VPF members Dr Nwabisa Shai and Tshepiso Machabaphala explain the problem of violence in South Africa

The Violence Prevention Forum is a collaboration between government, civil society, researchers, international organisations, development partners and the private sector. We are committed to building a society free of violence.

The Forum was started in 2015 to share knowledge and experience about researching and implementing interventions and programmes to prevent violence. To achieve this the Forum provided a platform to build strong relationships between policy makers, researchers and practitioners (implementers of programmes). By developing and sharing the body of evidence about how to prevent violence and its damaging impact, we are working to enable the expansion of successful evidence-based programmes and interventions in South Africa.

Today the Forum includes many experienced and committed people, including officials from eleven government departments and agencies, respected universities and research institutions, development partners, international organisations, community-based practitioners and companies.

South Africa cannot afford to spend state or donor funds on violence prevention programmes that are not effective or inadvertently cause more harm. The Violence Prevention Forum is therefore committed finding new ways of communicating and collaborating, enabling government and civil society to identify and grow interventions that have evidence of effect, inform policy and increase advocacy for violence prevention.

We are building productive relationships across sectors with a deeply democratic process built on respect, empathy and active listening. The full terms of reference of the Violence Prevention Forum are available here.

VPF participants explain what the VPF is, what it seeks to achieve, and how
  • To influence national action by sharing information about violence-prevention programmes developed or tested in South Africa
  • To find a common understanding of effective violence prevention and how to address factors that perpetuate cycles of violence
  • To provide a space within which strong and healthy relationships can be built across sectors
  • To identify what is needed to scale-up evidence-based violence prevention programmes
  • To provide a central repository for information about evidence-based programmes
  • To bring coherence to community services provided by government and NGOs to address violence against women and children
Participants in the Violence Prevention Forum include representatives of national and provincial government departments, research institutions (including universities, NGOs and parastatal research organisations), development partners and international organisations, and non-governmental organisations who share our vision.

We identify and invite people who have specialist knowledge or the authority and decision-making ability to drive change and new processes within their institutions. We welcome people with a solutions-oriented approach and a desire to contribute towards implementing evidence-based programmes at scale.

UNICEF’s Sinah Moruane discusses some VPF results
The Violence Prevention Forum is convened by the Institute for Security Studies, which collaborates with partners to raise funds, arrange meetings and coordinate reports and publications. The forum’s Driver Group determines its strategic direction. The driver group is made up of representatives from government, development partners, research institutions and non-governmental organisations.

Sinah Moruane

Joan Moeketsi
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

Kgaugelo Moshia-Molebatsi
Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation

Chandré Gould
Institute for Security Studies

Judy Connors
Phaphama Initiatives

Patricia Watson
Department of Basic Education

Tshepiso Machabaphala
National Department of Health

Diketso Mufamadi
Institute for Security Studies

Elizabeth Dartnall
Sexual Violence Research Initiative

Nwabisa Shai
South African Medical Research Council
The Forum meets twice a year for two days at a time. Meetings are professionally facilitated to enable maximum participation and deep reflection. Participants also meet and engage in many productive ways between meetings.

The aim of the forum is to create a respectful, productive and nurturing environment which reflects what we’d like to see in a peaceful and productive society.

We focus on relationship building and reducing hierarchies, thinking and knowledge building, self-reflection and honest conversation.
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