The standardization of GBV types has been a complex and ever present issue faced by humanitarian actors responding to GBV incidents. The classification of GBV incidents varies greatly from agency to agency, from office to office, and even from case worker to case worker. This often means that data on GBV cannot be systematically collected across field offices or agencies. This variation is the result of a range of factors, some of which include: inconsistent classification terminology between service providers, and legal definitions within and across contexts, overlapping definitions and individual interpretation. For example, what one individual may classify as rape another may classify as domestic violence; what one organization may classify as forced marriage another organization may classify as sexual assault. This variation between and within organizations is negatively affecting the accuracy of GBV data and the effectiveness of inter-agency information sharing and coordination.
Without a solid foundation of reliable and comparable information any system to share data will be almost impossible to achieve. An important first step is to standardize and improve the way individual GBV projects are capturing and managing data.
The GBV Classification Tool standardizes how GBV incident types are defined by using a set of six core types of GBV. It also standardizes the procedure by which incidents are classified through a process of elimination that determines the most specific incident type that applies to the reported incident.