Evaluation of White Ribbon Australia’s Engaging communities in sexual violence primary prevention project
WRA is undertaking a project funded by the Australian Department of Social Services (DSS) to expand its Community Action Groups (CAGs). The CAG model aims to:
- increase community understanding of men’s violence against women, particularly in terms of consent and preventing sexual violence and sexual harassment; and
- develop community-specific responses to promote gender equality and prevent all forms of men’s violence and abuse against women.
The project will expand the capacity of CAGs to develop and implement community-led, co-designed action plans in ten diverse communities across Australia, including two each in Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, and one each in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. The CAGs will be supported by five primary prevention officers (PPOs). WRA will provide training, tools, support and resources including education on stakeholder engagement, advocacy, primary prevention and community consultation to address the unique culture, circumstance and challenges of each community.
This project aims to understand how we can prevent sexual violence and sexual harassment before it happens by:
- addressing the core drivers, including gender inequality and disrespectful attitudes
- contributing to population-level attitudinal and behavioural change in areas of physical integrity/bodily autonomy, consent, healthy sexual relationships and victim blaming
- driving sustainable changes in community awareness, attitudes and behaviours that lead to, contribute to or minimise sexual violence and sexual harassment.
The evaluation will employ action research methods to evaluate the processes and outcomes of each CAG and its activities. The results of each CAG’s action research will be used to gauge the efficacy of the CAG model to increase community understanding of men’s violence against women, and develop community-specific responses through primary prevention activities. Each CAG will determine its own activities and impact measures through the action research process.
ANROWS is using an intersectionality-informed action research approach to the evaluation. ANROWS will work with the PPOs and each CAG both individually and through a community of practice to undertake at least one action research evaluation cycle involving:
- Developing an action plan using the CAG planning tool, primarily but not exclusively by :
- using the WRA CAG audit tool to scope the existing context of their primary prevention work and current community needs, drawing on existing data such as ABS data, local council data, health data and community services directories; and
- consulting with local groups including culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities and victim-survivor organisations, and other organisations working in primary prevention
- Implementing the interventions in the action plan (e.g. advocacy, education, and media campaigns; mentoring and awareness raising in local organisations and clubs, etc.)
- Designing and implementing evaluation activities focusing on routine service data collection systems and methods to measure the effectiveness, efficiency and outcomes of these interventions
- Analysing the data and reporting on the evaluation results
- Identifying and implementing improvements to the interventions.
In line with the 4th Action Plan’s third national priority to “respect, listen and respond to the diverse lived experiences and knowledge of women and their children affected by violence”, ANROWS will engage a panel of two women with lived experience to review the overall evaluation protocol and the CAGs’ evaluation plans and action research results.
The evaluation is significant for evaluating the efficacy of the CAG model for contributing to the project objectives in a range of social, cultural and jurisdictional contexts.
Dr Peter Ninnes, Evaluation Manager, ANROWS
Dr Tran Nguyen, Project Officer, ANROWS
This project is funded by the Australian Department of Social Services.