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How MEASURE Evaluation is Addressing Gender-based Violence

by on November 25, 2013

Photo by Micaela Arthur

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a pervasive problem around the world that cuts across economic and social status, ethnicity, and geography. It causes pain, suffering, and death to women, girls, men, and boys every day. GBV influences almost every aspect of health and development from access to and use of health services to educational attainment, and full enjoyment of human rights. MEASURE Evaluation’s work to respond to GBV includes:

Providing program managers with tools to better monitor and evaluate GBV programs

At the request of the USAID East Africa Regional Mission in collaboration with the Inter-agency Gender Working Group, MEASURE Evaluation developed Violence Against Women and Girls: A Compendium of Monitoring and Evaluation Indicators. A technical advisory group of experts, including specialists from USAID, OGAC, CDC, WHO, UNFPA, UNHCR, and NGOs, and prominent researchers and programmatic experts in the field worked with MEASURE Evaluation to develop the compendium.

VAW CoverThe compendium was created for managers, organizations, and policy makers working in the field of VAW/G program implementation and evaluation in developing countries, as well as for people who provide technical assistance to these individuals and organizations. Indicators were developed to measure the following areas within VAW/G:

  • Magnitude and characteristics of different forms of VAW/G
  • Programs addressing VAW/G by sector
  • Under-documented forms of VAW/G and emerging areas
  • Prevention of VAW/G

Improving availability of evaluation data on GBV programs so program managers can design better GBV response initiatives

WJEI, known as Sita Kimya in Kenya, men’s awareness and change agent group. Photo by Elly Arnoff

WJEI, known as Sita Kimya in Kenya, men’s awareness and change agent group. Photo by Elly Arnoff.

The Women’s Justice and Empowerment Initiative (WJEI) was a three-year, multi-million dollar program implemented from 2008-2011 to bolster women’s justice and empowerment in four sub-Saharan African countries:  South Africa, Zambia, Benin and Kenya. The three components of the initiative were awareness-raising, strengthening the justice system, and care and support for GBV survivors. MEASURE Evaluation conducted an assessment of the initiative in all four countries from 2011-2013. Due to budget constraints, fieldwork took place only in Benin and Kenya in the summer of 2012.

Women volunteers for the Sita Kimya awareness campaign Photo by Elly Arnoff

Women volunteers for the Sita Kimya awareness campaign. Photo by Elly Arnoff.

The goal of the evaluation was to examine the implementation and results in each of the countries and compare them across the four countries. Using qualitative methods, the evaluation focused on the assessment of the WJEI’s technical strategy and its sustainability in each country.

The key findings of the assessment for each program component were as follows:

  • GBV awareness campaigns should be tailored to specific audiences, taking age and gender into account. They should engage community members as change agents for maximum impact and should involve men and boys.
  • Justice system strengthening must address bottlenecks in the system in order to motivate people to report incidents and promote case prosecution. Each of these countries had lengthy processes required to prosecute cases of violence through the court system, which proves to be a major disincentive for women to report cases.
  • Care and support of GBV survivors should be integrated at one location when possible, and services need to extend beyond the acute period. The one-stop-shop center for integrated care is a best practice model for acute GBV services for women. Several lessons learned from the WJEI raised issues that must be considered in implementing this model in sub-Saharan Africa: 24-hour access is critical, access to the one-stop-centers must be provided in rural areas, and the service structure must incorporate a longer-term focus on the needs of women following assault.

A “Strengths and Challenges in Implementing Women’s Justice and Empowerment Initiative” webinar was held in April 2013.

Improving the evidence base on links between women’s economic empowerment (WEE) and GBV to identify programmatic approaches that foster WEE and reduce GBV risk

Micaela Arthur

Photo by Micaela Arthur

Economic empowerment of women sets a path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth. MEASURE Evaluation is conducting a study to explore the relationship between women’s economic empowerment and GBV as well as identify promising programmatic approaches that support women’s economic empowerment and reduce the risk of GBV.

We are in the process of completing a systematic literature review and in-depth interviews with programs on economic empowerment in 15 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Preliminary results will be presented at USAID in Washington, D.C., during the 16 days of Activism Against Gender Violence.

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