The VPF is clear that violence IS preventable – Liz Dartnall and Dr Nwabisa Shai discuss how
It is widely acknowledged that multi-stakeholder collaboration is critical for efforts to prevent violence against women and violence against children. Violence is a complex social problem with multiple causes.
There is no single intervention that can address all the underlying causal or contributory factors to violent behaviour. An intervention that works in one community is not guaranteed the same efficacy in another community or at a larger scale.
There is also no single organisation or institution that can deliver all the services needed to address violence. However, achieving multisectoral collaboration is not easy. Organisational culture and context, sectoral relationships, differing values and worldviews, and individual personalities/politics make collaboration difficult to achieve.
This makes it difficult for information and lessons to flow between stakeholders in a way that facilitates the use of evidence from tested interventions in policy and other programmes.
Consequently, many evidence-based programmes are developed and tested in communities with the promise that if they are found to be effective, they will be scaled-up to other communities and perhaps the rest of the country. And yet, this is almost never the case. Literature is replete with promising projects with evidence of effect that were not scaled-up and in some cases they were discontinued.
Globally, researchers and programme developers have recognised that scaling up interventions is a complicated process that requires different stakeholders to work together for extended periods of time.
In South Africa, the need for collaboration to achieve evidence informed violence prevention is further complicated and necessitated by five important factors: the structure of government; the centrality of NGOs in violence prevention; the influence of development partners and multisectoral organisation in the sector; and the high cost of violence.
Anglo American’s Hermien Botes explains the impact of the VPF on her organisation