Time to actInternational Protocol for the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict

Train the Trainers Workshop

18-19 December 2017

Pilot Roadshow at the Council of Ministers

March-April 2018


Table of Contents

Introduction.. 3

Train-the-Trainers workshop, December 2017. 4

Summary of activities. 4

Summary of discussion. 4

Conclusions and Recommendations. 6

Pilot Roadshow at the Council of Ministers. 8

Summary of Activities. 8

Summary of Discussion. 8

Conclusions and Recommendations. 8

Appendices. 10

Appendix I: Training-the-Trainers Programme. 10

Appendix II: Notes on the Training-the-Trainers workshop. 11





The objective of this project was to support the mainstreaming of the re-launched International Protocol for the Prevention of Sexual Violence in Conflict (PSVI) through a road show, service provider conference and network steering group. The real time evaluation of the delivery of the project adapted the planned outputs that were delivered to achieve these objectives. Instead of a conference the team visited each of the relevant government departments and met with key stakeholders to gain their support for the train the trainers programme and the road show. This was achieved and in December 2017, when the first train-the-trainers programme with the network steering group took place.

In turn, the key departments agreed to host the roadshow and a proposal for supporting the implementation of the training in the curriculum of key departments was completed. This report outlines the content of the train-the-trainers programme and the findings of the discussions between stakeholders on the roll out of the protocol in the training of first responders and other relevant Iraqi public servants and civil society activists. The bulk of the activity in this part of the project was the delivery of the training itself. The content of the training is shown in the training slide deck and the response to the training is documented in the monitoring and evaluation report. This comprises in-depth interviews with the participants and questionnaires.

Given the small resources available, the training programme was only able to make a small start in raising awareness of the methodologies outlined in the protocol and the wider issues of supporting first responders and survivors.  The initial knowledge transfer elements of the work have been achieved and there is considerable scope for building on and developing the two networks now established by this project and the preceding project on the stigma of sexual violence.

This report details the discussions between the network steering group who were present at the training workshop and who met the next day to discuss in more detail the implementation of the Protocol in their departments.


Train-the-Trainers workshop, December 2017

Summary of activities


In December 2017 the team delivered a train-the-trainers workshop with members of the HR and training departments across various government ministries and civil society groups.

The government ministries represented at the workshop were the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry of Health, the Council of Ministers and the Prime Minister’s Office. The civil society representatives included media professionals, academics and NGO staff.

The first day of the workshop covered the key concepts outlined in the International Protocol, making a number of specific references to the Iraqi context. The participants were then split into breakout groups organised by sector to discuss the areas where the International Protocol might be used as a resource for training frontline service providers and first responders to survivors in their ministries and organisations.

The second day of the workshop was attended by a smaller group, with at least one representative of each of the government ministries involved in attendance. The participants discussed the logistics of integrating the Protocol into training and policy in their ministries, highlighting the opportunities and challenges.


Summary of discussion


Areas where the International Protocol might be used as a resource for training frontline service providers and first responders to survivors, as discussed by the following groups of participants on Day 1:


Group 1: Iraqi Security ministries and departments

  • Forensic Investigations of Sexual violence crimes;
  • Behavioural psychology;
  • Documentation and incident reporting;
  • First aid trainings – Victims and survivors of sexual violence;
  • Human rights induction program;
  • Following up, monitoring and evaluation; &
  • General investigations skills.

Group 2: Academics and civil activists

  • Stress Management;
  • Avoid being a sexual violence victim;
  • Dialogue / communication skills;
  • Conflict resolution;
  • Case studies and practical cases;
  • Public relations and Media;
  • Humanitarian international law; &
  • Budgeting and resources allocation.

Group 3: Government departments and ministries working on Resolution 1325

  • Psychological support;
  • Communication skills;
  • Negotiation skills;
  • Awareness programs.

Group 4: Human rights and psychological specialists

  • Psychological support techniques;
  • Human Rights;
  • Post-trauma recovery;
  • Media support and media marketing;
  • Interviewing and data collection; &
  • Recovery and re-mixing of victims back to society.


The focus group that attended the second day of the workshop discussed how training on the protocol could be mainstreamed and how the network could support this process. They discussed the following ideas:

  • Including hospitals and dispensaries in the training programs as they will deal with the victims and survivors when they give medical care at front line locations;
  • Implement awareness-raising programs for society to increase attention and awareness of sexual violence crimes;
  • Establish a training guide to be a reference for the first responding teams;
  • Mobilise media efforts to support victims, survivors and first response teams;
  • Build a database of resources to be used as a reference;
  • Use real case studies about sexual violence;
  • Establish a specialised studies centre (Think Tank);
  • Organize joint workshops between local teams and international teams for exchanging knowledge, experience and best practice; &
  • Bring in international experts to train the teams.



The participants were realistic about the barriers to achieving these objectives and they identified key challenges as:

  • Insufficient budget to implement training, particularly in liberated areas where reconstruction and repairing damaged infrastructure is taking priority;
  • Lack of experts on sexual violence as the issue has only really come to the forefront since 2014;
  • Lack of buy-in from top levels means bureaucracy prevents individual departments implementing training to frontline services;
  • Lack of existing or functioning infrastructure to run trainings and workshops, particularly in liberated areas where much infrastructure has been destroyed by fighting; &
  • Lack of existing infrastructure and facilities in courts for holding hearings, collecting evidence and convicting perpetrators. Need for the right facilities for survivors and the rehabilitating of the court buildings.


Conclusions and Recommendations


The Day 2 participants agreed and concluded that the following specific initiatives should be implemented in order to successfully mainstream training on the protocol:


  1. Participants agreed to establish a joint committee (Network Steering group) for training across the ministries represented which would:
    • Provide a forum and a shared space for developing joint solutions to the barriers faced on this issue
    • Create a database of training materials and make use of their collective training resources and infrastructure.
    • Include medical facilities – each Ministry should be formally invited to send a representative.


  1. Representatives from the Ministry of Health would like to work jointly on the extension and sustainability of the awareness raising Roadshow. This will be developed after the delivery of the Roadshow.


  1. Participants agreed that the key elements in the follow-on training that is needed in Iraq would cover the following:
    • Forensic and general Investigations of Sexual violence crimes with more support on interviewing, documentation and incident reporting based on the protocol reflecting human rights and international law;
    • Socio-psychological support for first responders, greater training in first aid both physical and based on behavioural psychology training and stress management as well as survivor support for post-trauma recovery and rehabilitation;


  1. A strategic communications programme based around case studies and practical cases and directed at raising awareness amongst both officials about sexual violence as a crime and the public to try to prevent it taking place;


  1. Disseminate training guide to be a reference for the first responding teams and support this with a database of resources to be used as a reference.



Pilot Roadshow at the Council of Ministers

Summary of Activities


A pilot roadshow on the International Protocol was launched the General Secretariat for the Council of Ministers in Baghdad in March 2018. The roadshow consists of banners, leaflets, a quiz and a PowerPoint presentation outlining the key concepts of the International Protocol.

The Roadshow will spend a week at the Council of Ministers and, as agreed at the Training-the-Trainers workshop, four other ministries will also pay host to the Roadshow for one week during March and April in order to maximise its visibility and sustainability. These ministries are the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of the Interior and the Prime Minister’s Office.

A representative of the Council of Ministers has been placed in charge of the Roadshow on the ground for the sake of providing continuity, and he will be responsible for transporting the roadshow between the government ministries, liaising with the representatives of the network across the different ministries, and answering any questions on the Roadshow content throughout its duration.

The Roadshow was launched at the Council of Ministers on Sunday 18th March, and the opening was attended by the network created at the Training-the-Trainers workshop in December, along with a representative of UNDP.


Summary of Discussion


At the opening session of the pilot Roadshow, the attendees were welcomed by the TSRN team and by the Council of Ministers representative responsible for the Roadshow on the ground. The representative of UNDP gave a short talk on training UNDP has conducted of front line service providers and expressed a desire for UNDP to work with the network to conduct training on the protocol in the future.

The attendees then discussed their role in cascading the roadshow across their ministries and each expressed a desire for further training workshops to be held in their own ministries on the protocol in order to share and spread the knowledge they have gained on the protocol through their own training. They also discussed the barriers facing them in their efforts to expand training on PSVI in their ministries.



Conclusions and Recommendations


The participants came to the following conclusions in their discussion at the opening of the Roadshow:

  • They all expressed a desire for further training in their ministries, in coordination with the efforts of Council of Ministers’ National Team on Resolution 1325. However, they stressed that resources are currently not available for them to be able to do so independently.
  • In some ministries, such as the Ministry of Defence, it is also still difficult to raise the issue of sexual violence in conflict, particularly when attempting to make legislative and policy changes.
  • As a result of the programme and of the training that UNDP has delivered on PSVI (though not specifically the protocol) to frontline service providers, there is now a basic knowledge of the key concepts of the protocol both at the top and at a grassroots level. However, there is currently no mid-level awareness of the protocol and it has therefore not been implemented into policy and training. This means that, while first responders might have a basic awareness of the protocol’s key concepts, there is no framework for these concepts to be systematically applied.
  • The network created by this programme has the potential to provide the missing link by cascading their own training on the protocol down across their ministries and the governorates.
  • The participants highlighted the importance of rolling out training on the protocol at the level of the governorates, in particular to women’s offices across the country.


A natural follow-on for this programme would be for each representative to develop an action plan for rolling out training on the protocol across their ministry, using the network created by this programme to support their efforts. This would allow for the creation of a training and policy framework to support the practical use of the protocol on the ground by first-responders and frontline services providers.





Appendix I: Training-the-Trainers Programme


International Protocol for the Prevention of Sexual Violence in Conflict

Train the Trainers Programme, 18-19 December 2017


Monday 18th December

9.00-10.00: Overview of the Protocol and the nature of Sexual Violence in Conflict –

Exercise:  on identifying types of Sexual Violence

Output: ways of implementing into the training for First Responders and others dealing with victims of Sexual Violence


10.30-11.30: Outline training programme for First Responders in initial contact with Survivors

Exercise: how would this need to be adapted for an Iraqi context

Output: edited bullet points of training programme for First Responders


12.00-1.00: Identifying survivors and other witnesses, informed consent, confidentiality and referrals

Exercise: Iraqi context of survivors and systems of referral

Output: Outline procedures for identification and referral


2.00-3.00: Interviewing and gathering evidence – the role of First Responders

Exercise: Interview role play against checklist

Output: Iraqi context for interviewing


Tuesday 19th December


09.00 – 09.30:  Re-cap of Day 1 and address any questions or clarifications.


09.30 – 11.30: Group work on creating training cascade plans from first line Trainers to 2nd line trainers and ultimately frontline responders


11.30 – 12.30: M&E interviews


Appendix II: Notes on the Training-the-Trainers workshop


Key Questions Addressed:


  • What are the barriers standing in the way of you implementing these plans and how can you get around them? (both ministry/organisation specific and country wide)
  • How can you mainstream training on the protocol? How do you make this work logistically? (individual ministries)
  • How can maintaining this network support your efforts? (group)
  • For every question, what can we do to support you?


  1. What are the barriers standing in the way of you implementing these plans and how can you get around them? (both individual and group)

Each participant brainstormed individually then the group came together to discuss. This took up a considerable amount of time as many participants spent considerable time highlighting the problems facing their own ministry/organisation, particularly budgetary and resource constraints.

This often led the discussion off topic, however it was useful in identifying common barriers facing the participants across the various ministries and departments represented, including the following:

  • Insufficient budget to implement training, particularly in liberated areas where reconstruction and repairing damaged infrastructure is taking priority;
  • Lack of experts on sexual violence as the issue has only really come to the forefront since 2014;
  • Lack of buy-in from top levels means bureaucracy and budget allocation prevents individual departments implementing training to frontline services (i.e. because of bureaucracy and budget allocation);
  • Lack of existing or functioning infrastructure to run trainings and workshops, particularly in liberated areas where much infrastructure has been destroyed by fighting.


The participants agreed on the creation of a joint committee for training across their various ministries which would share a space, a database of training materials and make use of their collective training resources and infrastructure. They suggested implementing a core curriculum which would include ‘Basic level’ training in SGBV, with the protocol as a framework, and then advanced level training specific to each ministry or department where such training is required. The participants unanimously expressed their willingness, if helpful, to put in writing a more detailed outline of the barriers facing them.



Discussion notes: Security group


Naeema Simsim (Ministry of Defence):

  • Barriers
    • Masculine, fighting culture within the MOD;
    • Budgetary constraints, particularly with regards to issues like human rights and sexual violence.
    • Potential solutions:
    • Begin training with their cadre of female staff (545 female staff, 70 of them officers, the rest civil staff).


Shatha Husham Jasim (National Security):

  • Barriers
    • No specialised department dealing with women but they have staff dealing with sexual violence. There is small social crime unit that covers women, children etc. but it’s very small and way down the food chain in terms of the bureaucracy so has little power and influence to implement new programmes.
    • They need a specialised department for women’s issues and need to activate the role of women and human rights sections within the ministry.
    • Will struggle to implement anything relating to the protocol. They already have specialised staff dealing with sexual violence, however they cannot raise the issue of the protocol to a higher level because there are no staff or budget to deal with it.


Capt. Amir Abdul Ali (Ministry of Interior):

  • Barriers
    • Challenge of investigating sexual violence crimes, particularly in liberated areas as infrastructure has been destroyed so there is nowhere to implement training. The current priority is reconstruction, not training.
    • Violence against women is a sensitive issue so a safe environment is necessary for survivors. However, it’s difficult to even start investigations without this vital infrastructure. In order to start training staff on the protocol and develop their training skills, they need to spread awareness of the protocol, but don’t have the budget to do so. Need to put a plan for an awareness training programme to build a culture around, and advocacy for the protocol, possibly within the Iraqi constitution and the Iraqi national law.
    • Issues with post-sexual violence like pregnancy.
    • The International Cooperation Directorate in MOI, which takes care of relationships with external actors like EU, NATO, has no coordination with UK Embassy.
  • Potential solutions
    • The MoI have a specialised security training institute in Baghdad, which is specialised in training female staff. This is a unique institute in the MENA so they need to reactivate this institute. Could be a centre for delivering training.


Discussion notes: Government ministries group


Dr Alya’a Hussein Ali (Ministry of Health)

  • Barriers
    • There is a perception that sexual violence is only an issue in conflict and post-conflict contexts, while few think of domestic violence as sexual violence. Lack of awareness is huge problem. Before 2003 this issue was untouched! Need a plan to develop awareness through good advertising, public campaigns etc.
    • Possibility of crossover / confusion between the international protocol and the UNFPA Critical Management of Rape (CMR) protocol.
    • Family Protection Court has been stopped.
    • Lack of national trainers in this field because it’s such a new issue, so need to build a national team of trainers
  • Potential solutions
    • Wants to establish a centre to tackle GBV in general with two departments: one focused on developing training programmes and the other on marketing, media, advertising campaigns etc. for raising awareness.


Asmaa Fouad Ali (Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs – Women’s department)

  • Barriers
    • Huge lack of trainers with experience in this issue and no budget for training.
    • The babies born from sexual violence do not get the same social security as other children. Many end up in orphanages because some Yezidis are rejecting their babies because they are considered Muslim (because Islam passes from the father). But these orphanages are not enough.
    • Need for support for frontline workers, e.g. psychological support and listening centres
  • Potential solutions
    • They have coverage in all provinces and they give more focus to provinces where violations are worse.


Anwar Hasan Nimat (Supreme Judging Council)

  • Barriers
    • Current priorities are infrastructure. Supreme Council of Court responsible for collecting evidence and convicting perpetrators and giving rights back to the survivors, but the courts have been destroyed in liberated areas so the council of courts had to find alternative places. Need the right facilities for survivors. Need support rehabilitating the court buildings. If the victim should be able to come to the court considering the court a safe space, a place where they can seek justice and protection. But the court cannot provide this. So this doubles the survivor’s trauma and also reinforces their lack of faith in the government to provide this. Facilities and infrastructure are the main problem as far as the courts are concerned. There’s no safe haven, social or legal protection for the victims. This is currently a priority.
  • Potential solutions
    • Awareness raising in societies necessary to offer victims some level of understanding and moral support/protection, while they are unable to access safe haven through the courts. Preventive measures necessary, especially for children in schools.


Layla Altamimi (General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers – Women’s Empowerment)

  • Barriers
    • Lack of resources


Amir Badir Salim (General Secretariat for the Council of Ministers – 1325)

  • Barriers
    • Absence of legal protection against domestic violence – there is a law pending for this but it has not been approved by the Federal parliament. Difficult to take action and launch initiatives without legal backing of this law. Every process (including launching training) requires legal basis.
    • Instability in the structure of ministries and people moving across departments creates confusion and causes delays.
    • Lack of availability of curriculums relating to security council resolutions and protocol. No materials to reference and lean on when implementing plans. They need international reports to use as a basis for new initiatives.
    • Workshops needed to reach the provinces.
    • Lack of unified efforts among external actors. E.g. UN, Embassy etc.
  • Potential solutions
    • Focus on courts and judges



Discussion notes: Academics and civil activists group


Arkan Alattabi (Theatre Director)

  • Potential solution
    • Dealing with barriers could be a topic for a training programme. This will increase the skills of the trainees to help them deal with challenges which will make training more effective etc.


Ali Al Sudani joined the discussion:

  • Barrier
    • Decentralisation is a problem! Causes lack of coordination and bureaucracy. Need to create one, unified system for women, rather than each province having their own.


  1. How do you mainstream this training logistically? What is the best way forward for this network of practitioners?


The team are still working on the logistical plans. They brainstormed as a group and made the following suggestions for how to mainstream training on the international protocol, manage logistics and take the network forward:


  • Focus on training female staff on the frontline;
  • Establish a cross-ministry training committee. This project must go through formal channels – i.e. letters to the ministry, each ministry to nominate one representative and establish policy and meeting agendas etc.
  • Conduct assessments to determined what training is needed and where, and design training strategies according to the results;
  • Make training practical using case studies and scenarios;
  • Mainstreaming through exposing Iraqis to external examples, how such programmes have been rolled out in other places;
  • Time management is important;
  • Protection for first responders;
  • Need to establish a National Response Centre to cut through bureaucracy, as implementing training needs authority to respond quickly to provide additional training as and where it’s needed on the ground;
  • Training should be split between different levels, from basic to advanced with specialised modules for different departments;
  • Need to create a collective conference across the ministries that explains all the details of the project to stakeholders and decision makers so that everybody knows what needs to be done, to encourage buy in from the top authority levels;
  • Media support;
  • Improvised theatre;
  • Establish sub committees within the network according to specialisation.