DFID’s efforts to eliminate violence against women and girls

UK aid has made a significant contribution to tackling violence against women and girls (VAWG).

Score: Green
  1. Status: Completed
  2. Published: 17 May 2016
  3. Type: Learning review
  4. Subject: Women and girls
  5. Assessment: Green
  6. Location: Ethiopia, India
  7. Lead commissioner: Tina Fahm

Read the review


In this review, we explored how well DFID has translated ambitious policy commitments into effective programmes with the potential to make a real difference. We also examined DFID’s efforts to encourage others – both nationally and internationally – to tackle VAWG.

The review gives DFID’s performance a ‘green’ rating, recognising UK aid’s significant contribution to tackling violence against women and girls. We made four recommendations.


The review finds that DFID has demonstrated strong global policy leadership, through initiatives such as the 2014 Girl Summit, and has made a significant contribution to knowledge and evidence on preventing abuse, including on global challenges such as child marriage and FGM.

The report also raises concerns that DFID’s programming, although high quality and innovative, is small compared to the scale of the challenge. While this is a promising start, DFID will need to scale up its work and integrate VAWG into other programming areas if it is to achieve transformative impact.

DFID has rapidly expanded its VAWG programming over the past five years. It now has 23 programmes dedicated to addressing VAWG with a total budget of £184 million, and more than 100 other programmes addressing VAWG.

This learning review examines a relatively new area of the aid programme where the evidence on what works is limited. It focuses on how DFID goes about building knowledge, testing new approaches and moving towards programming at scale.


  1. DFID to explain how it plans to approach scaling up of successful VAWG interventions through centrally funded programmes, at country level and by working with other donors and agencies.
  2. DFID to explain how it will step up its internal learning on VAWG and improve uptake of learning and evidence into the design and implementation of sectoral programmes.
  3. DFID to outline its plans to encourage uptake by external stakeholders of learning from the results of WhatWorks and other research.
  4. DFID to set a path to including VAWG more fully in its data collection and measurement systems.


Read the news story



Published 16 October 2015

Evidence gathering



Published 17 May 2016

Government respose

Published 9 June 2016

Parliamentary scrutiny

IDC hearing 13 July 2016

ICAI follow-up

Published June 2017