Between 2015-2018, WRC undertook a development of a shared Theory of Change (ToC) for London Women’s organisations belonging to the London Violence Against Women and Girls Consortium (LVAWGC) in order to increase their capacity to identify and measure change relating to women’s empowerment, developed from international Human Rights Frameworks. 

The ToC model is located within feminist, anti-racist, intersectional, secularist  and human rights frameworks.

These progressive frameworks have formed the basis for action in most of the women' sector with a track record of successfully resisting gendered violence, sex discrimination and oppression. International research has shown that progressive, autonomous social movements have the greatest impact on changes in policy to end oppression (Women's Movements, Thomson Gale, 20018). Feminist movements have an enduring impact on influening policies on VAWG (Htun and Weldon, 2012).

The ToC is based on the experiences of the LVAWGC in London as well as others cited in research by a number of organisations working in the VAWG space, (i.e. Intersecting Inequalities, Women’s Budget Group, 2017, Unequal Regard, Unequal Protection, Sisters for Change, 2017, Special Rapporteur on VAWG, M Rashida, 2015).

The ToC is not prescriptive and acts as best practice guidance. It is a valuable tool for policy makers, commissioners and funding bodies when making decisions to address gender, race and other intersecting inequalities, and all forms of VAWG. It is the foundation for an expanded project identifying baselines, targets and SMART goals. With further consultation and funding, it could be expanded to include the views of other women’s and girls’ organisations in London and elsewhere in the UK, as well as organisations dealing with interrelated issues such as women/girls’ health, education etc.

Key achievements of the project were:

In addition, the project significantly improved the capacity and awareness of the LVAWGC members to prioritise a strategic focus in our quarterly consortium meetings, and as a result those meetings have identified key audiences in London to engage and influence. Over the next year the consortium will be strengthening its relationships with key London organisations, including the GLA, MOPAC, and London Funders.

We are grateful to Trust for London for funding this project.