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To strengthen our understanding of violence against women and ultimately prevent it, we need to ensure that the research undertaken is both priority-driven and carried out in such a way that it provides a sound practical and empirical basis for interventions/programmes, policy and advocacy on sexual violence.

The SVRI and the Equality Institute, with support from Wellspring Philanthropic Fund and Sida, have facilitated the development of a Global Shared Research Agenda (GSRA) for research on violence against women in low- and middle-income countries.

A Global Shared Research Agenda is important in order to identify evidence gaps and highlight research priority areas that can guide expenditure and ensure resources are spent effectively, which will assist researchers, funders, practitioners and policymakers with planning and fundraising. A shared research agenda also serves as an advocacy tool, to signal to stakeholders areas of research that have been identified as being important, to serve as a monitoring tool for the field, and to guide SVRI grant-making.

Through this work we are looking to elevate research that facilitates improved responses to and prevention of violence against women and directly addresses inequalities and hierarchies in global research that currently see most research resources and capacity in high-income countries. This provides a practical and empirical foundation for interventions and for policy and advocacy programmes within countries as well as at regional and global levels and increases diversity, involving multiple voices in the process.

The Global Shared Research Agenda process is driven by three groups

  1. A stewardship group, which includes representatives from the SVRI and The Equality Institute, tasked with the coordination of the process and overseeing design, reporting, analysis, and dissemination.
  2. An advisory group of over 40 experts in the fields of prevention of and response to violence against women, across multiple geographical contexts and from diverse backgrounds.
  3. A global expert group made up of more than 500 people from both low- and middle-income countries and high-income countries working on prevention of and response to violence against women, including practitioners, frontline service providers, indigenous people, grassroots organisations, people with disabilities, LGBTQI+ populations, and culturally and linguistically diverse groups.

Developing the Global Shared Research Agenda was a new process. We understand that while the outcome of this process is hugely valuable, the process itself, and what we learn from it, are just as valuable.”

– Advisory group member

The development of the Global Shared Research Agenda process was highly participatory and iterative, providing many opportunities for feedback from the different governance and advisory group members. Adapting a research priority setting method called CHNRI we were able to source the views of multiple stakeholders, with each being treated equally. We did this through crowd-sourcing multiple opinions on the research questions instead of relying on the expert judgement of one/ a few individuals. With the GSRA we are challenging traditional barriers to funding and bringing a more nuanced and equitable way to setting an agenda.

Top 5 Research Questions

  1. What types of interventions can effectively prevent multiple forms of violence and why?
  2. What types of interventions are most effective for preventing intimate partner violence (including “honour”-based violence) against women facing multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination (including age, poverty, disability, ethnicity, race, sexuality etc)?
  3. How are new feminist social movements (e.g. Metoo, Ni una menos etc.) and meninist social movements (Men’s Rights Activists or MRAs, incels etc) positively or negatively influencing individual, social and policy perspectives related to the experience and perpetration of violence?
  4. What intervention works to prevent sexual harassment in institutional settings (in-person or online), including in the workplace and educational settings, and why?
  5. What are the impacts (including disability-related impacts) of under-researched forms of intimate-partner violence on women and girls, including emotional and economic intimate-partner violence, revenge porn, and “honour”-based violence?

The Global Shared Research Agenda as a tool for enhanced research

The Global Shared Research Agenda process has revealed that there are still major research gaps in the violence against women field. The research agenda must be used for it to be effective, ideally as a tool to advocate for increased and enhanced research funding that addresses critical research gaps in the field:

Funders should increase investment in high-quality and ethical research aligned with the Global Shared Research Agenda;
Researchers should use the Global Shared Research Agenda to inform their own research plans and priorities; and
Practitioners should use the agenda as a guide for partnerships with researchers on the evaluation of their interventions.

Read the Global Shared Research Agenda brief here.
Sign up to the SVRI Update here to receive updates on research priority setting.

SVRI, & EQI. (2021). Executive summary: Global Shared Research Agenda for research on violence against women in low and middle-income countries [Research report]. Sexual Violence Research Initiative. https://www.svri.org/sites/default/files/attachments/2021-09-15/GSRA%20VAWG%20ExecSum%20Sept%202021.pdf
SVRI, & EQI. (2021). Full report: Global Shared Research Agenda for research on violence against women in low and middle-income countries [Research report]. Sexual Violence Research Initiative. https://www.svri.org/sites/default/files/attachments/2021-09-15/GSRA%20VAWG%20Sept%202021%20FullReport%20Final.pdf
SVRI, & EQI. (2021). Agenda de Investigación Compartida Global: Para la investigación de la violencia contra las mujeres en los países de ingresos bajos y medios [Research report]. https://www.svri.org/sites/default/files/attachments/2021-09-23/GSRA%202021%20Report%20ExSum%20FRENCH%20Digital%20Version%20AW.pdf
SVRI, & EQI. (2021). Agenda Mondial de Recherche Partagée: Pour une recherche sur la violence à l’égard des femmes dans les pays à revenu faible ou intermédiaire. Sexual Violence Research Initiative. https://www.svri.org/sites/default/files/attachments/2021-09-23/GSRA%202021%20Report%20ExSum%20FRENCH%20Digital%20Version%20AW.pdf
EQI, & SVRI. (2020, December 7). The Global Shared Research Agenda: Learning about the ‘how’ as much as the ‘what.’ SVRI Blog. https://www.svri.org/the-global-shared-research-agenda-learning-about-the-how-as-much-as-the-what-2/
SVRI, & EQI. (2020). Global Shared Research Agenda brief [Research brief]. Sexual Violence Research Initiative. https://www.svri.org/sites/default/files/attachments/2021-09-15/GRA%20Brief.pdf
Global Shared Research Agenda on VAW | Sexual Violence Research Initiative. (n.d.). Retrieved September 28, 2023, from https://www.svri.org/geographic-specific-research-agenda/global-shared-research-agenda-on-vaw/
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