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Women and Girls Empowerment and Boys Transformation Program, to Prevent VAWG

Project Title

Women and Girls Empowerment and Boys Transformation Program to Prevent VAWG

The Organisation

Ujaama Africa

Geographic Location


Summary of Intervention / Research

Ujamaa Africa works in partnership with government ministries, UN agencies and civil society in Kenya and Malawi to implement projects that aim to reduce rates of sexual violence, by developing a schools-based programme to address the factors that can lead to violence early on.

The schools-based programme is anchored on a tested programme developed by No Means No Worldwide, called the IMpower programme. It has been implemented in upper primary and secondary schools across Nairobi, Kenya. The IMpower programme works with girls to provide self-defence training and runs activities to build their self-esteem; it also runs courses with boys to encourage them to challenge ideas of masculinity and the use of violence.

A research team from Stanford University School of Medicine, in conjunction with Ujamaa-Africa and the African Institute for Health and Development (AIHD), is conducting a large cluster randomized trial (CRT) to assess the impact of this intervention. This CRT examines the effects of the intervention on sexual assault, bullying, physical assault, and behavioural measures such as self-esteem amongst both girls and boys. This CRT is the largest study of a self-defense based program for violence prevention ever carried out, and is contributing considerably to the fields of preventing violence against girls and engaging boys in changing gender norms in communities.

The Women and Girls Empowerment and Boys Transformation Program to prevent VAWG is projected to reach 20,000 boys and girls. As of December last year (2015), 6,317 (3,507 girls, 2,810 boys) had already received the intervention. For the January – April 2016 intervention period, 34 schools were contracted to be part of the Stanford study. Half of these schools will form part of the control for the study due to be completed in 2018.

Major Timeframes

This project’s efficacy shall be assessed with the help of an external evaluator from Stanford University. Baseline data was collected between 17th January 2016 and 1st February 2016. The interventions concluded in June 2016.

Key Contacts

Main Contact for the Intervention

Benjamin Omondi, Project Director, Ujaama-Africa

Email: bomondi@ujamaa-africa.org


Main Contact for the Research

Michael Baiocchi, Stanford University


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