ResourcesWhat Works Resources

 

The manual is intended to be used in its entirety with peer group participants who work through all sessions, each building on previous sessions. It is designed for use with people of any age and both genders. Originally developed for use in small, rural communities in Uganda, it has now been adapted for South Africa and after well over a decade of use is in its 3rd Edition. The Stepping Stones workshops are designed to be held with two or more peer groups drawn from a community at the same time (although this is not essential).

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Creating Futures is a programme designed to enhance the ability of young people to think more critically in appraising opportunities and challenges related to their lives and livelihoods. It was developed for implementation among young people (18-24 years) living in urban informal settlements in South Africa. Creating Futures is designed to be facilitated by trained peer facilitators in a participatory style, encouraging participants to seek and develop relevant livelihoods for themselves through their own learning.

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Compiled and edited by Lori Heise (link is external) and Elizabeth McGrory, this publication synthesises the discussions and conclusions of a three-day expert consultation on the links between HIV and violence against women and girls (VAWG).

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Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a significant social, economic and public health problem. No country is immune from this problem and it impacts all socio-economic groups, all ethnicities  and all ages. This does not mean it is inevitable; it can be transformed through political will, through increased investment in programmes and policies, and through community support for normative change. The publication has been authored by the Members of Component Two for What Works: Economic and Social Costs of Violence Programme.  Download the publication here.

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The Right To Play Project Newsletter for April to September 2016 is out! Download it here.

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Violence persists in sex workers’ relationships with their intimate partners, an intervention and evaluation study, Samvedana Plus, was designed to understand and address violence and HIV risk in the intimate partnerships of female sex workers. Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT) is implementing Samvedana Plus, in partnership with Chaitanya AIDS Tadegattuwa Mahila Sangha, a communitybased organisation (CBO) of sex workers in northern Karnataka, India. The findings of the report are related to four broad categories: characteristics of the female sex workers and intimate partner relationships; gender attitudes, social norms and violence acceptance; experience of intimate partner violence, solidarity and self-worth; and STI/HIV risk perceptions, skills for self-protection and condom use among female sex workers.

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This report summarises the findings of the formative research phase of the ‘Living with dignity’ project, which is part of the broader ‘What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls’ programme funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). It is based on qualitative field research conducted in the four target villages of the project, two of which were in Penjikent district, and two in Jomi district in Tajikistan, using focus group discussions and in- depth interviews conducted in November and December 2015. 

Authors: Subhiya Mastonshoeva, Umed Ibragimov and Henri Myrttinen
 

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There has been a growing interest in deriving the associated costs of violence against women.  This has coincided with an explosion of costing studies in recent years, particularly after 2000, when interest in establishing these costs grew dramatically. Currently over 55 studies, mostly from high-income countries, have attempted to quantify the costs of various forms of violence against women. However, providing a comparison across countries can be difficult. This is mainly due to the different categories of costs, different forms of violence, and the different sampling approaches undertaken by individual studies (Varcoe et al., 2011). This comparison becomes even more difficult in developing country contexts where the availability of data is less robust and less systematic attention has been placed on measuring the economic costs of violence against women when compared to their industrialised counterparts. In this review of the evidence on the costs of violence against women, we provide an assessment of what we have learned and we establish the gaps which need to be addressed in future costing studies. 

Authors: Ashe, S., Duvvury, N., Raghavendra, S., Scriver, S., and O’Donovan, D.

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The What Works programme is not alone in investing time and resources in researching and prioritising prevention and response to gender-based violence (GBV) in emergencies and fits into a larger, global drive to create change for affected populations, particularly women and girls. The Call to Action on Protection from GBV in Emergencies is a global appeal to diverse stakeholders to make specific commitments to contribute towards transforming the way GBV is addressed in the humanitarian space. As the largest multi-year study currently examining VAWG in conflict and crisis, What Works will play an instrumental role in advancing the global research agenda in this area. This brief sets out how the What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls in Conflict and Humanitarian Crises research portfolio complements and supports the achievements of the Call to Action’s objectives.

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This brief provides a succinct overview of the existing evidence on the prevalence of VAWG and on promising and emerging practices that prevent and respond to VAWG in conflict and humanitarian settings, summarising recent systematic and literature reviews in this field. It includes information on interventions involving both refugees and internally displaced populations (IDPs) affected by conflict, as well as other groups of women and girls who have been affected by natural disasters and/or severe food insecurity. The articles also focus on several different types of violence, including non-partner sexual violence, intimate partner sexual/physical violence, and harmful practices and social norms. Written by Maureen Murphy, Diana Arango, Amber Hill, Manuel Contreras, Mairi MacRae & Mary Ellsberg.

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Violence against women, recognised globally as a fundamental human rights violation, is widely prevalent across high-, middle-, and lowincome countries. It imposes direct and indirect costs and losses on the well-being of individuals, families and communities, businesses, national economies, social and economic development and political stability. Recently, there has been a growing interest in deriving the associated costs of violence against women. This has coincided with an explosion of costing studies in recent years, particularly after 2000. In this review of the evidence, we provide an assessment of what we have learned and we establish the gaps which still need to be addressed in future costing studies.

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This project contends that the failure to eliminate VAWG constitutes a drag on national economies and on inclusive human development. There is thus strong incentive for investment by government and other stakeholders to address VAWG – the cost of inaction is signifi cant. This project aims to build knowledge about the impacts of VAWG and thus to mobilise political will to eliminate violence worldwide. Through the development of new costing methodologies that can be applied within different national contexts, this project will provide policy makers with the tools to estimate the impact of VAWG. To develop such tools, it is necessary to collect data and evaluate methodologies within a range of political, economic, cultural and social contexts. This study is therefore being conducted in three countries in the Global South that exhibit marked differences in terms of context: South Sudan, Pakistan and Ghana.

In Pakistan, the project aims to fi ll the gaps in our understanding of the socio-economic impacts of VAWG, focusing on intimate partner violence (IPV) and non-partner sexual violence (NPSV). The project will go beyond costs to individuals by providing estimates of the loss to the overall economy of Pakistan. In addition, we examine costs arising from the impact of VAWG on social cohesion and political stability.

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This project contends that the failure to eliminate VAWG constitutes a drag on national economies and on inclusive human development. There is thus strong incentive for investment by government and other stakeholders to address VAWG – the cost of inaction is signifi cant. This project aims to build knowledge about the impacts of VAWG and thus to mobilise political will to eliminate violence worldwide. Through the development of new costing methodologies that can be applied within different national contexts, this project will provide policy makers with the tools to estimate the impact of VAWG. To develop such tools, it is necessary to collect data and evaluate methodologies within a range of political, economic, cultural and social contexts. This study is therefore being conducted in three countries in the Global South that exhibit marked differences in terms of context: South Sudan, Pakistan and Ghana.

In Ghana, the project aims to fi ll the gaps in our understanding of the socio-economic impacts of VAWG, focusing on intimate partner violence (IPV) and non-partner sexual violence (NPSV). The project will go beyond costs to individuals by providing estimates of the loss to the overall economy of Ghana. In addition, we examine costs arising from the impact of VAWG on social cohesion and political stability.

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The Right to Play Project will conduct an extensive impact evaluation, that will contribute new evidence on best practice approaches to working through schools and sports programmes, to build positive attitudes and support for gender equality amongst young people.  This programme is funded by the What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls. The latest project updates are included in the November 2015 newsletter.

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Orange Day 2015 Celebrations - Infographic Report

Globally, one in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, mostly from an intimate partner. From 25 November through 10 December, Human Rights Day, KHPT’s programmes on 16 days of activism against gender based violence focused on the 2015 theme, ‘Preventing Violence against Women’, of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Under the Samvedana Plus programme, village walks, street plays, and community discussions were organised to raise awareness and mobilise village communities to end violence against women. These events highlighted the discrimination faced by women and girls within these communities and galvanised local action calling for an end to violence against them.

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A number of interventions have been found to be effective in helping to prevent and address VAWG (see papers 2 and 3). However, little is known about their cost, value for money, and how to take them to scale. With its focus on low-income and middle-income countries, this review summarises evidence found on the cost and value for money aspects of interventions to prevent VAWG, as well as on approaches for scaling up such interventions.  This rapid assessment, along with the other papers, is designed to: i) Inform the violence prevention research agenda and priorities for innovation; and ii) Establish a baseline of the state of knowledge and evidence against which to assess the achievements of the What Works programme over the next five years.

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VAWG response mechanisms have, for the most part, been developed and deployed with the primary goal of providing improved support services to women and girl survivors, through strengthening the response of the police and criminal justice system, and the health system and social sector. In and of itself, this goal is vitally important. However, an assumption is often made that strengthened response mechanisms will also lead to a decrease in rates of violence. For example, it is assumed that health sector responses could lead to reduced  rates of reoccurrence, or that strengthened police and criminal justice systems may prevent violence through deterrence. Whether or not response mechanisms also have the potential to prevent violence is a key question for the field of violence prevention. However, these assumptions have not yet been proven, and, as this paper will show, research in this area is still limited.

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The Karnataka Health Promotion Trust, University of Manitoba and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine are evaluating the impact of Samvedana Plus within a DFID-funded consortium called STRIVE.  The findings from this study will form the qualitative baseline for STRIVE's evaluation of the Samvedana Plus intervention, which is supported by the DFID-funded consortium What Works to prevent Violence Against Women.

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Forms of intimate partner violence and associated HIV risk and vulnerability amongst women in sex work in Karnataka, India presentation at the 2015 SVRI Forum, Cape Town.

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“All in the name of love”: Understanding the relationship between female sex workers and their intimate partners.  Findings from a participatory research in North Karnataka, India presented at the 2015 SVRI Forum held in Cape Town.

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To reduce risk of HIV and STIs, programmes should promote equitable gender norms. This means working with men to redefine masculinity in other ways, not as dominance and control. To do this, it is important to collect evidence of gender norms and IPV as possible drivers of HIV transmission, and to share new understanding with government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and community-based organisations (CBOs), funders and communities.

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What is Samvedana Plus? An intervention and evaluation study, Samvedana Plus aims to understand and address violence and HIV risk in the intimate partnerships of female sex workers. This brochure provides background information about the Samvedana Plus study.

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The high prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) amongst women, and particularly those in sex work or female sex workers (FSWs), has been increasingly recognized. Studies involving female sex workers have focussed on violence from clients, often quantitatively identifying risk factors.  Few studies have examined IPV facing FSWs and none have included both male and female partners or taken a community-based research (CBR) approach. Qualitative community-based research is valuable for better understanding the mechanisms by which multi-levelled factors may be increasing vulnerability to IPV, from the perspective of women in sex work and their male intimate partners.

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The Samvedana Poster illustrates the findings from the participatory research in North Karnataka, India. The objective of the study is to understand the drivers of violence and condom use in the relationship between sex workers and their intimate partners. This study was conducted in two separate, three-day residential workshops with 31 female sex workers (FSWs) and 37 intimate partners (IPs).

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The role of the male partners in determining the sex workers’ sexual behaviour is very significant. The male partners’ ideas of masculinity, sanctions given by society and the lack of accountability and responsibility in a sexual relationship increases the risk and vulnerability of their female partners,female sex workers as well as the general population of women, particularly regular female partners. Karnataka Health Promotion Trust has conducted a series of participatory workshops with sex workers and their intimate partners to explore how they understand and interpret their relationships, the reasons for not using condoms in these relationships and the role of violence and its consequences.

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A lack of understanding of the nature and dynamics of sex workers’ relationship with their intimate partnerships made it difficult to design appropriate strategies to address the issues of non-usage of condoms and violence which increase FSWs’ risk and vulnerability. Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT) tried to address this gap by conducting a series of participatory workshops with sex workers and their intimate partners to explore how they understand and interpret their relationships, reasons for not using condoms in intimate relationships, the role of violence and its consequences.

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It is essential that researchers and activists working in the area of violence against women and girls (VAWG) adopt clear definitions that adequately recognise the variety, scope and impact of violence on women and girls, their families, communities and societies. In this paper, we examine contributions to understandings of violence from a number of disciplines which have shaped and informed the most common conceptualisations of VAWG today. 

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Violence against women and girls can be prevented. New studies have shown that carefully designed interventions, which focus on transforming gender norms and work at multiple levels, can significantly reduce women’s experience of violence within one to two years. These interventions show great promise for our goal of creating a world free from violence as envisaged in the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Participatory approaches to behaviour change dominate HIV- and intimate partner violence prevention interventions. Research has identified multiple challenges in the delivery of these.  In this article, we focus on how facilitators conceptualize successful facilitation and how these understandings may undermine dialogue
and critical consciousness, through a case study of facilitators engaged in the delivery of Stepping Stones and Creating Futures and ten focus-group discussions held with facilitators.

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At the time Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in November 2013, the primary guidance for preventing and responding to gender-based violence (GBV) in emergencies was the 2005 Inter-Agency Standing Committee's Guidelines for Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings. This study used the 2005 IASC GBV Guidelines as a tool to understand how the humanitarian sector met the needs of women and girls in the Phlippines; specifically looking at how prevention and mitigation of violence against women and girls (VAWG) were carried our in the early phase of the emergency response and investigating the effectiveness of deploying GBV experts to assist VAWG mainstreaming in the humanitarian response.

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This study uses the 2005 Guidelines for Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings as a tool to assess how the humanitarian sector met the needs of women and girls in the response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. It specifically looks at how prevention and mitigation of violence against women and girls (VAWG) were carried out in the early phase of the emergency response and investigates the effectiveness of deploying gender-based violence experts to assist with mainstreaming VAWG prevention and response activities across the humanitarian response. It also links to the revised Guidelines for Integrating Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Action, published in September 2015, with recommendations for implementation, funding, research, and more.

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This video was produced by the Change Starts at Home project, to commemorate the International Day to End Violence Against Women and Girls, and the 2015 #16Days of Activism. Change Starts at Home is a project working in Nepal to prevent violence against women and girls.

It 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.

Read more about the project: here. Or follow the project on Twitter.

This International Day to End Violence Against Women, the What Works global programme has created a short viral film to celebrate the people around the world working in the field, asking people to join in a global conversation on what works to prevent violence from happening. The two-minute short is made with researchers from around the world, who were each asked what their perfect world looks like. Join the conversation and discuss with us how we can all contribute towards making this perfect world a reality.

This paper outlines our current knowledge base regarding the issue of VAWG and identifies where the evidence base needs to be expanded in order to inform more sophisticated interventions and make a real impact on the prevalence of VAWG globally. It highlights the implications of this knowledge for prevention interventions and points to how information can be used to drive current policies and programmes as well as future research endeavours. 

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This paper examines the evidence base for the effectiveness of interventions to prevent violence against women and girls. This rapid assessment is designed to inform the violence prevention research agenda and establish a baseline of the state of knowledge and evidence. The paper is based on a rapid review of existing evidence on the impact of interventions that aim to prevent VAWG, or address key risk factors for such violence. The focus of the review was on IPV, non-partner sexual violence and child abuse.

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This report presents the findings of a global survey of 309 violence against women and girls (VAWG) stakeholders, including practitioners, policymakers, researchers and activists.  The anonymous online survey was completed between August-September 2014, with the link sent out through various VAWG networks, listservs and Twitter contacts. The survey aims to help the What Works to Prevent Violence programme learn how best to communicate findings to key stakeholders, by generating information on knowledge and understanding of primary prevention and perceived barriers to evidence-based prevention. These findings will be used to directly inform and advance the What Works to Prevent Violence communications and research uptake strategies.

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This paper outlines our current knowledge base regarding VAWG and identifies where our understanding needs to be expanded in order to deliver the most sophisticated interventions and impact on the prevalence of VAWG globally. This brief is designed to provide an overview of what we know about intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence and child abuse, based on the literature. It can be used by programmers, policymakers and researchers to inform theories of change for violence prevention interventions.

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Prevention is the key to stopping violence before it starts. This short video explains the basic elements of prevention work, why  it is important and what we know works to stop violence from occurring. By addressing the underlying causes of  violence, and working with people to build societies that value and treat women as equals, we can prevent violence before it starts. 

Violence against women and girls is one of the greatest economic and public health problems facing the world today. Globally, 35% of women have experienced some form of violence. 30% of women have experienced violence from their partner.  The What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls Programme is a UK Department for International Development flagship programme, which is investing an unprecedented £25 million, over five years, to the prevention of violence against women and girls. It supports primary prevention efforts across Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

This publication provides an overview of the What Works to Prevent VAWG Programme, and sets out the goals for the Global Programme over the coming years, to: conduct cutting-edge research, support innovation, promote knowledge sharing and buid capacity, and drive the policy agenda.

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The field of violence against women and girls has advanced considerably over the past two decades. We have much more information on the prevalence of violence in low and middle income countries as well as an expanding body of knowledge on risk and protective factors. This positions us well to develop and implement strong primary prevention interventions with a rigorous theory of change. However, there are still key gaps in our knowledge that need to be addressed in order to move towards more comprehensive models of intervention, and ultimately end VAWG. This provides a summary of existing evidence of what works and outlines the overarching research and innovation agenda for the What Works Global Programme.

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This summary presents the current evidence on the effectiveness of different types of interventions to prevent violence against women and girls. It is based on a rapid review of the existing evidence through a review of reviews and online searches of academic databases. There has been an impressive increase in the evidence base for violence prevention interventions within the last ten years. We now have several well conducted RCTs in low and middle income countries showing some success in preventing violence against women and girls, however there are still many gaps and limitations that the What Works programme is working to address.

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This summary presents the evidence on the effectiveness of different types of response mechanisms for violence against women and girls in preventing the occurrence of violence. The interventions reviewed were all developed and deployed with a primary goal of strengthening the response of the police and criminal justice system, health system or social sector to violence against women and girls. This review has not assessed evidence on their effectiveness in achieving this primary goal; it has focused on assessing any evidence that they are able to achieve a secondary or parallel goal of prevention of violence against women and girls.

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A number of interventions to prevent and address violence against women and girls have been found to be effective, but little is known about their costs, value for money, and how to take them to scale. With a focus on evidence in low and middle-income countries, this review summarises evidence on the costs and value for money of interventions to prevent violence against women and girls, as well as approaches for scaling up. It also outlines the large research gaps and what is needed to fill them.

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