Essential services package for women and girls subject to violence | Module 7



This manual provides guidance on estimating resource requirements for the UN Essential Services Package for Women and Girls Subject to Violence: Core Elements and Quality Guidelines (‘Essential Services Package’, UN Women et al. 2015). The manual focuses on two essential services and one essential action across three sectors: 1) Initial Contact – Justice and Policing; 2) Safe Accommodation – Social Services; and 3) Creation of Formal Structure for Coordination and Governance of Coordination at local and national levels – Coordination and Governance of Coordination. Please see Appendices 1-3 for further details on Initial Contact, Safe Accommodation and Creation of Formal Structure for Coordination and Governance of Coordination at local and national levels.

Note that the costing of essential services for the health component of the Essential Services Package (‘ESP’) will be developed by the World Health Organization to align with the Universal Health Coverage package of services that includes a package of health care for women and girls subjected to violence (UN 2011, WHO 2014). This will complement the costing tool developed for the other components of the ESP covered in this document.
As the level of existing services varies from one country to another, the ESP enables countries to formulate individualized plans ensuring quality standards are met. Where the basic infrastructure of a particular service/action is already in place, this plan will involve identifying the additional activities/elements required to achieve essential service/action provision/delivery.

For countries that do not have this basic infrastructure in place, the plan will detail the activities/elements needed to establish and operate the service/action.

Once the individualized plans have been developed, the corresponding financial resources required can be calculated. This manual provides guidance on estimating these resource requirements. It is intended primarily for Government and civil society organizations seeking to roll out the ESP at national and local levels, to inform planning, programming and budgeting processes as they relate to service provision.

The guidance outlines the steps involved in calculating unit costs to establish the 1) overall resources required to provide a minimum package of essential services/ action and to 2) project future costs. The costing methods employed are not limited to these services/action, rather they can be applied to a wide range of services/ actions that comprise the ESP.

The module can be used in conjunction with the accompanying Microsoft Excel workbooks. There are two excel workbooks for each essential service/action, which can be tailored to a country’s individualized plan:

  1. where the basic infrastructure is already in place; and 2) where this basic infrastructure is not in place.
    The workbook templates contain the following worksheets: Resource Inputs; Target Populations; Resource Requirements; Overall Total Cost; Cost Projections.


Advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as adopting a rights-based and survivor-centred approach, are some of the key principles underpinning the delivery of all essential services and the coordination of these services. Services must ensure that VAWG is not tolerated, condoned or perpetuated and that gender-responsive policies and practices for their effective delivery are in place. A human rights-based approach calls for services that prioritize the safety and well-being of women and girls and treat them with dignity and respect. A survivor-centred approach also places the rights, needs and desires of women and girls at the centre of service delivery. Furthermore, services must respond to the individual circumstances and life experiences of all women and girls. This is especially true for groups of women and girls who are the most marginalized and face multiple forms of discrimination due to their race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, and who are consequently at a higher risk of experiencing violence.
The ‘Leaving No One Behind’ principle is the guiding principle underpinning the estimation of resource requirements to deliver quality services to women and girls subject to violence (UN Women et al 2018). ‘The insights gained from such a costing assessment enables governments to place the issue within a larger context of national budgeting and public financing’ (Duvvury et al 2017, p. 3). It is intended that this global costing tool will help countries to establish an evidence base to advocate for resource allocation to deliver quality programming. It is also hoped that the tool will help governments and civil society to better understand the necessity of planned and comprehensive service provision, and what is required to ensure best practice.