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The Communications X-Change Awards: Strengthening Communications, Targeting Change

The Communications X-Change Awards is a global competition designed for practitioners to exchange information on what works to end violence against women and girls. All communications materials (e.g. posters, video campaigns, mobile apps, training materials) submitted to the competition are evaluated and shared within the community of practitioners working toward behavior change communications to end violence against women and girls.

Submit your communications materials designed to prevent or respond to gender-based violence, to the 2016 Communications Awards contest. The Global Women’s Institute will be accepting materials until January 31st, 2017, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. A panel of experts will evaluate the submissions and select the winners. Three separate awards will be given for a total of $9,000 in potential prize money. Check back here shortly for submission guidelines.

Past Award Recipients

Innovative Campaign Award

The Innovative Campaign Award recognizes innovative and original approaches to presenting messages on ending violence against women and girls through the best information technology and/or mobile phones.

Centre for Research & Education on Violence against Women & Children (Canada)

The Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children (CREVAWC), founded in 1992 as a collaboration between The University of Western Ontario, Fanshawe College and the London Coordinating Committee to End Women Abuse and now a part the Faculty of Education at the University of Western Ontario, facilitates and conducts research and provides public education and community development in order to assist local, national, and international communities in preventing and stopping violence towards women and children and vulnerable adults. The Centre’s Make it Our Business campaign provides information and education to help employers and other workplace stakeholders prevent and respond to domestic violence in the workplace. In November 2014, Make It Our Business released a series of digital stories to help workers and employers dealing with domestic violence. These short videos feature dramatizations of employers and co-workers talking about their successes and challenges supporting an employee/colleague experiencing domestic violence, as well as the perspectives of a woman experiencing abuse and a man perpetrating abuse.

Break the Silence Award

The Break the Silence Award recognizes communications campaigns that effectively encourage people to step in and help or speak out against violence against women to promote a shift in attitudes or practices at the individual, family or community level.

Lawyers Without Borders (Haiti)

Lawyers Without Borders (LWOB), conceived in 2000, is an international nonprofit and global association of lawyers who offer pro bono service to rule of law projects, capacity building and access to justice initiatives in the human rights and global capacity building sectors. LWOB’s graphic novel “Rape is a Crime: report it, prevent it,” depicts an all too common rape scenario and a victim’s path to recovery and becoming a survivor. The graphic novel aims to reach women who live in slums and other communities where there are poor toilet facilities that may put them at greater risk for sexual assault and rape. It informs them how to minimize their risk of assault, encourages them to report a rape and what steps they should take if they want to report it.

Community Change Award

The Community Change Award recognizes campaigns on ending violence against women and girls that involve the participation of both women and men, girls and boys, to develop solutions to violence and discrimination against women and girls.

Coexist Initiative (Kenya)

The Coexist Initiative, founded in 2002 and officially registered as a non-profit network in 2005, works to engage men and boys in preventing sexual and gender-based violence and HIV in Kenya. The Men as Partners campaign aims to build competencies, raise awareness and provide information to men and boys on how they can help eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in Kenya. The campaign aims to transform men and boys from perpetrators of violence to partners in ending violence against women and girls. The Coexist Initiative works directly with communities by allowing target groups to take a lead in all of their activities including material conceptualization, design and distribution.

Global Award for Excellence in Communication

The Global Award for Excellence in Communication recognizes a campaign from an international NGO in the violence against women arena that is global, multi-year, and creates approaches and messages that may be easily adapted in other countries.

Let Girls Lead (United States)

Let Girls Lead, based in Oakland, California, works globally to protect girls from violence and ensure they can attend school, stay healthy, and learn skills to escape poverty. Let Girls Lead believes in empowering girls and training them as change agents as opposed to viewing them as victims. Last fall, Let Girls Lead released its “LGL Guide to Girl-Centered Advocacy” and partnered with the Huffington post to publish its “International Day of the Girl 2014: Girl Leader Blog Series.” The blogs, written by girls around the world, highlight the issues facing girls and what they are doing to advocate for change. The “LGL Guide to Girl-Centered Advocacy” is a full capacity-building curriculum that engages girls and their allies in strategic advocacy to improve girls' lives, and it is now being used in countries around the globe.

Outstanding Government Communication Award

The Outstanding Government Communication Award recognizes a Government or its responsible Ministry or Department, whether national, regional or local, for communications efforts and campaigns to end violence against women and girls. It highlights the essential role that Governments play to end discrimination and violence against women and girls—awards are given to the NGO partner organization working with the Government.

Municipal Association of Victoria (Australia)

The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), formed in 1879, is the legislated peak body for Victoria’s 79 councils and has a long tradition of supporting councils and councilors. Through its work on gender equity, it encourages the greater participation of women in local government, preventing violence against women and promoting gender equity overall. In 2013 MAV developed an innovative booklet, “Prevention of violence against women: Leading change in the Victorian local government sector” that showcases some of the work occurring in the Victorian local government sector, and outlines why this level of government is so important to the prevention of gender-based violence. The case study booklet highlights a number of examples from metropolitan, rural and regional councils in an effort to spark interest amongst other Victorian councils, and those located in other states, to begin programs to end violence against women and girls.


Innovative Campaign Award Finalists


“El camino hacia los Derechos de la Mujer” by Asociación de Mujeres Jueces de Argentina (AMJA) (Argentina)

  • Communications Medium: Video
  • Campaign Description: This audiovisual campaign aims to inform and sensitize women victims of violence about their rights to access justice, existing mechanisms and the role of agencies to facilitate the process towards a life free of violence.
  • See the Campaign
  • Organization website: http://amja.org.ar

“Ask Me” by Empowerhouse (United States)

  • Communications Medium: Video, Brochures, and Banner
  • Campaign Description: Empowerhouse developed a campaign entitled Ask Me which promotes screening for intimate partner violence within the healthcare setting.
  • See the Campaign
  • Organization website: http://www.empowerhouseva.org

“No Excuses” by Shine (Safer Homes in New Zealand Everyday) (New Zealand)

  • Communications Medium: Radio
  • Campaign Description: This radio ad (1 in a series of 3) sounds like a rugby game until the two well-known NZ commentators make clear they are watching a man assault a woman. The final message says there are no excuses for domestic abuse and asks listeners to donate to support Shine's stopping violence program.
  • See the Campaign
  • Organization website: http://www.2shine.org.nz

Break the Silence Award Finalists


“Violence Against Women: The Silent Epidemic, Is Your Voice Being Heard?” by GBV Prevention Network at Raising Voices (Uganda)

  • Communications Medium: Posters, Booklets and Activity Series
  • Campaign Description: The campaign aims to provide member organizations quality materials around a regionally relevant, feminist theme that they can use to strengthen their 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence at the organizational, community and policy level as a way to energize and focus ongoing work.
  • See the Campaign
  • GBV Prevention Network
  • Raising Voices

“You Are Not Alone” by Refuge (United Kingdom)

  • Communications Medium: Video
  • Campaign Description: This video was made in partnership with ITV's Loose Women TV program to let women know they are not alone.
  • See the Campaign
  • Organization website: http://www.refuge.org.uk

“#whowillanswer” by Who Will Answer (United States)

  • Communications Medium: Videos and Posters
  • Campaign Description: #whowillanswer is a campaign to expose domestic violence and sexual assault within the Deaf community and the inequality that deaf victims and survivors of violence suffer. In response, it calls for a 24/7 Deaf Hotline for Deaf survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.
  • See the Campaign
  • Organization website: https://whowillanswer.org

Community Change Award Finalists


“'Bol' Speak up Against Early Marriages In the Name of Culture: Traditional Truck Art for Social Change” by Ethnomedia (Pakistan)

  • Medium: Truck Art / Moving Billboards
  • Campaign Description: The painted trucks function as moving billboards and include messages against early marriage. Rickshaws were also painted with a mascot called 'Khor Bibi' - a wise elderly woman who informs people about the rights of women.
  • See the Campaign
  • Organization website: http://www.ethnomedia.pk

“Young Hearts Matter” by the Texas Council on Family Violence (United States)

  • Communications Medium: Toolkit, Posters, Banners, and Pamphlet
  • Campaign Description: Young Hearts Matter is a teen dating violence awareness and prevention campaign that provides resources for young people, schools, and allies working to prevent teen dating violence in Texas.
  • See the Campaign
  • Organization website: http://www.tcfv.org

“O Valente não é Violento (The Brave is Not Violent)” by UN Women Brazil (Brazil)

  • Communications Medium: Partnership with Soccer Teams, Website, Social Media, Blogs, Video, Stickers, Posters, Banners, Pens, Bags, and Thematic Performance
  • Campaign Description: The Brave is not Violent initiative aims to combat violence against women and girls, by involving men and boys, stimulating the change of attitudes and behavior. Since the campaign was launched in Brazil, it has been able to reach soccer players, fans, and refugees from Haiti, Syria and Afghanistan. Now, the main goal of the initiative is to develop a curriculum to train secondary education teachers, so that they can have the knowledge and tools to discuss gender stereotypes with their students.
  • See the Campaign
  • See the Campaign Site
  • Organization website: http://www.onumulheres.org.br

Global Award for Excellence in Communication Finalists


“Take Back the Tech!” by the Association for Progressive Communications (South Africa)

  • Communications Medium: Website, Cartoons and Informational Briefs
  • Campaign Description: Take Back the Tech!, an international campaign to prevent tech-related violence against women, launched a new website in late 2014 with digital safety roadmaps on blackmail, cyberstalking and hate speech. One can also find a safety toolkit and self-care section along with the roadmaps in the Know More section of their site.
  • See the Campaign
  • See the Campaign Site
  • Organization website: http://www.apc.org/en

“Stop Human Trafficking in Nepal” and “Phea's Dream: Stop Human Trafficking in Cambodia” by Cause Vision (Nepal and Cambodia)

  • Communications Medium: Comic Book
  • Campaign Description: Chameli Goes To School is a comic book to teach Nepali children and families about the risks of human trafficking. 10,000 copies of the Nepali version were donated and are being distributed in Nepali communities. This is its English version. Phea's Dream is an educational comic book to teach kids about the risks of Human Trafficking in Cambodia. 12,000 copies of it were printed in Cambodia and are being distributed through local grass roots organizations at schools and workshops. Phea's Dream is translated into Indonesian and will be distributed in East and West Java during the late summer of 2015.
  • See the Campaign Part 1
  • See the Campaign Part 2
  • Organization website: http://causevision.org

“Supporting Access to Justice in Afghanistan” by the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) (Afghanistan)

  • Communications Medium: Comic Book
  • Campaign Description: The comic books are designed to give the Afghan public a better understanding of their rights – including a woman's right to a life free from violence.
  • See the Campaign
  • Organization website: http://www.idlo.int

Outstanding Government Communication Award Finalists


“IEC Non-Violence in the Workplace” by CARE Cambodia (Cambodia)

  • Communications Medium: Posters, Hotline Cards, and a Story Highlighting Women's Advocacy
  • Campaign Description: The campaign takes aim at the prevailing social norms in Cambodia to prevent sexual violence against women in the workplace. It aims to encourage customers in beer gardens or other entertainment outlets to treat female workers with respect by raising awareness of relevant laws and potential consequences, as well as publicizing where to report cases of abuse. The campaign targets the bar owners, making them aware of their legal responsibility to maintain a safe workplace for their employees, customers, Cambodians and tourists.
  • See the Campaign
  • Organization website: http://www.care-cambodia.org

“The NYC UpStander Campaign” by the New York City Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence (United States)

  • Communications Medium: Social Media Presence, PSA Video, Outreach Fliers / Materials
  • Campaign Description: Everyone has the right to be free from violence in their homes, schools, and streets. An UpStander speaks out against intimate partner violence, gender injustice, and all forms of abuse, speaks up when they hear statements that promote violence, and offers support for someone who has experienced violence. The UpStander campaign and materials aim to heighten the awareness of domestic violence and highlight steps that any individual can take in order to take a stand. The materials foster social responsibility and promote available services, which can subsequently empower victims to seek help.
  • See the Campaign
  • See the Video

“Life Board Learning Game” by Tears Foundation (South Africa)

  • Communication’s Medium: Board Game
  • Campaign Description: LifeBoard is an interactive and participative game to educate learners and find a way to start talking about rape and sexual abuse in South African society. The primary school authority, Department of Basic Education, is a prime partner of the organization and has endorsed the LifeBoard approach for use in schools.
  • See the Campaign
  • Organization website: http://www.tears.co.za

2015 Communications X-Change Judges

Dina Deligiorgis

Dina Deligiorgis has a diverse background and years of activism devoted to human rights and social justice, from working on health issues in rural communities of Brazil, to education issues for inner-city schools of the U.S., to development projects across Ghana. For the past 5 years she has focused her practice on women’s rights and gender equality supporting initiatives at the World Bank, UNFPA and UNIFEM. Dina is currently the Knowledge Management Specialist for the Ending Violence against Women Section at UN Women, where she has developed and manages a first-ever online programming support site, The Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women and Girls, that provides practitioners with step-by-step guidance on ‘how to’ design, implement and monitor effective laws, policies and programmes; and includes a database of over 950 tools in more than 65 languages.

Mary Ellsberg, PhD

Mary Ellsberg is Executive Director of the newly created Global Women’s Institute at The George Washington University. She has more than 30 years of experience in international research and program work. Before joining the University in August 2012, Ellsberg served as vice president for research and programs at the International Center for Research on Women, where she oversaw work in economic development; gender violence; and HIV and HIV-related stigma and discrimination. Previously she also served as senior adviser for gender, violence and human rights at the nonprofit Program for Appropriate Technology in Health. Ellsberg’s deep connection to global gender issues stems not only from her academic work but also from living in Nicaragua for nearly 20 years leading public health and women’s rights advocacy. She was a member of the core research team of the World Health Organization’s Multi-Country Study on Domestic Violence and Women’s Heath, and she has written more than 20 books and articles on gender-based violence and methodological aspects of violence research. Ellsberg earned a doctorate in epidemiology and public health from Umea University in Sweden and a bachelor's degree in Latin American studies from Yale.

Sonali Khan

Sonali Khan skillfully leads the India and regional operations of Breakthrough. She has been integral to the organization since she joined it over 9 years ago and she has led Breakthrough’s key campaigns including ‘What kind of man are you?’ in 2005 and the ‘Is this justice?’ campaign in 2007. She played a pivotal role in conceptualizing Breakthrough’s Bell Bajao! Campaign against domestic violence. This campaign has won prestigious awards and has been adapted in China, Pakistan and Vietnam. She has positioned Breakthrough — and Bell Bajao — as household names for human rights in India and worldwide. In her current role as the Vice President, Sonali steers the organization and provides strategic direction to Breakthrough. She has been instrumental in expanding Breakthrough’s regional and global reach and has been actively developing support for the organization, and has played a key role in extending the work of Breakthrough to focus on issues of early marriage and sex selective elimination. Sonali represents the next generation of leaders in the Women’s Rights community who are bringing new techniques and diverse audiences to the movement for human rights and gender justice.

Before becoming Breakthrough’s India country director and then VP, Sonali headed up the India office’s media and communication team. Also an accomplished business journalist, Sonali created programs and documentaries for networks including the BBC World Star Plus and CNBC. She has an M.Phil in political philosophy from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. Sonali thrives on debate, especially over food, and is always the last one to leave the dance floor.

Jeni Klugman, PhD

Jeni Klugman is a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government’s Women in Public Policy Program at Harvard University, where she is teaching a course on gender inequality and development. She was Director of Gender and Development at the World Bank Group until July 2014, where she acted as lead spokesperson on gender equality issues and developed strategic directions to promote the institution's gender agenda.

She serves on the World Economic Forum's Advisory Board on Sustainability and Competitiveness and other advisory boards including those related to the Council on Foreign Relations, Plan International, the International Civil Society Network, the Global Forum on Women in Parliaments, and a European Union research program on GDP and beyond. She previously served as director and lead author of three global Human Development Reports published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):Overcoming Barriers: Human Mobility and Development (2009); The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development (2010); and Sustainability and Equity: a Better Future for All (2011). She has published widely on topics ranging from poverty reduction strategies and labor markets to conflict, health reform, education, and decentralization.

She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the Australian National University as well as postgraduate degrees in both Law and Development Economics from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

Andrew Morrison, PhD

Andrew Morrison is Chief of the Gender and Diversity Unit at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Prior to joining the IDB, he worked at the World Bank as a Lead Economist in the Gender and Development Group and as the Regional Gender Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean. He also has worked as an associate professor of economics at Tulane University and the University of New Mexico. Morrison has written books and articles in the area of gender equality, international migration, labor markets and violence prevention. His Ph.D. in economics is from Vanderbilt University.

Stella Mukasa

Stella Mukasa is director of gender, violence and rights at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). Mukasa is a lawyer with 20 years of experience in gender and human rights, spanning government, international development and academia. Following a career at the Ministry of Gender and Community Development in Uganda, she went on to advise governments, donor agencies and civil society organizations on integrating gender and human rights into laws, policies and programmes. She has been and remains a strong advocate for women’s rights as human rights at the national, regional and global levels. Among her achievements, Mukasa played an active role in; 1)The global campaign for Women’s Rights as Human Rights testifying at the Global Tribunal on Women’s Human Rights in 1993, 2) Provision of legal aid to women in Uganda, 3) Gender mainstreaming the national Constitutions of both the Republic of Uganda and Rwanda, 4) Strategizing for enactment of the Domestic Violence Act in Uganda.

Mukasa holds a bachelor’s of laws from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, a diploma in legal practice from the Law Development Centre in Kampala, and a master of laws, law in development from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom.

Maria Correia

Maria Correia has worked in international development for more than twenty-five years, having advised on gender and other social issues in some 40 countries across four continents.

Since 1994, she has worked in the World Bank in Washington DC, where she has held various leadership positions on gender and has written on a range of topics related to this issue. The World Bank publication “The Other Half of Gender: Men's Issues in Development” co-edited by Maria, was one of the first in mainstream international development to bring attention to the less visible gender issues faced by men.

From 2005-2009, Maria managed a Multi-Country Demobilization and Reintegration Program in the greater Great Lakes region of Central Africa. The largest program of its kind in the world, it reached an estimated 300,000 ex-combatants in seven countries: Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.

For the last few years, Maria’s interests have shifted to the search for new and innovative approaches to addressing intractable social issues in developing countries. Spurred by the 2012 brutal gang rape and murder of a Delhi student, she has been working with a team of co-collaborators to explore the use of creative industries – including the universal appeal of fashion – as a driver of development and social change. The result is the flagship WEvolve global program, which will support creative ventures, including fashion events around the world, to bring attention to gender-based violence.