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.
What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls is a £25 million global programme funded by the UK Department for International Development which seeks to understand and address the underlying causes of violence across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The What Works programme is not alone in investing time and resources in researching and prioritising prevention and response to GBV. In 2013, Sweden and the UK Department for International Development jointly launched the Call to Action on Protection from GBV in Emergencies, a global appeal to diverse stakeholders – governments, donors, NGOs, civil society, women’s organisations, the private sector-to make specific commitments to contribute towards transforming the way GBV is addressed in the humanitarian space.
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. The Call to Action identifies am “insufficient evidence base on effective programming and systemic response” as one of its areas of concern. As the largest multi-year study currently examining VAWG in conflict and crisis, What Works will play in instrumental role in advancing research in this area.
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.
Six research studies are being conducted to produce rigorous research and evidence on:
VAWG prevalence in South Sudan: a mixed-methods study on the prevalence, forms, patterns and drivers of VAWG in South Sudan;
Kenya refugee camp case management: an assessment of the comprehensive case management model using a task-sharing approach with refugee community workers in the refugee camps of Dadaab;
GBV response post Typhoon Haiyan: a study on how the humanitarian sector met women and girl’s needs in the response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, including the effectiveness of deployed GBV experts;
Impact of cash transfers on women’s protection and empowerment: an evaluation of the impact of cash transfer programming on women’s empowerment and protection outcomes in acute emergencies (future emergency to be determined);
Statebuilding and peacebuilding: an assessment of how different forms of VAWG and the drivers of VAWG have been addressed by national actors in statebuilding and peacebuilding processes; and also exploring how VAWG affects these processes;
Secondary analysis on the impact of Village Savings and Loans Associations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): a study on what factors moderated the effectiveness of a group based savings program on the mental health, experiences of stigma, and economic status of a survivor of sexual violence in the DRC.