Analyzing the Effectiveness of Institutional Training for Preventing Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment in Peacekeeping

IPI’s Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) team, in partnership with the Gender and Security Sector Lab (GSS), hosted a virtual research workshop on “Analyzing the Effectiveness of Institutional Training for Preventing Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (SEAH) in Peacekeeping.” This May 17th event and related research are part of the Gender and Peace Operations Project, a multi-year initiative of the IPI WPS program funded by the Government of Canada’s Elsie Initiative.

One of the ways that the UN seeks to combat SEAH is through training. This research project seeks to understand how training at the national and international level (completed in-academy, in-service non-academy, pre-deployment, or during deployment) on topics related to gender and SEAH can influence perceptions (and potentially behavior) of military and police while deployed in UN peace operations. This discussion will support an upcoming report co-authored by IPI and GSS on the effectiveness of training for SEAH in peacekeeping.

To better understand the relationship between institutional training and SEAH, the researchers will employ a series of statistical tests, using cross-national survey responses from security personnel from ten different countries and twelve security institutions. This data was collected using the Measuring Opportunities for Women in Peace Operations (MOWIP) methodology for barrier assessments of military and police. With this data, the researchers will evaluate whether surveyed personnel who have engaged in different types of training (general gender or WPS training, training on the prevention of SEA, gender training for leadership, institutional harassment training, or specialized gender training on preventing sexual violence or civilian protection) have 1) different knowledge of gender mainstreaming policies and practices, such as UNSCR 1325; 2) different views of the integration and participation of women in peacekeeping; and 3) different beliefs and perceptions of SEAH.

Over 30 people attended the research workshop, with participation from civil society, academia, peace operations and training personnel, as well as various UN entities, including the Office of the Special Coordinator on Preventing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (UN-OCSEA). The policy paper for this project will be released towards the end of 2024.