Co-produced with UN Women

Together for Prevention: Handbook on Multisectoral National Action Plans (NAPs) to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG)

Access / Download

The eradication of VAWG hinges on preventing violence in the first place through a comprehensive, inclusive approach, with gender equality at its core. This handbook is designed to strengthen national, multisectoral efforts for VAWG prevention and to inspire governments and stakeholders to prioritise, fund, and commit to preventing and ending VAWG in our lifetime.

Access / Download


Together for Prevention is a handbook on multisectoral, national action plans (NAPs) which encourages and supports governments and other relevant stakeholders to work together to design, prioritise, and resource efforts to prevent VAWG in a coordinated manner to create change. The process outlined in this Handbook is designed to ensure the expertise, experiences, and learnings of different actors across civil society, the private sector, development actors, and donors are reflected in, and integral to, the national approach to preventing VAWG.

Key features of the Handbook:

  • A step-by-step practical process to support NAP preparation, development, and implementation.

  • Checklists for each stage of development and implementation.

  • Practical examples and tips from recent country NAP development processes.

  • Example actions and supporting resources categorised by government departments.

  • User-friendly templates to support specific steps in NAP development and implementation.

  • Useful resources including a bibliography setting out the prevention evidence base and relevant international and regional frameworks


Together for Prevention is for:

  • Policymakers with responsibility for the development of multisectoral NAPs to prevent VAWG;

  • Civil society and development partners advocating for a whole-of-government multisectoral prevention approach or involved in the development of a NAP;

  • Development partners providing support to the development of whole-of-government NAPs; and

  • Practitioners and other stakeholders involved in NAP implementation.


VAWG is one of the world’s most prevalent human rights violations, with 1 in 3 women worldwide subjected to either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence (IPV) or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. VAWG has serious short- and long-term physical, economic, and psychological consequences on women and girls, preventing their full and equal participation in society. While the statistics are alarming, global evidence also shows that VAWG is preventable.

Despite the increase in the number of countries - grounded in international and human rights frameworks - implementing NAPs for this cause, many focus on the aftermath of violence, instead of addressing the root causes to prevent it.

Together for Prevention is rooted in prevention frameworks, informed by new evidence and recent experiences, offering a step-by-step practical approach.


This Handbook draws on evidence-informed prevention practice and includes examples of promising approaches. A series of key informant interviews and focus group discussions were conducted to explore learnings from NAP development processes in countries including Australia, Peru, Fiji, Cambodia, and South Africa. Key informant interviews were also held with experts who were involved in the development of UN Women’s Handbook for National Action Plans on Violence against Women (thereafter NAPs Handbook 2012) and/or who have specific expertise in NAP development. A review panel, including potential users of the Handbook and prevention experts, was also engaged in the drafting process to ensure the Handbook’s usability.