Innovation Competition on Youth-led GBVF Prevention in Urban Spaces

Innovation Competition on Youth-led GBVF Prevention in Urban Spaces – Resources


South African Cities Network

Publication date

01 Sep 2023

Uploaded on

20 Sep 2023



Downloads & Links resources


While government spheres play a critical role in addressing GBVF e.g., through policymaking, justice system reform and the planning, budgeting and implementation of programmes and interventions, government cannot do it alone. Addressing GBVF, like tackling all other types of crime and violence, requires an all-of-society approach that not only reacts to incidents, but focuses on inclusive prevention approaches and the risk factors and socio-structural determinants that drive gender-based violence. Both prevention and response efforts are essential and interlinked and should be part of a comprehensive, locally adapted approach to addressing GBV from individual, interpersonal, community, and society levels.

Prevention is possible and it is thus important that every sector contributes to co-create innovative responses to GBVF prevention as part of inclusive violence prevention and advocate for more intentional and integrated programmes, especially at the local level. Young people in particular, have a role to play in prevention processes in recognition that a) they make-up the majority of both victims and perpetrators of violence, b) youth support programmes often ignore the intersectionality of risk factors, often only focusing on unemployment, c) youth voices are often not considered in policy making and implementation processes albeit that these have a direct impact on how they navigate their existence and their access to resources, and d) where young people have developed interventions that respond to critical community issues and needs (many of which have safety impacts, although not necessarily designed as such), youth capacity building programmes are often geared towards entrepreneurship skills training and financial business resourcing and less on community development and/or demystifying how to partner with government as well as other actors for interventions that benefit communities.

It is against this backdrop that an innovation competition for the support of youth-led, neighbourhood-scale and public space-based GBVF prevention interventions in urban areas, is planned.

This competition contributes to the materialisation of the National Strategic Plan on GBV and Femicide (NSP GBVF).

The call for “innovative” responses to GBVF prevention acknowledges the complexity of GBVF and the difficult history that South Africa has with violence in general. It further acknowledges that there are indeed community-based organisations, groups and individuals, particularly young people, that are actively grappling with and responding to GBVF in communities and doing so with limited resources and institutional support, and in the face of various cultural, religious and societal resistances, amongst other challenges.