Gender Based Violence (GBV) is quite different from other sectors analysed on the site. Gender Based Violence (as well as Child Protection, Mine Action, and Housing Land and Property) has been / is considered as a subset of the broader Protection sector. The technical language for this is that it has been an ‘Area of Responsibility’ (or AoR) of Protection. What this has meant is that Gender Based Violence has not traditionally had the visibility of other sectors. In previous years, it was not given prominence in Humanitarian Response Plans, and it was also not disaggregated in the Financial Tracking Service (FTS).
The 2019 ‘Where is the Money‘ report, which examines GBV funding, notes that, “[it] is only relatively recently, in 2016, that GBV became a stand-alone sector within OCHA’s Financial Tracking Service (FTS), and it is still often hidden under wider budgetary allocations for ‘Protection’. This lack of transparency undermines efforts to track actual investments in GBV prevention and response and hold the humanitarian sector accountable for its commitments”.
Given the historic unreliability of FTS for tracking GBV funding flows, we will only examine funding from 2018 onwards.
How much funding is the Gender Based Violence sector forecast to receive in 2023?
Funding to the Gender Based Violence (GBV) sector is forecast to be between $199m and $324m in 2023. Our central estimate is $262m. For reference, the GBV sector received $191m last year.
This forecast is based on our 95% probability range. In other words, we are 95% sure that funding will be between $199m and $324m. Below are the other forecast ranges for the GBV sector. As we become less sure about our forecast, the range narrows. So for example, we think there’s a 50% probability that funding will be between $240m and $283m.
But we need to put this into context. What does the forecast mean in terms of reaching the funding that is required for the sector (also known as the funding requirement)? The total funding requirement globally is determined by how much is needed in each context. If you hover over the donut below you’ll be able to see the chances of reaching 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of the funding that is required.
We think that it’s highly unlikely that the GBV sector will reach 25% of their requirement in 2023, let alone 50% of the funding requirement. This is in large part due to the rising funding requirement which surpassed the $1bn mark for the first time in 2023.
How does the 2023 forecast compare to previous years?
The graph above shows that since 2018 there has been a clear (and non-trivial) funding requirement for the GBV sector. Comparatively, funding received into the GBV sector pre-2018 was very low (around $3m), which does not reflect the state of the sector.
Our forecast puts the GBV sector as receiving somewhere between 16% and 27% of the funding requirement. Since 2018, the funding that is required to meet Gender Based Violence needs has grown exponentially. The sector needed $146m to meet humanitarian needs in 2018, compared to the requirement in 2023 of $1.2bn.
This may be as a result of the growing disaggregation of Gender Based Violence needs in Response Plans and FTS. In other words, the number of contexts clearly saying ‘this is what we need for GBV’ has grown, as they are encouraged to separate it from the overall Protection number.
Similarly, funding to the sector has increased year-on-year. In 2021, $211m of GBV funding was received – almost double the $109m received in 2020. The same caveat as above applies here. Organisations reporting GBV funding may be disaggregating more of their GBV funding from the overall Protection funding in FTS.
Whilst the growing visibility of the sector may be driving the funding requirement and the funding received, it has now been a few years since the data has become more reliable. So what can we say about the funding gap? The funding gap increased in 2022 in percentage terms and in real monetary terms: it rose from $99m in 2018, to $774m in 2022, or 80% of the funding requirement.
One caveat to this is that the funding required for GBV grew faster, year-on-year, than any other sector in the 2018 to 2021 period, at 72%. This is then followed by Child Protection which had a funding requirement growth of 65% year-on-year in the same period. For reference, the average sector’s funding requirement grew at 25% during that period.
The same is true for funding received. Funding received grew at 65%, whilst the average sector grew at 11% during the same period.
Both of these observations suggest that the funding requirement and the funding received are in part driven by the growing visibility of GBV as a distinct sector. Both (a) the margin at which GBV funding and funding requirement are growing versus other sectors, and (b) the fact that Child Protection has experienced a very similar path over the same period, suggest that growing ‘AoR’ visibility may be, at least in part, pushing the increase.
One key question going forward into 2023, though, is will there be a funding gap? We’ve defined in this story a ‘real humanitarian recession’ as two consecutive years of a growing funding gap.
We think that it’s likely that the GBV sector will experience real growth this year, although we shouldn’t discount the realistic possibility that there will be another year of a growing funding gap.
How does the 2023 forecast compare to other sectors?
The GBV sector is forecast to rank 13th of all humanitarian sectors for funding received in 2023, just behind Child Protection in 12th.
The current state of things
By the end of June 2023, funding to the GBV sector is at an all-time high when compared to the same point in previous years. So far, $69m has been received into the sector in 2023, compared to only $29m at the same point last year.
One key feature of the above graph is that the year-on-year increase is clearly observable. Funding to the GBV sector in 2021 ($211m) was almost double the 2020 level ($109m). At all points in 2020, the funding to the GBV sector was above the levels of the previous two years. However, 2022 didn’t quite reach the levels of 2021.
Features of the Gender Based Violence sector in 2022
The average GBV response was funded at 18% of what was required in 2022. This sounds low, and it really is – this benchmarks as the fourth lowest across all sectors (the average sector had an equivalent percentage of 25%).
There were some limited success stories where funding exceeded 50% of the funding requirement: these include the Madagascar Flash Appeal (127%), El Salvador (69%), and Chad (57%). But out of the 39 contexts with a funding requirement, 29 did not receive more than 25% of what was required.
One question that comes to mind is why are there such huge inequities in funding across contexts? Is it underreporting, donor preferences, the size of the funding requirement, or something else? We are going to come up with an ‘Inequity Index’ to measure how unequal the sector is and benchmark it against other sectors, to try to explain why there may be inequity in where the funding goes. Stay tuned in the Stories section for this.
The donor landscape to GBV has changed significantly in recent years. Last year, we wrote that “GBV is quite a distinct sector in that no donor gives more than 10% of overall funding. The top donor to the GBV sector in 2021 was the Government of the USA (9%)”. However, 40% of all funding now comes from the US Government.
However, this isn’t the whole story – another 54 actors contribute the other 60% of all funding. We can calculate the diversity of the sector using the Herfindahl Hirschman Index. On a scale of 0 to 10,000, a sector is moderately concentrated if it has a score between 1,500 and 2,500. The GBV sector has a score of 1975 indicating a moderately concentrated sector.
The diversity of a sectors suggests the extent it could be resilient to external shocks. If one donor suffers a short term shock to funding, there may be enough other sources of funding for the sector as a whole not to suffer. However, the higher the concentration of funding from one source, then the more vulnerable the sector may be to shocks.
The sector is, however, less diverse when looking at who receives funding. UNFPA receives 33% of all GBV funding, followed by UNHCR (9%), SDC (8%), the Red Cross/Red Crescent (8%), and IRC (5%). There are another 74 organisations that also receive GBV funding, and 20 of these received over $1m in GBV funding in 2022.
The usual health warning: FTS doesn’t capture everything. It is a platform that relies on voluntary reporting by organisations. But it is the most comprehensive source of data for humanitarian funding.
To find out methodology and sources for other things on this page which aren’t the forecast, click here.
Note: Numbers in ‘The current state of things’ graph may differ from elsewhere on the page as the data was extracted on a different date (8th July 2023) than other numbers that also show how much was received (i.e. the column chart).