Gender-based violence (GBV), including sexual exploitation and abuse, is a prevalent global challenge and manifestations likely exist in every environment where the World Bank operates. Development projects, depending on their scope, can exacerbate existing risks or can create new ones. Project-related risk factors may include the size and scale of a project, the scale of labor influx, the extent to which a community has capacity to absorb labor influx or requires separate camp facilities, the inflow of income to workers which can exacerbate already existing inequities between workers and community members, and the geographic location of project activities. In 2015, the World Bank Inspection Panel investigation of the Uganda Transport Sector Development Project (UTSDP) found evidence of severe impacts related to sexual misconduct, including with minors, exploitation and abuse and other forms of gender-based violence.
SCOPE Project (January 2017- January 2019) has been implemented as part of the commitment by the Government of Uganda and the World Bank to prevent and mitigate risk of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), as well as other forms of GBV in infrastructure and other area-based investment projects. The USD 0.67M was funded by the World Bank and implemented by the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development (MGLSD) and Kabarole and Kamwenge District Local Governments (DLGs) in partnership with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). The project contributed to enhancing the provision of prevention and response services for child survivors of sexual violence in Kamwenge and Kabarole Districts. SCOPE design and implementation built on lessons learned from the implementation of the Emergency Child Protection Response (ECPR) program.
SCOPE focused on enhancing access to response and prevention services for survivors of sexual violence and those at risk and strengthening national and sub-national capacity for coordination and policy implementation. The project has been implemented through a multi-sectoral approach to ensure survivors have access to a minimum package of prevention and response services. It is an approach which cuts across several sectors including health, psychosocial and mental health, social services, and legal/justice.
Key achievements included: 12 convictions on defilement were successfully secured in Kamwenge through the mobile court arrangement introduced under auspices of SCOPE Project; case reporting through the National Child Helpline (116) has increased and over 80 child sexual violence cases have been properly managed at the District Action Centres; and the Project established child-friendly safe spaces in Bigodi and Ruteete Health Centre III which have enabled over 325 child survivors to access safe and non-stigmatizing services. Over 120 response actors were trained (health workers, police officers and probation officers) on case management and trauma-informed care for survivors of sexual violence and 278 adolescents at risk and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence were provided with life skills, apprenticeships in hairdressing, tailoring, knitting, crafts and liquid soap making through the Empowerment and Livelihoods for Adolescents model. All these adolescents were provided with start-up kits in various trades to start up small businesses
SCOPE is considered as model project for future interventions in addressing social issues affecting development projects in resource limited contexts. Local capacity enhancement, sensitization and creating conditions for case identification and adequate management of cases using survivor-centered approaches have been key in SCOPE implementation. The project efforts will anchor into existing government social protection programs to continue benefiting vulnerable adolescents whose knowledge and skills have been improved through this project. The implementation of SCOPE Project is a key milestone in government effort to address social risks associated with development projects. The Project reaffirms the need by the Government of Uganda and the World Bank to ensure that safeguards are adhered to prevent and respond to the negative social impact resulting from development projects.