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The What Works Innovation Fund

The What Works Innovation Fund supports 10 ground-breaking projects in countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East that are designing and implementing exciting new interventions to prevent violence against women and girls. These projects have been provided with grants of between £300 000 and £1 million over a period of three years. This investment is going towards the development and implementation of the projects, which includes formative research, monitoring and evaluation. In addition to funding, The Global Programme supports capacity development in the areas of programme design and implementation, research and communications, as well as building a community of practice to promote learning and knowledge sharing across countries, organisations and interventions.


Zambia | Serenity Harm Reduction Programme

This is a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectivess of a multipronged intervention in reducing violence against women and girls/youth (VAWG) by addressing a number of identified risk factors, for example childhood abuse, domestic violence, alcohol use. The intervention is designed to research supporting multi-modal treatments, and to model after how organizations may incorporate a program to prevent violence.

Nepal | VSO International

The One Community One Family project addresses factors related to migration in Nepal including the changing roles and identities of men and women in migrant communities that are seen to be driving a rise in VAWG. The project will provide migrant women with livelihood training and link them to microfinance institutions, and will work with the wider community to provide counseling, access to support services, and drive local advocacy activities.

Kenya | Ujamaa Africa

Ujamaa Africa will work in partnership with government ministries, UN agencies and civil society organisations in Kenya to implement a project that aims to reduce rates of sexual violence, by developing a schools-based programme to address the factors that can lead to violence early on. The project also includes a randomized control trial to test the intervention.

Democratic Republic of Congo | Tearfund

The project focuses on primary prevention of violence against women and girls (VAWG), particularly sexual violence, in 20 conflict-affected communities in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The project will engage and equip faith leaders to speak out against VAWG and act as catalysts to address the root causes of violence within their local communities.

South Africa | Sonke Gender Justice

This project will refine and test a multi-level model for reducing violence against women and girls (VAWG) in urban South Africa using a cluster randomised controlled trial design. It will expand a gender-transformative programme called One Man Can (OMC) by adding community mobilisation and advocacy, and more squarely focus on preventing violence against women and girls.

Occupied Palestinian Territories | Ma’an Network

The Ma’an Network will work with local women’s organisations to implement the first ever national multi-component media campaign on the prevention of violence against women and girls in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The project uses edutainment, awareness campaigns, relationship skills sessions, and institutional capacity training to address violence against women and girls.

Tajikistan | International Alert

International Alert will work with Tajik NGO partners to build a multi-component project to address underlying factors that condone and contribute to domestic violence in Tajikistan. The project will work to develop economic and business opportunities for women, but will also work with the wider community, including men and influential community institutions to begin wider conversations to shift social norms and gender stereotypes that contribute to an environment that condones violence against women and girls.

Bangladesh | BSR (Business for Social Responsibility)

In order to address violence against women and harassment in the workplace, HERrespect will link international buyers and their supplier factories in Bangladesh, with local NGOs, to run workplace training sessions on gender, sexual  and reproductive health and rights. This is an exciting project because of its potential for scaling up and impacting upon thousands of women in the garment industry in Bangladesh and beyond. This programme aims to develop a new approach on how workplaces can be transformed to recognise gender equality as a business priority.

Afghanistan | Help the Afghan Children

Help the Afghan Children (HTAC) will use the innovation grant to implement a far reaching peace and civic education programme, that works with girls, women, boys, male leaders and families to promote an understanding of women’s rights and build healthy relationship skills based on peaceful conflict resolution.

Nepal | Equal Access Nepal

Change Starts at Home uses media (radio and SMS) and community mobilization to prevent IPV against women and girls in Nepal. Centred around an innovative radio programme and weekly listener group meetings, the intervention will target married couples, family members and community leaders across Nepal, addressing social norms, attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate women and girls low status. The impact of the project will be rigorously evaluated using a Randomised Control Trial to examine potential pathways of change and over the 3 years, Equal Access hopes to identify intervention activities that are effective, replicable and scalable so that a change in the status of women and girls in Nepal can be sustained over time