The infrastructure sector presents a high-risk environment for incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment (SEAH). DFID’s Safeguarding Unit has identified infrastructure as a priority focus area and has commissioned this tool to identify and mitigate SEAH risks across DFID’s infrastructure programming.

This tool has been developed specifically for DFID advisers, programme managers and Senior Responsible Officers (SROs) working on programmes that involve infrastructure (either as the main programme focus or as a component). It will help them to:

  • Familiarise themselves with potential SEAH risks within infrastructure investments;
  • Improve the identification, management and oversight of SEAH risks on infrastructure projects; this includes projects where construction, maintenance and/or upgrading of infrastructure (transport, energy, water and sanitation, waste, schools/health clinics, etc.) takes place;
  • Understand what actions they can take themselves – and require of partners – that will help identify, mitigate, manage and respond to SEAH risks or incidents in the downstream delivery of infrastructure programmes (including taking a survivor-centred approach);
  • Structure discussions with delivery partners and think about how/where to seek information during formal and informal review points;
  • Strengthen their oversight capacity to manage and/or escalate SEAH incidents.

This tool is not intended as comprehensive guidance, rather it sets out the priority risks and common weak spots where SEAH can manifest within infrastructure projects. It supplements the DFID Infrastructure Handbook1 which includes detailed guidance for DFID staff on all aspects of infrastructure programming.

The tool is set out according to the infrastructure project cycle.