Back in Motion: 26th Cycle Cohort In-Person Workshop


Istanbul, Türkiye - From 25 to 29 February, the historic and bustling city of Istanbul became a little bit busier as the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund) brought together its #UNTFCommunity from its 26th grant cycle for a capacity enhancement workshop. The in-person event, a UN Trust Fund “tradition” that was briefly paused during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowed grantee organizations to share experiences, network and foster a sense of community. The grantees also met their UN Trust Fund finance and monitoring and evaluation focal points, and portfolio managers who will collaborate with them over the lifetimes of their projects.  

Group of seven people sitting and standing in the corner of a room discussing a poster hung on the wall
Poster session at the Capacity Enhancement Workshop in Istanbul.

The workshop 

The four-day workshop, held in the weeks before International Women’s Day and the 68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, marked a crucial opportunity for grantee organizations to come together as a community and further their efforts to build a world free from violence against women and girls.  

At the opening of the workshop, Elisa Fernandez, Deputy Regional Director, UN Women Europe and Central Asia, said: “This workshop inspires us all to learn, exchange insights and solutions, and foster a global network of practitioners in the field of ending violence against women and girls, and therefore bolster women’s and feminist movements.”  

Day 1: Foundations for Collaboration and Understanding 

Grantee partners presented their projects using the “world cafe” method where people could ask questions, find commonalities among projects in different parts of the world, and share good practices.  

For organizations such as SETU Nepal and Shakti Milan Samaj (SMS), which are running projects working on the intersection between gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS in Nepal, the exercise enabled them to establish contact and map referral services to strengthen their support network for women living with HIV who are also survivors of violence.  

A poster
Posters from the Organizational Resilience exercise during Day 2. Credit: Diep Nguyen/UN Trust Fund

Day 2: Project Design and Crisis Resilience 

Day 2’s focus was how to apply the programming principles of ending violence against women in forthcoming projects. Grantee partners also met portfolio managers to discuss their project activities in detail to ensure that the expected immediate, mid- and longer-term results are realistic and measurable, and adequately reflect their project’s aims.  

A key exercise concentrated on crises and organizational resilience. It aimed to support participants’ understanding of how diverse crises can differently affect organizations and the projects they lead, and how the nature of the crises influences the impacts on marginalized women and girls. Participants identified and classified types of crises, forms of challenges (such as institutional, organizational and programmatic) and ways to mitigate and respond to crises.  

Day 3: Monitoring, Data, and Safety 

Grantee partners immersed themselves in monitoring and evaluation methodology. They examined different aspects of creating indicators, monitoring and analysis as part of practice-based knowledge. The UN Trust Fund monitoring and evaluation team provided guidelines on safe and ethical data collection in the context of ending violence against women and girls, and, in some cases, in complex settings.  

Khin Zar Mon, representative from CARE International Myanmar, described social backlash and physical threats or blackmail while collecting data on violence against women in the community, and stressed the importance of confidentiality. She added: “We need to also identify issues such as secondary trauma among social workers who take on the responsibility of data collection on violence.” 

Day 4 

The last day was dedicated to learning about the UN Trust Fund’s reporting system “GMS” (Grants Management System) through a lab-style workshop. Prepared by the UN Trust Fund’s operations team, various scenarios were created for participants to navigate the GMS with hands-on, step-by-step support.  

A large group of people is standing behind a row of people sitting down at a large table, all looking at the same computer
UN Trust Fund grantee partners joined together during GMS Lab exercise. Credit: Diep Nguyen/UN Trust Fund

Azizakhon Nozimova from the Public Organization Office for Initiative Development (“MIR”, Tajikistan) reflected on the importance of receiving support to finalize the organization’s project, and appreciated the chance “to meet colleagues who are working for the same cause, learn about their good practices and even see the opportunity to adapt for our own project.” 

Additionally, UN Women colleagues from the finance units of various UN Trust Fund’s Country Offices met up with grantee partners with whom they will be collaborating closely.  

A Testament to Collective Action and Empowerment 

The UN Trust Fund Cycle 26 Capacity Enhancement workshop stands as a testament to the power of collective action and the shared resolve to end violence against women and girls. Through intensive sessions, interactive discussions, and collaborative activities, grantees were not only equipped with practical tools and insights but also inspired to forge ahead with renewed vigor and purpose. The workshop underscored the UN Trust Fund's unwavering support for its grantees, highlighting the collaborative spirit that drives the global effort to end violence against women and girls. As the workshop drew to a close, participants left with actionable insights, strengthened networks, and an invigorated commitment to making a tangible difference in the lives of women and girls around the world. 

Read more about the UN Trust Fund’s parallel workshop here.