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Planning a successful prevention initiative

Create a successful initiative to prevent violence against women by following a process that engages others to address the drivers of violence and create change. 

A flow chart showing the prevention planning cycle in a grey circle with a grey tab and icon for each stage in the process.
The prevention planning cycle

Understand the problem and the actions required

First, make sure you understand the drivers of violence against women and the actions that are required to prevent it. 

Explore your options

Explore and learn more about:

  • the setting the work will be in – learn more about prevention in workplaces, the media, sports settings, schools, tertiary education settings and local government.
  • women’s experiences of violence, gender inequality and other forms of inequality in the setting you’re working in
  • the people you will need to work with, including the audience for your initiative, the decision-makers and people with influence in your setting and the people and organisations who can support you – consider undertaking some stakeholder mapping.

Plan your initiative

When you have a clear idea of the context you’re working in, it’s time to plan your activities in detail. The planning stage includes the following key elements: 

Decide which drivers of violence you will address 

Decide which of the 4 drivers of violence against women your initiative will address – it may address multiple drivers, or just one. 

Choose a prevention technique 

Make sure you choose a prevention technique that is suitable for your setting and audience. 

  • Direct participation programs involve face-to-face engagement with individuals or groups. 
  • Community mobilisation and strengthening uses community partnerships and collaboration to support communities to find their own solutions. 
  • Organisational development involves promoting positive organisational structures and cultures, based on respect and equality between women and men. 
  • Communications and social marketing campaigns can be used to raise awareness of violence against women and challenge harmful attitudes and behaviours. 
  • Civil society advocacy involves building and supporting social movements that encourage governments, organisations, corporations and communities to take action to prevent violence against women.

Develop an implementation plan 

An implementation plan is a plan to put actions into place and make them happen. You will need to think through how your actions will respond to the drivers you’ve identified in a meaningful way, in your setting and with your audience. Consider developing a logic model to support your thinking.

You will then need to think about activities, timeframes, the resources required and who is responsible for each initiative.  

You should also consider: 

Implement – put your plan into action

When you have finished planning, it’s time to put your strategy into action.

Refer back to your plan throughout your initiative to make sure you are achieving the change you have planned to create. Be realistic about timeframes and flexible when unexpected challenges appear.

Evaluate your initiative

Evaluation is how to decide whether actions are effective or not. 

It is important to evaluate prevention work to understand about what works and what doesn’t work, and to examine unintended consequences.  

Keep learning

It’s important to reflect on what you have learnt and use that knowledge to make changes to your plan if you need to. This is known as an ‘action learning’ approach. Action learning uses critical reflection to see what worked, and identify areas for development.  

You can also think about sharing your learning. Sharing information and learning with others is central to building effective prevention work across Australia. 

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What is prevention?