With funding from the European Union (EU) and working with a local partner, NCA has been implementing an action to increase access to justice for survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) in Zambia’s Eastern and Western provinces since September 2015. The action intended to build on Zambia’s existing national legal and policy frameworks, including the Anti-Gender Based Violence Act (2011).
In 2019, NCA commissioned A-Trade Partners to conduct an external evaluation of the project. Its main purpose was to determine how far the project contributed to achieving set outcomes by assessing its effectiveness, relevance, efficiency, sustainability and the impact of its processes and achievements. The research employed a mixed method approach, using qualitative and quantitative data. This included a questionnaire, in-depth interviews and key informant interviews, alongside a literature review.
Key findings and recommendations:
High staff turnover of trained staff at NCA’s implementing partner affected institutional sustainability.
Empowerment measures reached women and GBV survivors, 60% of whom were able to access the procedure for claiming rights through formal and informal judicial systems.
The action reached only 47 traditional leaders. However, those reached started to denounce negative practices that perpetuate GBV including domestic violence, child marriage and teenage pregnancy. NCA should strengthen traditional leaders’ project engagement and use them to transform negative social norms that contribute to GBV.
The lack of documentation of customary law fragmented efforts to manage GBV cases via traditional systems of justice, disadvantaging women and girls. Local court judges and officers require more training, as many rely on customary laws to determine GBV cases.
Using male role models as agents of change against GBV was an effective in changing negative social norms and attitudes.
Economic empowerment is key to attaining gender justice yet there was no collaboration between this project and NCA’s economic empowerment programme. These two programmes should be integrated.
Lawyers should be based in the target locations to engage the community, and offer advice and support.