How to Succeed at VAW Prevention: Key elements of effective programmes

Across multiple settings and programme types, the same ingredients prove effective. Learn what they are and how to use them.

Course Summary

This course looks at the common characteristics of effective prevention programming, as emerging from the latest evidence and experience in the violence against women (VAW) prevention field. You will learn about the characteristics and how to apply them; explore examples of effective programming, including the characteristics that made them successful and those that proved to be a challenge; and consider how these ideas relate to your own programmes and contexts.


Support practitioners to design innovative, effective VAW prevention programmes and strengthen existing programmes.


Prevention programmes look different in every context. However, evidence and experience reveal that the most effective prevention programmes all maintain common characteristics. These characteristics are: intentional, holistic, transformative, interactive, aspirational, and exposure. Furthermore, in order to bring these programmes to life, it is essential that organisations engage in a thoughtful design process and uphold prevention principles across all parts of the programme cycle.

The course has nine virtual sessions  

  • Introduction 
  • Intentional 
  • Holistic 
  • Transformative 
  • Interactive 
  • Aspirational 
  • Exposure
  • Emerging issues
  • Looking forward

Learning objectives

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Understand each of the core elements that have proven effective in preventing VAW.
  • Analyse prevention programmes considering the elements of effective programming.
  • Apply the learning to different contexts, and groups, and to new and existing programming.


We know how much we can all learn from one another, so this course is designed to maximise participation and learning between participants. It will be facilitated by members of the Prevention Collaborative who bring deep experience in VAW prevention. Weekly sessions will involve participant sharing, presentations, and group work. Take-home assignments will reinforce and deepen learning.

The number of participants is limited in order to ensure this engagement. One of our team will contact you to confirm your participation or suggest other opportunities. This can mean being added to, a waiting list for the next session or taking another one of the courses to be released in the near future.


Participant Profile

This course is intended for individuals who work in the field of VAW prevention and have an understanding of prevention essentials. Programme leads, designers, and managers are ideal candidates. Participants should be prepared to think about how the course material can be applied to their experience and context and be willing to share with others.

Date and time

This course will meet every Wednesday starting on 20 October and ending on 15 December at:

  • 1000 to 1200 New York (nb the start time will change to 0900 New York time starting 7 November due to daylight saving time ending) 
  • 1400 to 1600 Accra 
  • 1700 to 1900 Nairobi
  • 2100 to 2300 Bangkok


To ensure that all participants have a common understanding of key VAW prevention concepts, successful applicants must complete the prerequisite course, Prevention Essentials Refresher (self-paced), by Monday, 18 October. If you have received a certificate of completion for either the facilitated or self-paced Prevention Essentials course, there is no need to repeat!