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Despite the high levels of gender-based violence (GBV) globally, and the many potential long lasting harmful effects of this violence, funds for research on GBV prevention remain scarce. The SVRI Grant, a global innovation grant began in 2014, has awarded more than US$1 million to nine projects in seven countries. In 2016 the SVRI and the World Bank Group partnered on the SVRI World Bank Development Marketplace for Innovation on GBV Prevention.

Through on-granting, the SVRI seeks to increase the evidence base for primary prevention of sexual and intimate partner violence in low and middle income countries. Researchers from low and middle income countries working in this field are invited through an open call to submit proposals to access funds to undertake research to advance our understanding of prevention.

Types of projects that may be supported through the grant include:

  • Piloting, adaptation, testing and/or scale up of new or promising interventions
  • Self-contained research projects that are either stand alone or fit within a larger project which will build on, or support primary prevention of GBV, including formative research studies, pilot or feasibility studies.
  • Costing studies on promising/effective GBV interventions to assess value for money.
  • Adding a new component/arm to an already funded intervention that can provide additional insight into the effectiveness of intervention components.
  • Projects to disseminate promising research findings including those with creative uses of ICT to advance the effective translation of research findings into policy and practice (increase research uptake and bridge the gap between researchers and program officers).
  • Secondary analysis of existing data
  • Studies to better understand the mechanisms and pathways of change of effective GBV prevention interventions

A competitive selection process is used to identify successful grantees. Applications are peer reviewed by a panel of global experts and members of the SVRI secretariat using clear selection criteria.

Sexual Violence Research Initiative grantees?

In 2014, the SVRI awarded four grants totalling $USD339, 100 from South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Uganda, and Tanzania. Work funded through SVRI Grant 2014 includes the development of primary prevention models for young adolescents who have been exposed to multiple and different stressful events including conflict, family violence, poverty in the DRC; development of an early parenting intervention in South Africa; gaining a better understanding of the effect of education on women’s experience of intimate partner violence in Malawi and Uganda through secondary analysis of data and an evaluation of Together to End Violence Against Women programme which aims to reduce intimate partner violence through women’s empowerment, male peer groups in Tanzania.

An exciting mix of projects were funded in 2015. Five projects, in Nicaragua, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, South Africa, and Bangladesh, were awarded grants of $USD 469,384. The Global Women’s Institute is researching the history and effectiveness of VAWG prevention efforts in Nicaragua.  Whilst, colleagues in Uganda are examining the link between intimate partner violence and violence against children using a unique methodology to do so.  Building on our emerging portfolio of studies on prevention of IPV in conflict settings, Promundo is conducting a time-series evaluation to assess the impact of “Living Peace” a pilot-tested program targeting husbands of conflict-related rape survivors in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Whilst in Bangladesh, the SVRI is supporting colleagues from ICDDR’B to write up trial outcome papers on SAFE, a cluster randomized controlled trial of an integrated multi-sectoral (health and legal) and multi-tier (individual, group and community) intervention combining group sessions, community mobilization, and services to survivors implemented over a 20 month period between March, 2012 and October 2013.  The final study supported by SVRI Grant 2015 is the Benefits of Early Book-Sharing study which is testing a parenting intervention (programme) delivered to families in Khayelitsha, South Africa. This study will be a major contribution to the prevention of the development of violence and aggression in children of LMICs.

This year (2016), the SVRI partnered with the World Bank Group on the Development Marketplace for Innovation on GBV Prevention, through which US$1.2 million has been granted for 9 projects in Bangladesh, Moldova, Kenya, Uganda, Brazil, Thailand, Peru, Turkey, and Syria. Winning grantees were presented with their awards at a high level ceremony held in Washington in April. A video of the ceremony is available here.

“By pooling resources and working together on the Awards, the SVRI and World Bank Group have identified a global portfolio of superb innovators,” SVRI Senior Research Manager Elizabeth Dartnall said. “This process and award ceremony opens the door for award winners to access policy-makers, paving the way for durable solutions for the field—helping us to build a world in which children and women live free from violence.” [Source: WBG]

Projects awarded funds by the SVRI and the World Bank Group include testing the efficacy of interventions in different contexts such as schools and households, and among vulnerable groups like female sex workers, and refugee populations, building a better understanding of the linkages between GBV and other health issues such as HIV.

“With these awards, we hope to spark further innovation to prevent gender-based violence,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. “Gender-based violence exists in every region, every sector, and every socioeconomic stratum, but we now have a growing body of evidence that it can be prevented.” [Source: WBG]

The SVRI and World Bank Group prioritise projects involving meaningful north-south; south-south; and / or researcher and practitioner partnerships. Projects are strongly encouraged to publish their findings and incorporate research uptake mechanisms into their work.

For more information about the SVRI Grants and SVRI WBG Development Marketplace visit:

Written by Elizabeth Dartnall and Morma Moremi, Sexual Violence Research Initiative

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