[Photo: Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank]
Written by Elizabeth Dartnall, Morma Moremi and Laura Fitzhenry, Sexual Violence Research Initiative
As this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence (GBV) campaign comes to an end, we have taken the time to reflect on the importance of funding research to prevent and respond to GBV worldwide.
An estimated one-third of all women are subject to sexual and intimate partner violence and the associated health and development consequences that this violence brings. The urgent need for evidence based research on prevention and response to gender-based violence cannot be underestimated. It requires partnerships between various stakeholders, highlighting what works and where the gaps are, to ensure continued advancement of the field by investing limited resources towards the most effective strategies.
How does the SVRI contribute towards prevention of #GBV?
Since 2014, the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) through the SVRI grant and in partnership with the World Bank Group Development Marketplace Awards has disbursed more than $3.1 million to 28 research projects in 22 countries across the globe. The projects were selected through a rigorous peer review process and those located in and run by researchers in low- and middle-income countries were prioritised. Issues covered include preventing risky behaviour in conflict-affected communities, education, parenting interventions and economic empowerment interventions.
How will the SVRI and WBG funded research be used?
Through the development marketplace awards for innovation, grantees plan to use their research findings to inform policy and develop innovative prevention and response programmes, while others plan to improve or expand on their research to collect more evidence and build the knowledge base on violence prevention. Whilst others are researching under-researched or under-recognized issues related to GBV, such as the intersections of violence against women and violence against children and violence and mental health. The funded research teams are sharing their findings through blogs, research articles and papers, policy briefs, national meetings and events, and presenting their findings in international fora such as the SVRI Forum 2017.
So, what’s next?
The research funded through the SVRI and World Bank Group is helping to build our understanding of the prevalence of GBV in different contexts and how to prevent it. But we are only at the frontier of new knowledge in this field. We have some idea of what works to prevention violence against women and girls, but we are still just learning about why these programmes work. We need to continue to develop, test and explore mechanism of change and scale up for prevention and response programmes.
This year, the SVRI and World Bank Group invited applications for its third call for proposals for the Sexual Violence Research Initiative and the World Bank Group’s Development Marketplace for Innovation on GBV Prevention and Response, 2018. Through this call the SVRI and World Bank Group will continue to support innovative research on gender-based violence prevention and response in low and middle-income countries and dissemination of research findings for improved practice and policy. For more information about the SVRI Grants and SVRI WBG Development Marketplace visit: http://www.svri.org/svri-grant
With a network of over 5000 members SVRI is one of the largest global networks aiming to promote research on violence against women and girls in low- and middle-income countries to influence policy and practice. One key way in which we do this is through SVRI Forum - join us for the SVRI Forum 2019 Cape Town to discuss and debate advancements in the field.