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Call for proposals to prevent and combat all forms of violence against children, young people and women
Deadline: Apr 1, 2020  

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Priorities and activities to be co-financed

1. Priorities

For the purpose of this call, gender-based violence is defined as violence directed against a person because of that person's gender (including gender identity/expression) or as violence that affects persons of a particular gender disproportionately.

Priority 1. Preventing gender-based violence

The focus is on primary prevention of gender-based violence, i.e. changing social attitudes and behaviour, in order to end tolerance of all forms of violence, with actions including (but not limited to): education and awareness raising, training and practical activities to tackle prejudices and gender stereotypes, norms, attitudes and behaviours that encourage, condone or minimise violence. Prevention also include actions focusing on perpetrators, to prevent them from offending again. Actions may focus on developing empowerment and intervention programmes to equip women and men with the tools to call out and stand up to violence as bystanders, and to be role models in the fight against gender-based violence.

Under this priority applicants should apply behavioural insights and practical tools from behavioural sciences in their proposals in view of achieving changes in attitudes and behaviour. A step by step approach can be found below under the Applying behavioural insights heading.

Target groups should be clearly identified and access to them guaranteed either through the constitution of the partnership or by providing support letters.

Priority 2. Tackling online violence against women

The focus is on prevention and response to online violence against women, with actions including (but not limited to): awareness raising of the general public and/or target groups; information and support to (potential) victims to develop coping strategies and claim their rights; information and support to (potential) victims on flagging or reporting harmful content to IT platforms and/or law enforcement agencies; capacity-building for relevant professionals; prevention and treatment of other forms of gender-based violence (including domestic violence) with a cyber-dimension; and tackling prejudices and gender stereotypes and norms that encourage or condone online violence.

In particular, actions may focus on the development of tools for reporting, flagging and/or removal of harmful online violent content against women. Co-operation with and among national audio-visual regulatory bodies, non-governmental organisations, IT platforms, national authorities, equality bodies, and criminal justice systems is strongly encouraged.

Priority 3. Protecting and supporting children, young people and women who are victims and potential victims (including witnesses) of violence

Actions shall focus on early detection, protection and support services for (potential) victims/witnesses of violence, addressing their specific needs. Projects shall aim at fostering multi-disciplinary cooperation and strengthening capacity building for relevant professionals in contact with victims, including – but not limited to - law enforcement, justice system, victim support or social services, health care professionals, care professionals and educators.

Actions may include the design, implementation and facilitation of access to specialised support services aiming at helping victims and witnesses of violence to overcome trauma, mental health issues and psychological harm linked to their experience of violence. Actions can also specifically target children, young people and women in migration.

The target group shall be (non-exhaustive list): social service professionals, health and care professionals, teachers, people working with children and youth, law enforcement representatives, staff in reception centres, or in alternative care settings, staff in detention centres, judicial professionals, helplines and hotlines operators, psychologists and therapists working with children, families, children, young people and women. The proposals should be designed with a victim-based approach, taking into consideration their specific needs, in particular those of the most vulnerable groups, such as refugees and migrants, people with disabilities, Roma, persons belonging to national, ethnic or religious minorities, LGBTI, elderly women, homeless women.

This priority aims to contribute to the implementation of Directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime; Directive 2011/99/EU on the European Protection Order; Regulation 606/2013 on mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters; and/or the provisions of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention), particularly Chapters IV and V related to support and protection measures (including the provisions on child victims/witnesses).

Proposals shall complement the efforts of the EU in the area of support and rights of victims and combating gender-based violence. Applicants shall explain and demonstrate how their proposals are aligned with the respective EU policies and with the documents published by the European Commission.

Priority 4. Preventing, combating and responding to peer violence amongst children

Actions shall focus on preventing, combatting and responding to peer violence amongst children (committed by children on children). Actions shall focus on supporting victims, perpetrators and/or witnesses of violence, as well as helping parents, professionals in schools, in youth organisations and clubs, in the health and care sectors, etc. to be better equipped to detect and respond to this phenomenon. Actions shall focus on all forms of violence, including online.

2. Description of the activities

Activities shall include:

  • awareness-raising and empowerment activities;
  • capacity-building and training for professionals;
  • design and implementation of protocols, development of working methods and tools;
  • design, implementation and facilitation of access to specialised support services;
  • exchange of good practices, mutual learning.

3. Expected results

Priority 1. Preventing gender-based violence

  • changed attitude and behaviour as regards the issue of gender-based violence (including lower tolerance and decreased victim-blaming) among the general population and particular groups, e.g. relevant professionals, witnesses and bystanders, vulnerable groups;
  • (early signs of) violence is detected and reported, in particular increased reporting of violence to the police and other services, with appropriate mechanisms in place to facilitate this;
  • victims' safety is guaranteed and further violence prevented;
  • increased likelihood of bystander intervention;
  • increased capacity of stakeholders and relevant professionals to address issues related to gender-based violence, including through strengthened multi-agency co-operation and tackling of prejudices, gender stereotypes and norms.

Priority 2. Tackling online violence against women

  • changed attitudes and behaviour as regards the issue of illegal online content targeting women and girls among the general population and particular groups, e.g. relevant professionals, witnesses and bystanders, vulnerable groups;
  • online violence is prevented before it happens through education about respect and equality;
  • increased capacity of stakeholders and relevant professionals to address issues related to illegal online content, including through strengthened multi-agency cooperation;
  • online violence victims' safety is guaranteed and further violence prevented;
  • increased reporting of violence to the police and other services, with appropriate mechanisms in place to facilitate this.

Priority 3. Protecting and supporting children, young people and women who are victims (including witnesses) of violence

  • strengthened support and protection systems for children, young people and women victims or witness of violence – including access to specialised services;
  • increased awareness among groups at risk, relevant professionals and the general public;
  • increased capacity of relevant professionals in contact with those affected to address problems deriving from violence (such as mental health issues), in particular increased multi-disciplinary and multi-agency cooperation.

Priority 4. Preventing, combating and responding to peer violence among children

  • families, education, health and social services sectors are supported to detect, deal with and respond to episodes of violence among children;
  • capacity-building in preventing and responding to this phenomenon is increased for relevant professionals;
  • children who are victims, witnesses or perpetrators are empowered to recognise violence, speak about it and report it;
  • awareness is raised as regards the issue of violence among children;
  • national child protection systems are strengthened.

Practical projects developing and implementing concrete measures are preferred. While research is not excluded, if some research activities are to be part of the project, they shall be strictly linked to the project as a whole. While the projects should build on evidence of what works (e.g., from previous available research), they should have an applied nature and lead to practical applications. Projects should not only develop a sound methodology using available evidence and recognised existing good practice or tried and tested intervention models but also include a large proportion of practical implementation measures and outcomes. These aspects will be taken into account when evaluating the quality of proposals. Applicants are invited to consider the weighting of the work streams, with a view to ensuring maximum practical benefits, positive outcomes and impacts for the target groups and the final beneficiaries, and to check that the management and coordination work streams (including travel) are not over-resourced. All applications should describe how access to the selected target group(s) will be assured, considering, where appropriate, whether it is useful to ground activities to a place/geographical space also, e.g. school, workplace, museums, city, etc. Activities such as the development of materials, the mapping of existing materials or research should be, at most, minor components of project proposals. If included, the need should be solidly justified in the proposal; they should lead to practical applications and interventions.

Any training and/or practical tools should have an overarching objective to make the system work better to improve outcomes for children. This may include development and delivery of new training modules/tools or roll out and delivery of previously tried and tested training modules/tools. Proposals should describe how access to those to be trained will be assured and describe how training/tools will be rolled out in the participating countries. In terms of promoting sustainability, capacity-building should preferably focus on train-the-trainer approaches and may also include tools such as checklists/draft protocols, etc. For transnational projects, any training modules developed should be made available with a view to being replicated or adapted for reuse in other EU Member States. New training modules must be piloted and, if necessary, adapted prior to delivery.

Projects for each of the priorities under this call can be either national or transnational and should be elaborated in close partnership with and/or be led by appropriate key players, such as child protection agencies, Barnahus, police, health services, the education sector, the judiciary, victim support organisations, etc. Applicants must document that they have the prior commitment of participating key players. Good quality cooperation among partners will be instrumental in making innovative projects successful. Regardless of whether projects are national or transnational in nature, they should aim to produce results that create or contribute to implementation of standards at European level, or that could be transferable to other Member States.

Applicants are invited to take note of and learn from previously funded projects (see bibliography). The continuation or follow-up of successful initiatives, including the scaling-up of existing initiatives and/or testing them in a different context, may be funded if it is aligned with one of the priorities. However, the exact duplication of an initiative will not be funded.

For projects in the area of violence against children, projects must take a rights-based approach[1] and be clearly grounded in the EU Charter of Fundamental rights and the UN Convention on the rights of the child (UNCRC). Applicants are required to include clear and explicit references to EU and international law and standards they will adhere to or be guided by in project design, implementation, evaluation and monitoring and explain the project rationale.

Support of public authority

It is strongly encouraged to involve a public authority, including regional and local authorities, to actively participate in the projects. For projects related to gender-based violence, these public authorities can be national, regional or local Ministries/agencies/equality bodies responsible for gender equality and/or provision of services to victims of violence or perpetrators; police, judicial, health or education authorities etc., as relevant.

The rationale for the choice must be documented and explained in Part B Project description and implementation.

This support will be expressed through Annex 5 - Letter from the public authority supporting the application and will be assessed under the award criterion b) quality.

Child protection/safeguarding policy

If a project foresees direct contact with children, every beneficiary of funding (including partners) needs to provide their child protection/safeguarding policy, if they work directly with children during the project. Each partner must provide their own child protection policy (not a cumulative one per consortium).

A child protection policy should include standards that cover four broad areas (for more information please see “Child safeguarding standards and how to implement them”

  • policy: how the organisation is committed to preventing, protecting and responding to harm to children
  • people: clear responsibilities and expectations on its staff and associates and supports them to understand and act in line with these
  • procedures: the organisation creates a child-safe environment through implementing child safeguarding procedures that are applied across the organisation
  • accountability: the organisation monitors and reviews its safeguarding measures. What are the mechanisms in place within the organisation.

A child protection policy must include clear information about the recruitment of all staff – including trainees and volunteers, including background checks (vetting).

A child protection policy must include clear procedures and rules to staff, including reporting rules, and continuous training on this should be in place.

The child protection policy should be available online, i.e. transparent to all those who come in contact with the organisation.

The child protection policy document is to be submitted as Annex 4 and will be assessed under the operational capacity criteria.

Applying behavioural insights (priority 1)

For priority 1 - Preventing gender-based violence, applicants are requested to apply insights and practical tools from behavioural sciences in their projects in view of achieving changes in attitudes and behaviour. Below is a step-by-step approach to guide applicants in the incorporation of behavioural insights in their projects.

1) First, applicants should provide a clear description of the issue that will be tackled by the proposed action. If we consider gender-based violence, the description should specify the type(s) of violence (for example physical, emotional), its characteristics (for example prevalence, severity) and the concrete context(s) (for example university, workplace, household) that will be covered by the proposed action. Additionally, the objective(s) of the action should be clearly defined. These should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (SMART) and should be set ahead of the action.

2) Second, the proposed action should identify the underlying determinants (also called behavioural causes) of the issue at stake.[2] This could be, for example, passive stance of bystanders, low reporting of violence by victims. As the issues identified under point 1 likely have multiple underlying determinants, the proposed action could focus on several of these, or on only one. Each of the different underlying determinants the projects aims to tackle should be clearly indicated in the proposal.

3) Third, the proposed action should encourage a specific target group(s) to perform target behaviour(s) or discourage them from doing so.[3] Actions may aim, for instance, at encouraging victims of violence to report the incidences of violence to the relevant authorities and/or to seek help in dedicated shelters; aim at changing ways of working of professionals to make it easier to report incidences of violence; aim at motivating journalists to avoid stereotypes by changing the way they report on and portray violence against women; or aim at changing men's perception of traditional gender roles, which support the acceptability of violence against women, etc.

4) Fourth, once the target group(s), the underlying determinants and the target behaviour are identified, applicants should describe the solutions (also called behavioural levers) that will be implemented.[4] For example, if the proposed action aims at reducing the social acceptance of gender-based violence, the project could focus on changing social norms (for example, signalling the appropriate behaviour by comparing an individual’s conduct with that of the majority of his /her peers/neighbours/friends), or make use of so-called "commitment devices" (convincing the target group to make a public pledge to carry out a certain behaviour/ support the target group in developing a specific plan to achieve a certain goal) as part of the intervention.

5) Fifth, the proposed action should specify the outcome that the proposed solution aims at generating and how the outcome(s) will be measured. Outcomes refer to impact, change in attitudes or behavioural change resulting from the action, and should not be confused with project outputs (e.g. number of leaflets published, number of people reached). If possible, projects should propose a measurable objective, compared to a baseline. For example, if the goal is to increase reporting of violence, a valuable outcome measure would be the number of cases reported to the police following the implementation of the project. If the goal is to change attitudes of a certain group of professionals, projects should not only measure how many attended training, but also ask them about their attitudes before and after the training. All interventions should include collection of relevant data, to be able to compare the situation before and after the project.

6) Sixth, to find out whether the proposed actions will have the desired effects, ideally the project should include a phase of pre-testing the solutions before implementing them in full-scale.[5] Such ex-ante assessment of the expected effect of the intervention will provide valuable insights on whether the proposed action has the intended effects and helps to ensure that, once fully deployed, the action focus is on what works. One possibility would be to use a randomised controlled trial.[6]

7) Seventh, the proposed action should include an evaluation of impact. Such evaluation should be part of the initial project plan, to make sure that the most appropriate evaluation design is used, and to set up valid outcomes measures (together with robust and feasible metrics) that allow the actual impact of the action to be determined. Several evaluation methods can be used such as after-only designs, before-after or pre-post designs, RCTs and field experiments.[7]


Projects funded under this call shall also seek to promote equality between women and men and the rights of the child. Gender and rights of the child mainstreaming means integrating a gender and rights of the child perspective in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of a project, as appropriate. Consequently, when relevant, the applicant shall take the necessary steps to ensure that gender equality and child-related issues are taken into account by paying attention to the situation and particular needs of women and men and of children. It is, for example, essential that projects do not silence, stereotype, stigmatise, lay the blame on or discriminate against women or men. Projects should contribute to empowering women and to ensuring that they achieve their full potential and enjoy the same rights as men.


Projects funded under this call shall also comply with the prohibition of discrimination based on any of the grounds listed in Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (the "Charter"), in accordance with and within the limits set by Article 51 of the Charter. Among others the Commission encourages applicants to promote equal employment opportunities for all its staff and team. The beneficiary is encouraged to foster an appropriate mix of people, whatever their ethnic origin, religion, age, gender and ability.

Finally, all projects under this call shall respect and shall be implemented in line with the rights and principles enshrined in the Charter.

Child participation

All proposals are expected to respect the child's right to participate[8] and all project activities must clearly integrate and protect the child's right to be heard[9]. Proposals must make children's involvement central and integral in every stage of the project’s design, implementation and evaluation.

Monitoring and evaluation

Appropriate attention has to be given to developing a robust evidence base and involving reliable monitoring, evaluation and reporting procedures based on recognised methodological approaches, developed by a competent and experienced policy impact evaluator[10], in consultation with the relevant project partners. This should include defining the expected impact of the activity in measurable terms and defining a robust methodology and indicators to measure the impact of the activity. For priority 1 - Preventing gender-based violence, this should go well beyond simply surveying participants on their appreciation of activities and deliverables, and consider how best to assess how activities and the use of project outputs impact on attitudinal and behavioural changes among the target group(s), e.g. there is lower tolerance of gender-based violence and the target group reports actual intervention or states they are more likely to intervene when witnessing it, or when witnessing a situation that could lead to gender-based violence, victims are more likely to report experiences of violence, the target group uses learned techniques in their daily/working life, etc. Though applicants are free to choose the method for evaluating the impact of the activities, the method should be robust and appropriate, and involve rigorous data collection and monitoring. For priority 1, it should provide reliable results on "what works" and "what does not work".[11]

Proposals must make provisions to document the number of persons reached, provide anonymised data disaggregated by sex and by age, and must describe in their grant application how this will be done and how the target group will be reached. Sustainability of projects and dissemination of results

Applications should also include a clear communication, dissemination and sustainability plan, with measures to maintain and monitor results after the end of funding. Applicants should also describe the potential for scaling up the measure, should the activities produce the expected results. The projects should aim at ensuring their durability and appropriate dissemination, including at the end of funding (by promoting and enabling access to their results to the widest possible audience).


Behavioural insights and experimentation

Gender equality and violence against women

Policy documents/background information:

Data and reports:

Online violence against women:

Domestic violence

Violence against children and rights of the child

Compilation of previously funded projects violence against children/rights of the child

Child safeguarding policies

Child participation

[1]For projects relevant to children, see child rights approach definition: paragraph 59 of General Comment No 13 of the UN Committee on the rights of the child

[2]Further details can be found in Section 3 'Understanding the causes of target behaviour' Sara Rafael Almeida, Joana Sousa Lourenço, Dessart François Jacques, and Emanuele Ciriolo. Insights from behavioural sciences to prevent and combat violence against women. Literature review (2016) pp. 8-13

[3]Further details on potential target groups, subgroups and behaviours to be targeted by actions can be found in Section 2 'Identifying the target group and target behaviour' Sara Rafael Almeida, Joana Sousa Lourenço, Dessart François Jacques, and Emanuele Ciriolo. Insights from behavioural sciences to prevent and combat violence against women. Literature review (2016) pp. 7-8

[4]Further details on behavioural solutions can be found in Section 4.3.1. 'Content of the message: behavioural levers' Sara Rafael Almeida, Joana Sousa Lourenço, Dessart François Jacques, and Emanuele Ciriolo. Insights from behavioural sciences to prevent and combat violence against women. Literature review (2016) pp. 16-25

[5]Further details on qualitative and quantitative pretesting methods can be found in Section 5 'Pretesting the initiative' Sara Rafael Almeida, Joana Sousa Lourenço, Dessart François Jacques, and Emanuele Ciriolo. Insights from behavioural sciences to prevent and combat violence against women. Literature review (2016) pp. 25-28

[6]In case quantitative pretesting using a randomised controlled trial (RCT) is carried out, this phase includes the identification of the most feasible randomisation unit (i.e., individual or group). For example, the initiative could be delivered in all universities of Region A (the treatment group), keeping the curriculum of universities of Region B (the control group) unchanged (randomisation at the group level). The inclusion of a control group and the use of randomisation allow the comparison of the outcome of in Region A against the outcome in Region B, hence determining whether the intervention was effective, all other things being equal. See « Test, Learn, Adapt » (UK BIT, 2012) for more information on this approach.

[7]Further details on evaluation methods can be found in Section 6 'Evaluating the impact of the initiative' Sara Rafael Almeida, Joana Sousa Lourenço, Dessart François Jacques, and Emanuele Ciriolo. Insights from behavioural sciences to prevent and combat violence against women. Literature review (2016) pp. 28-33

[8]Aligned with Article 24 of the Charter, relevant EU law and the UN Convention on the rights of the child

[9]As set out in UNCRC Article 12 and General Comment No 12

[10]For further details please refer to "Applying Behavioural Sciences to EU Policy-making", Joint Research Centre Scientific and Policy Report (2013): .

[11]For further details please refer to "Social Experimentation - A methodological guide for policy makers", Written by J-Pal Europe, at the request of Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion) – see bibliography. See also Turning the Curve: outcomes-based accountability in the bibliography.

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