What Works To Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls

The DFID-funded What Works To Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls? Global Programme is a five year programme (ending December 2018) which is managed by the Gender & Health Research Unit of the SAMRC. The programme involves developing, undertaking and supporting evidence-based interventions and evaluation research to prevent violence against women and girls (VAWG) in 16 countries of Africa, MENA and Asia. This Research and Innovation Fund grant is designed to address critical evidence gaps and improve the effectiveness of interventions to address VAWG, through three distinct but inter-related components, of which Component 1 is managed by the SAMRC and its consortium partners, SDDirect and LSHTM. The approach used is of developing and strengthening theory-based interventions, evaluation through rigorous impact evaluation research, qualitative research, and with costing, and a programme of research uptake and engagement around the programme results, with research capacity building. The expected impact is that improved policies and expanded programmes reduce the prevalence of VAWG and increase the number of women and girls receiving quality prevention and response services in at least ten DFID priority countries. The expected outcome is improved investment in VAWG policies and programmes across the global south.

The programme’s goals are to: (1) develop the capacity of southern institutions and researchers to use evidence-based approaches to prevent VAWG and generate evidence for this from research; and (2)  deepen the understanding of country-level and global stakeholders as to the value of evidence-based prevention programming. Specifically, evidence will be generated to address the following research questions, with the greatest weight being given to addressing "what works”?:

  • What are the links between structural economic, political and social determinants and prevalence of violence, and how does addressing these factors help in prevention of VAWG?
  • What strategies and interventions are most successful for prevention of VAWG, including strategies that promote social change and engage men and boys?
  • Which interventions to strengthen women's and girls' agency and empowerment (e.g. economic empowerment through savings and cash transfers, micro-credit schemes, work with schools) produce results that protect them from violence?
  • How effective are specific response mechanisms (e.g. security and justice reform, development of safe spaces) to prevent VAWG?

Email: tirhani.maganyi@mrc.ac.za

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