Research for a Gender-Based Violence Prevention Campaign in the Asia-Pacific Region



Fall 2008  

A study in branding solutions for materials to support a positive role modeling campaign to counteract gender-based violence in the Asia-Pacific region.

In partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Designmatters and ArtCenter’s Graphic Design program led a Fall 2008 studio to develop research directions in support of messaging for the “Partners for Prevention” program, a joint initiative of UNDP, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), and United Nations Volunteers (UNV).


“The most useful learning experience gained by my students had to do with the need to clarify incoming client information and then make certain that everyone, designers and clients, had like expectations for the end product. I also think that they more clearly understand the need to listen closely to all input and then clarify what they learned in an ordered and simplified format.”

– Clane Graves, Instructor

“What I enjoyed the most about the class was the presentations of the four guest speakers, all from different fields.  I was very impressed by how passionate they were and how they tried to make a difference in the real world. As a designer, I too believe that I could be the one to contribute positively to these issues.  It was also a very good opportunity to meet with and present work to an actual client.”

– Eun Joo Annie Kim, Student


Design Brief

Students were challenged to develop core branding elements for campaigns to provoke positive behavior change amongst boys and men to combat prevailing cycles of violence against women.

Research and Project Development

An introduction and outline of the UNDP initiative by James Lang, Gender Programme Advisor, based out of the program’s office in Bangkok, Thailand, served as the groundwork for beginning to understand the initiative and the target audience. The students’ research was further informed by an expert panel discussion which explored the different kinds of gender based violence, the culture of the region and common stereotypes, the role of the media, and examples of effective and positive messaging in current and past campaigns. The experts, from diverse backgrounds in consulting, research, teaching, nonprofit work, and grassroots movements on the topic of gender based violence, included:

• Sarah Bott, a consultant on violence against women in developing countries, with a special focus on the health sector, has worked with organizations such as the World Health Organization, USAID, and the World Bank.

• Ruth Hayward, a pioneer on men’s efforts to stop violence against women, who has worked for almost 20 years with the UN. She was a co-organizer of the Rockefeller Bellagio Conference on men against gender violence.

• Laura Hebert, Professor in the Diplomacy and World Affairs Department at Occidental College, is an expert on gender and international human rights with a focus on Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

• Rucha Tadwalkar, an activist and Community Outreach Coordinator for the Center for the Pacific Asian Family, partners with many agencies and individuals to raise awareness on domestic and sexual violence.


In Spring 2009, one of the students in the studio, Eun Joo Annie Kim did an independent study with Graphic Design instructor Fabian Geyrhalter from Geyhalter Design to further develop an integrated identity for Partners for Prevention.

Overall Outcomes

In Summer 2009, Designmatters Fellow Nicole Chan worked with the UNDP team in Bangkok, Thailand to implement and deploy the Partners for Prevention new identity as well as to design communication strategies for the local partners the program serves.