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Please note: Workshop registrations will be on a ‘first come’ first paid’ basis. Limited number of delegates can be accommodated per workshop.

The SVRI Forum is proud to announce eight exciting and informative pre-conference workshops to be held on Monday 14 September 2015. Please note that the workshops are not included in your registration and will need to be paid for separately. Workshops are charged at R500 per workshop.

REGISTRATIONS are closed - no late entries will be accepted

Morning workshops: 09:00 – 12:30

Workshop 1 - Revised Inter-agency Standing Committee (IASC) GBV guidelines for gender-based violence in humanitarian settings

Presenter: Ms Mendy Marsh (UNICEF) and Erin Patrick (GBV Guidelines Inter-agency Coordinator)

Description: Describe your pre-conference workshop in 500 words or less including 3 learning objectives for your proposed session For the past two years, the Gender Based Violence Area of Responsibility (GBV AoR) has been revising the IASC GBV Guidelines for Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings (the GBV Guidelines), originally published and endorsed by the IASC in 2005.  The overall goal of the revised GBV Guidelines is to support humanitarian actors to fulfill their responsibility to protect all those affected by crises through actions that:

  • Reduce risk of GBV by implementing GBV prevention and mitigation strategies from pre-emergency to recovery stages of humanitarian response.
  • Promote resilience by strengthening national and community-based systems that prevent and mitigate GBV, and by enabling survivors and those at greatest risk of GBV to access care and support.
  • Aid recovery of communities and societies by supporting local and national capacity to create lasting solutions to the problem of GBV.

The GBV Guidelines provide humanitarian actors working within all sectors of response with recommendations for planning, implementing, coordinating and monitoring essential actions to prevent and mitigate GBV in settings affected by armed conflict and natural disasters.
The proposed GBV Guidelines workshop will describe the overall goals and objectives of the guidelines, the revision process, the guidelines structure and content, the implementation plan, and provide hands-on learning for participants to apply the guidelines in a humanitarian setting.

The three learning objectives are:

  • Describe the consultative process of revising the GBV Guidelines and recommendations generated from the process that have informed the development of the Guidelines
  • Become familiar with overall content and structure of the Guidelines
  • Apply the guidelines to support prevention and mitigation activities in a humanitarian context using case studies with a focus on 1-2 different sectors.


Workshop 2 - Healing wounds and restoring lives in DRC, South Africa and Mozambique

Presenters: Henny Slegh (Promundo), Benoit Ruratotoye (Institute of Higher Education for Mental Health Professionals), Aloys Mahwa (Promundo), Marceline Chai Chai (Capaz)

Description: Diagnostic criteria like PTSD and depression are often used in narratives of projects working with populations affected by traumatic events, but those do not necessarily describe the symptomatology found among populations of non-western countries. Most counselling and therapy methods developed and tested in Western countries are based on western concepts of identity, mental health and mental illness and are not appropriate in African context where constructions of identity and health perceptions are based on different notions of mental health and psychosocial well-being.

Gender identities, perceptions of gender power relations and behaviours between men and women are shaped in interaction with the socio-cultural context. Likewise, the expression of suffering and coping behaviours with suffering and traumatic stress are defined by cultures. Men and boys living in conflict and post-conflict settings face greater risk of being recruited into armed groups, military conscription, becoming involved in fights, and committing or experiencing violent acts including sexual and gender-based violence. Several studies have shown that men in conflict and post-conflict settings are using increased rates of intimate partner violence against women.

The coping behaviour of men in high conflict contexts fuels cycles of violence at individual and interpersonal levels. Ending cycles of violence should start with ending violence in the mind of individual people, as a group and as a “culture,” using cultural and gender-specific markers that make sense of change and healing. In this workshop the presenters will highlight the influence of collective cultures on constructions of Self and identity and the meaning of symbolism and rituals in healing for men in different African contexts.

Workshop 3 - Testing your bright idea: How to use qualitative and quantitative research strategies

Presenters: Dr. Rozina Karmaliani (Aga Khan University), Dr. Judith McFarlane (Texas Woman’s University)

Description: Testing bright ideas, turning hunches into evidence, and documenting the path from gender-based violence to primary prevention strategies requires research. Deciding to do qualitative or quantitative or mixed methods research can seem overwhelming. How does one choose a research path? What is the difference between qualitative and quantitative research? Must you have hundreds of people to do quantitative research? Must you spend hundreds of hours listening to tape recordings if you do qualitative research? What is all the talk about Power? How many people do you really need to talk to?  How long do you need to follow people? How do you choose outcomes? False Positive and False Negative, Type 1 and Type 2 error --- what does it all mean and how does one get started?

This workshop will use practical examples, humor, and tips for success to offer an interactive, experiential workshop on steps of the research process from forming a research question to selecting the design to choosing the sample, recruiting and retaining the sample, analyzing the data, writing the research results, and savoring the sweet success of documenting the outcomes of your bright ideas.

Following introductory information on qualitative and quantitative research, the workshop will offer engaging exercises to enable you to form a research question and decide on a design for the research. Practical examples on sample selection and instruments for qualitative questions (and probes) and validated quantitative instruments will be shared to enable the audience to decide on measures best or their research. Sample recruitment and retention strategies with 100% success for hard to reach and retain populations will be discussed along with a methods for selecting data analysis strategies. Community based participatory research and strategies for involving stakeholders and disseminating the results to policy makers will be stressed. The final hour of the workshop will be devoted to group interactive work where each participant will receive individual attention and assistance with their research question, design, and methods from a qualitative and quantitative perspective. Most of all we will offer empowerment and enablement to jump-start your research efforts.


Workshop 4 - Building and sustaining fruitful partnerships between activists, programmers and researchers

Presenters: Sophie Namy (Raising Voices), Anik Gevers (Independent Consultant and honorary faculty at Adolescent Health Research Unit, University of Cape Town), Dipak Naker (Raising Voices), Karen Devries (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

Description: Partnerships between activists, programmers, and researchers are common and recognised as promising practice in the field of sexual and intimate partner violence (SIPV) intervention development and evaluation. Indeed, the SVRI Forum explicitly aims to promote equitable research-practitioner partnerships—yet for this to be realized in practice there is a need for candid dialogue around how best to promote and sustain such relationships, as well as potential barriers and tensions within them. The 2015 SVRI conference presents an opportune moment to convene members from different communities and engage in meaningful discussions on this topic.

Research-practitioner partnerships are essential to move the field of SIPV forward toward innovative and effective prevention and response solutions. Such collaborations have enormous potential for combining complementary, multi-disciplinary strengths to generate meaningful and relevant knowledge that can be easily translated into action. For example, activists and programmers can help to frame research questions that emerge from practice, adapt research methodology to be acceptable and feasible, and help ensure research findings are accessible to communities, partner organisations, and policy makers. On the other hand, researchers can contribute evidence-based theory to drive programming, expertise in research design, and provide rigorous, credible data to understand the impact and process of change effected by interventions. Often these partnerships are initially welcomed as optimistic win-win agreements, and many thrive and result in long-term collaborations throughout all stages of research and development (design, implementation, evaluation, analysis, and scale up), or through multiple studies or programmes. Other partnerships, however, are less successful—challenged by competing priorities, misunderstandings, funding inequities, and other tensions.

In this workshop we will explore the potential challenges and strengths of such partnerships from diverse perspectives through participant sharing and case study examples. The workshop will aim to elucidate practical strategies to set up and maintain strong collaborative partnerships throughout all research and development stages, mitigate or resolve challenges, and ultimately strengthen SIPV work through collaborative and interactive brainstorming and discussion. We will use participatory techniques to encourage candid reflection and sharing, while emphasizing opportunities for reciprocal learning, practical solutions, and fostering a spirit of openness and understanding. 


Afternoon workshops: 13:30 – 17:00

Workshop 5 - Respondent Driven Sampling to Measure Sexual and Other Forms of Violence and to Estimate the Size of Hard to Reach Populations

Presenter: Susan Bartels (Harvard Humanitarian Initiative), Jennifer A Scott  Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Lisa Johnson University of California, San Francisco; Tulane University School of International Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Shada Rouhani Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

Description: This workshop will provide instructions on methods to gather reliable data using a probability based network sampling method, Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS). For the past 15 years, RDS has been used primarily for HIV bio-behavioral surveillance studies among hard-to-reach populations with no sampling frame, such as men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, and sex workers. More recently, RDS was successfully used to study outcomes of sexual violence among an extremely hard-to-reach population in a politically insecure country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. RDS is a link tracing method whereby peers recruit their peers and participants remain anonymous. Using participants’ social network sizes and recruitment patterns, RDS data are adjusted with the use of specialized software to provide parameter estimates representing the sampled population. Additionally, RDS methods can be used to estimate the sizes of hard-to-reach populations including survivors of sexual and other forms of violence. This workshop will review the theoretical basis of RDS, provide instruction on how to use RDS methods (recruitment and analysis considerations) and discuss special challenges, including ethical considerations, of using RDS in research on sexual and other forms of violence. Furthermore, participants will learn where to access RDS materials (RDS manual, analysis instructions, software, etc). A case study from a recently conducted RDS survey on outcomes of sexual violence related pregnancies will be presented.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the circumstances in which RDS might be used to sample sexual and other violence survivors and/or to estimate the size of survivor populations.
  • Describe the most-up-to date best practices to carry out an RDS study and to estimate population sizes from RDS data.
  • Discuss the ethical considerations of conducting RDS studies among sexual violence survivors.

Format: The presentation will consist of lectures as well as instructional presentations from field investigators who have used RDS and sample size estimation methods among violence survivors.


Workshop 6 - Researching violence safely: Effective methodological approaches for the ethical protection of study participants

Presenters: Yandisa Sikweyiya (South African Medical Research Council), Elizabeth Dartnall (SVRI), Claudia Garcia-Moreno (World Health Organization), Christina Pallitto (World Health Organization), Clara Sommarin (UNICEF), Laura Chiang (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Ashleigh Howard (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Description: While quantitative and qualitative research on violence is critical to elucidating the magnitude and nature of the problem and identifying effective response and prevention strategies, it should be undertaken with due attention to ethics and participant safety as paramount.  This workshop will bring together diverse experts to provide practical guidance on strategies that have proven effective in safeguarding the protection of participants and interviewers of violence research.  The workshop will discuss four unique research populations: children, women, perpetrators, and conflict-affected populations.  The workshop will conclude with an opportunity for participants to present on their own research and ask for input from the group about ethical protections they are considering for the study.


Workshop 7 - Conducting research on gender-based violence in conflict and humanitarian settings

Presenters: Dr Mary Ellsberg (Global Women's Institute), Jocelyn Kelly (Harvard Humanitarian Initiative), Dr. Manuel Contreras (Global Women's Institute), Diana J. Arango (Global Women's Institute)

Description: While the evidence on what works to prevent and respond to gender-based violence (GBV) in non-conflict settings has been strengthened over the past few decades, less is known about how these lessons can be applied in a humanitarian setting. The international community is working together, however, to strengthen this evidence base and to reach consensus on standardized methodologies and best practices to better understand GBV in the context of humanitarian settings.

In order to address the concerns and challenges associated with conducting GBV research in humanitarian settings, the Global Women’s Institute (GWI) and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) plan to host a pre-conference workshop that will:

(1)Explore the need and purpose of conducting GBV research in humanitarian and conflict settings.

The first component of the workshop will further explore the documented gap in knowledge related to GBV in humanitarian settings. It will address fundamental elements that should be considered when designing and conducting research on GBV in humanitarian settings. This first session of the workshop will focus heavily on the importance of understanding the conflict situation and the broader context in which the research takes place to ensure the definitions, theories, and methods are culturally relevant and sensitive. Additionally, it will lay out the basic research areas to be expanded on in these settings to better understand GBV, such as an analysis of risk factors and drivers of GBV and related social norms. The session will outline key theoretical concepts and definitions to be included in research among these vulnerable populations. While the conversation will largely focus on women’s experiences of violence, the workshop organizers will also facilitate a discussion on how to improve our understanding of men’s practices and experiences with GBV.

(2) Overview methodological, security and ethical challenges associated with conducting GBV research in humanitarian settings.

The presenters will provide examples and share their experiences in managing key ethical, security and methodological challenges, including: ensuring that the benefits outweigh the risks; collecting data in a manner that is methodologically sound and minimizes security risks to respondents and the research team; assuring basic care and support services are available and accessible; guaranteeing confidentiality and privacy; obtaining informed consent; monitoring potential unintended consequences after research; and managing community expectations, among other topics.

Related to methodological challenges, the presenters will explore: establishing temporality; sampling issues; contextualizing methodologies to different settings; ensuring quality of research when planning is put into practice; and adapting research in dynamic settings, among others.

(3) Share experiences related to active and participatory community engagement throughout GBV research and subsequent research uptake.

Active and on-going community participation is fundamental to the success of any GBV research project or implemented program. The presenters will discuss innovative participatory methods (such as body mapping and photovoice) for research design and dissemination, including ways to engage the local communities to use research to inform their programs and policies. They will also provide an overview of ways to include capacity building into a research framework.


Workshop 8 - Measuring prevalence and types of violence against women: Methodological and ethical challenges

Presenter: Dr Henrica (Henriette) Jansen (UNFPA Asia and the Pacific Regional Office)

Description: This workshop, designed for researchers, service providers, programme evaluators and others with a specific interest in VAW/GBV research methodology and ethics, will be hosted for the third time at an SVRI Forum. The workshop explores essential methodological and ethical principles and challenges when collecting (statistical) data on violence against women and provides participants with access to tools and resources to measure violence against women. It builds on the experiences of the multi-country study undertaken by the WHO, and other VAW surveys and data collection efforts around the world. The interactive workshop aims as much as possible to address specific questions of the audience. Topics that we hope to cover include: challenges with interpretation of data, both from surveys and administrative records in the context of monitoring of GBV prevention efforts; and a critical look at the statistical VAW indicators developed by the UN Statistical Division.

Workshop 9 - New Module of “In Her Shoes”, the interactive methodology to build better support systems for women and girls who suffer violence: Module on sexual abuse and pregnancy in girls

Facilitators: Margarita Quintanilla (InterCambios) and Amy Bank (Puntos de Encuentro)

Come to this experiential workshop that will put you back in touch with why you do this work.

In Her Shoes is an internationally acclaimed role-playing exercise in which participants put themselves in the shoes of a girl or woman who is suffering violence, simulating the possible routes she might take in an effort to put an end to the violence. The workshop methodology is most often carried out with institutional and community service providers and activists with the aim of strengthening support networks: By experiencing things from the girl’s or woman’s point of view, participants better understand the implications of the type of response given by the different institutions, family and community members that she might encounter.

This latest module on sexual abuse and pregnancy in girls was developed by InterCambios and Puntos de Encuentro in Nicaragua to address a very difficult and complex problem that is both disturbingly common and also often hard to talk about and respond to. Released in June in Central America, this is the first opportunity for the international community to experience this new module, which complements the broader In Her Shoes toolkit that deals with many other types of violence and has been adapted in both Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. 

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