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A member of the ActionAid Women First Responders Network assisting a survivor during the initial assessment stage of ActionAid's response to the August 2021 earthquake.

Safety with Dignity

Women-Led Community-Based Protection manual and toolkit


ActionAid has been pioneering and evolving community-based protection efforts in times of crisis since 2005. The Women-Led Community-Based Protection (WLCBP) approach is our default strategy for humanitarian programming, emphasising the essential role of women leaders in emergencies. 

The WLCBP approach builds on local women’s strengths, knowledge and experience. It recognises the critical role of women in identifying their protection needs, and solutions to these challenges, and in creating community-based support structures that can better protect women’s rights in times of crisis. 

Our goal is to scale up this approach and implement it through ActionAid’s humanitarian response programming in protracted crises around the world. 

Two key documents have been produced:  

  • A manual that explains the theory behind ActionAid’s WLCBP approach, and;
  • An accompanying toolkit that provides participatory tools and guidance on establishing this theory in practice.  

'Safety With Dignity' (2019 edition) is ActionAid’s WLCBP manual. It outlines the theory and core components of the WLCBP approach, and builds on ActionAid’s feminist, human rights-based model seeking to build women’s individual and collective power, transform systems and structures, and strengthen access to rights, services and resources. The manual is available in English, Spanish and French.

The hands-on user-friendly 'Safety with Dignity' toolkit (2022 edition) is a practical resource material for local women’s organisations and women leaders, partners and staff, aligned with this WLCBP approach. This is available in English, Spanish and French.

The toolkit was piloted during 2020 and 2021 by ActionAid staff with women-led organisations and women’s groups in Kenya, Vanuatu, Indonesia, Haiti, Jordan and Lebanon. It will be rolled out and systematically integrated throughout all of ActionAid’s humanitarian response efforts.