WHO releases a handbook for the documentation of interpersonal violence prevention programmes
10 March 2004 - Interpersonal violence includes child maltreatment, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, youth violence and elder abuse. Governments, NGOs and communities around the world are working actively to prevent interpersonal violence, and international agencies increasingly are providing support to strengthen prevention activities. This heightened awareness of the need for prevention has brought with it the recognition that there are serious gaps in our knowledge about prevention programmes. For instance, few communities or countries have any systematic knowledge of how many prevention programmes operate within them, what types of interpersonal violence and risk factors are addressed, which target populations these programmes serve, what intervention strategies they employ and how the programmes attempt to monitor the effectiveness of their interventions. To help fill the gap, this Handbook for the documentation of interpersonal violence prevention programmes is designed to enable the systematic collection of information about all types of programmes, irrespective of the type of interpersonal violence they deal with, the intervention strategies employed, the level at which they seek to intervene (i.e. individual, relational, community, societal), or the stage of development of the programme. It is applicable to programmes with or without formal mechanisms for evaluating and documenting their effects. Widespread application of this handbook in low-to-middle and high income societies, will do much to advance the interpersonal violence prevention field by making visible the important but unseen - and hence largely unacknowledged - work of prevention practitioners everywhere. All agencies with an interest in strengthening interpersonal violence prevention capacity are encouraged to implement the handbook. This will make programmes more visible to policy makers, donors and other violence prevention practitioners. In addition, the documentation process will assist individual programmes to strengthen their focus, to establish mutual goals and to share intervention strategies.