Women's Commission Evaluates Training Program to Handle Sexual Exploitation by Humanitarian Workers
Thursday, July 6, 2006 10:55 AM

The Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children has submitted a written Evaluation of a training program, Building Safer Organizations (BSO), designed to help prevent and combat sexual exploitation and abuse of aid beneficiaries by humanitarian workers. Following allegations of such abuse in West Africa and Nepal, the United Nations Secretary General issued a Bulletin in 2003 calling on UN agencies and their partner NGOs to prevent beneficiary abuse and to investigate allegations if they arise. Building Safer Organizations is the result of a collaborative effort by NGOs to respond to the issue and the Women’s Commission was asked to evaluate the effectiveness of its pilot training program.

Participants in the training program were primarily NGO staff, and particular effort was expended to seek out individuals who would be likely to conduct investigations within their organization should the need arise. Overall, the evaluation found the program to be highly effective in raising awareness among humanitarian organizations and in providing tools to prevent and investigate sexual exploitation and abuse. Participants were overwhelmingly positive in their response to the program and many indicated they had already used the tools they gained through the training.

In order to improve the efficacy of the training program, the evaluation suggested greater collaboration with similar initiatives and a concerted effort to involve more of the humanitarian community. It also pointed out that although prevention and investigation techniques were thoroughly covered, a mechanism for handling complaints was lacking.

Compiled from: "Breaking the Code: Building Capacity to Investigate Sexual Abuse and Exploitation by Humanitarian Workers," Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, June 2006.