Innovative data tool strengthens services for gender-based violence survivors in Mozambique
NAMPULA, Mozambique - In Mozambique, the Spotlight Initiative has supported the development of InfoViolência, a digital platform that makes it easier to gather, organize and manage data linked to cases of gender-based violence (GBV). The platform is the first of its kind in the country.
Improving the quality, accuracy and availability of data on violence against women and girls is key to guiding the development of plans, policies and budgets for evidence-based decision-making that strengthens investments, reduces gaps in service and puts GBV survivors at the centre of responses.
"InfoViolência is a gain not only in terms of the quality of the data collected, but also in reducing the response time for survivors of violence," says Tonecas Manhiça, Head of the Department of Statistics, Studies and Dissemination in the Ministry of the Interior.
Managed by the Ministry of the Interior (MoI), through the Police, the platform can improve coordination and agility in managing violence cases across the health, justice and social sectors.
When a survivor goes to an Integrated Services Centre (called “CAIs” in Portuguese) or a police station to report a case of violence, the attending police officer can use InfoViolência to gather and populate case information, which then automatically generates a report for use and easy reference.
Most importantly, however, the platform reduces the response time for GBV survivors. The creation of a single form for registering cases simplifies and speeds up the process, avoiding additional discomfort for survivors who are otherwise forced to re-share their experience multiple times with multiple services.
Though still in the pilot phase, once fully operational, InfoViolência has the potential to be a primary tool used by the other sectors involved in GBV case management. Before the InfoViolência platform, the process was done using a printed form, which caused delays in transferring information from one department to another. As the CAIs serve as a ‘one-stop-centre’ for GBV survivors, InfoViolência contributes to efficiency t by digitizing and safely storing case management information.
Winner of the global Spotlight Initiative Innovation Award, the platform "brings huge benefits, as we will have reliable data on gender-based violence in the shortest possible time," commented Trindade João, Head of the Statistics, Studies and Dissemination Office at the Provincial Command of the Police in Nampula.
Since 2019, more than 268 police officers have been trained to use the platform, learning how to upload cases of GBV onto the system and generate reports to identify trends and gaps, determine where investment and support are needed most, and also to see where key services are available. These trainings are vital in building the sector’s capacity to prevent and combat gender-based violence.
The digital tool is critical in Mozambique, where over 37% of women have suffered sexual or physical violence (DHS, 2011). With InfoViolência, reports on GBV have the potential to be issued at any time as the data will be available in real-time, rather than disseminated annually, as had been previously done in the past. This change allows for investments and trends to be monitored more frequently. The platform, designed to be used nationwide, is currently being piloted in four Mozambican provinces - Maputo Cidade, Gaza, Manica and Nampula - with plans to scale-up.
For Mr Manhiça of the Department of Statistics, Studies and Dissemination in the Ministry of the Interior, the impact of strengthening data collection and management is clear: “with a responsive and integrated system, cases will be better attended to, response time will decrease, and women and girls will feel more confident that their cases of GBV will be resolved”.
The global Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls is a United Nations initiative supported by the European Union and other partners.. In Mozambique, the Spotlight Initiative is led by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Action (MGCAS) in partnership with the United Nations and civil society organizations (CSOs).
By Hélder Xavier and Jessica Lomelin