Working Together With Men: Mobilising men for violence prevention

WTWM infographic - Project strategy
WTWM infographic - Project impact
HealthWest Partnership Victoria, Working Together with Men 2020 - Cover

Working Together with Men is an innovative violence prevention project based on community engagement and mobilisation. The project aims to contribute to the prevention of violence against women by engaging men to develop and implement primary prevention strategies in their local communities.

The Working Together With Men project first took place over 2015-2017, including a detailed evaluation. It was then followed by the development of a manual, Working Together with Men: How to create male allies for gender equity in your community (2020), written by Shelley Hewson-Munro.

Recruiting, training, and mobilising men

The Working Together With Men project first took place over 2015-2017 in Brimbank, a local government area in the west and northwest of the city of Melbourne, Australia. The project was coordinated by the HealthWest Partnership, a consortium of community organisations, and funded by the federal Department of Social Services.

Working Together With Men focused on recruiting men from the community, training them, and then involving them in project planning in activities to prevent violence against women.

The project used a range of strategies to educate, train, and mobilise men as violence prevention advocates. The project began with community-based recruitment, through information sessions. Fifty or so men, from diverse backgrounds, participated in these opening events. Men interested in continuing in the project then took part in face-to-face education, in a series of educational workshops and sessions. They received support and mentoring from a dedicated project coordinator and guidance from an Advisory Committee. The seven men who continued with the project throughout its two years took part in training workshops, project planning sessions, and regular social meetings. In 2017 these men designed and implemented their own local violence prevention projects.

The project’s impact

Impact evaluation was built into the design and implementation of the project. Dr Flood from the Queensland University of Technology coordinated the evaluation, in collaboration with the project coordinator, Cuong La. The evaluation used diverse forms of data to assess the project’s impact, including both quantitative data (surveys) and qualitative data (interviews, focus groups, observation of project events, and a desk review of documents).

Working Together With Men was successful at recruiting men into violence prevention education, educating them about violence against women and its prevention, and building a supportive and motivated group of prevention advocates. See here for the full evaluation report.

The evaluation report recommended that projects such as Working Together With Men should be replicated in other settings and scaled up. The full report on the impact evaluation provides detailed recommendations on how best to do this.

Working Together with Men is a significant project for the violence prevention field in three ways: (1) it combines three important strategies of violence prevention: community engagement, community mobilisation, and engaging men; (2) it includes a substantive evaluation of impact; and (3) it has had a significant and positive impact. The project’s success has depended on effective participation, long-term education, intensive facilitation, expert guidance and advice, and resourcing.

Further resources: