Colombia: “We Have a Way to Start Out on Our Own”

Authored by: Aditi Bhanja, Tenzin Manell, Janna Metzler et al.

Categories: Human Rights
Sub-Categories: Economic Participation, Economic Recovery, Human Development
Country: Colombia
Region: Latin America and the Caribbean
Year: 2022
Citation: Bhanja, Aditi, Tenzin Manell, Janna Metzler et al. "Colombia: 'We Have a Way to Start Out on Our Own.'” Women's Refugee Commission. September 2022.

Access the Resource:

Executive Summary

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a pressing concern for forced migrant and refugee women, girls, and individuals with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or sex characteristics (SOGIESC). They face exposure to and incidents of GBV before, during, and after a humanitarian crisis. Humanitarian actors use a variety of approaches to prevent, mitigate, and respond to GBV, yet evidence gaps remain in informing comprehensive program models that improve the lives and protect the rights of GBV survivors as well as individuals at risk of GBV.

As a complement to core aspects of GBV case management, preliminary evidence finds that cash and voucher assistance (CVA) may strengthen survivors’ capacities to recover from GBV and enable access to services. For example, CVA can help a GBV survivor to pay the costs associated with fleeing an abusive relationship, such as temporary accommodation and transportation, and to access legal assistance. There may also be indirect pathways in which CVA could be used by survivors and individuals at risk to reduce their exposure to GBV, such as decreasing their financial dependence on abusive partners or family members, and shifting power dynamics in intimate relationships.

WRC has aimed to understand more about the specific dynamics of GBV case management and cash referrals for forced migrant, refugee, and host national GBV survivors, as well as to identify how best to address the needs of GBV survivors by including multipurpose cash assistance (MPCA) within a package of response services. Building on existing findings and tools, WRC, in conjunction with CARE Colombia and a national partner, CORPRODINCO, piloted an intervention from June 2021 to January 2022 to assess the integration of cash assistance into GBV case management to support survivors in forced migrant, refugee, and host communities in Ocaña, Norte de Santander, Colombia. Drawing from a quasi-experimental mixed methods study, this report summarizes the quantitative and qualitative findings and lessons learned from the joint program and evaluation over four months in support of CVA integrated into GBV programming, and shares recommendations for the way forward in this context.