fund performance and results.
Early life-saving results for women and girls have been possible because of our partners in government, civil society and the women's movement. Thank you @Europeaid. @GlobalSpotlight will continue to fight against #GBV despite #COVID19 https://t.co/bgSCP9GCwH— Amina J Mohammed (@AminaJMohammed) October 4, 2020
Positive change happens when we come together to fight the same cause. @GlobalSpotlight is a great example of that 🙌— EuropeAid 🇪🇺 (@europeaid) October 2, 2020
Thanks @UN & partners for the great collaboration.
Eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls is and will continue to be a priority for us. https://t.co/mvJoaFcBFt
ContactsPoints of contact
Policy and Programme Issues
Nahla Valji, Spotlight Secretariat Lead and Senior Gender Adviser, Executive Office of the Secretary General, Email: email@example.com
Alessandra Roccasalvo, Head of the Management Unit, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Erin Kenny, Head of the Technical Unit, Email: email@example.com
Fund Administrative Agent Issues
Pierre Bardoux-Chesneau, Senior Portfolio Manager, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ganesh Ramachandran, Portfolio Manager, Email: email@example.com
Lula Sherif, Portfolio Associate, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Olga Romanovskaya, Finance Associate, Email: email@example.com