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Deterring Gender-Based Violence


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Gender-based violence can affect every area of development—from educational attainment to health outcomes to economic opportunity. If you want to address those problems, you need to address this problem.

Audra Grant, Research Scientist
International Programs

NORC has been an important partner in USAID’s efforts to understand the scope of gender-based violence and develop effective interventions to prevent it.

Gender-based violence is one of the world’s most common human rights violations. According to USAID, 1 in 3 women will experience gender-based violence in her lifetime.

In Burundi, we assessed the capacity of local civil society organizations to work with USAID on anti-gender-based violence programs and provide services to victims. Our assessment found that organizations delivering medical, psychosocial, legal, and livelihoods assistance to survivors of gender-based violence had considerable unused operational capacity due to lack of funding, despite overwhelming demand.

In Tanzania, we are evaluating USAID’s Waache Wasome (Let Them Learn) program, which aims to increase adolescent girls’ retention in secondary school. The threat or experience of gender-based violence is one of the primary reasons girls do not finish school, so Waache Wasome trains teachers to identify and prevent gender-based violence. The program also supports youth clubs and safe spaces in schools where adolescent girls can learn to navigate the risks they face.

Our evaluation focuses on Waache Wasome’s impact on school attendance and retention, as well as its effects on girls’ self-esteem, communication and decision-making skills, and social networks. Our evaluation also analyzes the program’s impact on teachers’ knowledge of, and practices toward, gender-based violence and parents’ gender norms and child-rearing styles.

In a related project, we are evaluating USAID’s Apatseni Mwayi Atsikana Aphunzire (AMAA)—Give Girls a Chance to Learn—activity in Malawi. AMAA builds secondary schools and develops extracurricular and in-school activities to empower girls, transform gender norms, and reduce school-related, gender-based violence. Our AMAA research also focuses on physical and socio-emotional aspects of safety, including gender-based violence, among students enrolled in secondary school as well as those who have dropped out of school. This is one of the few studies that devotes attention to children and youth who have dropped out of school.

NORC’s work with USAID extends well beyond program evaluations. We’re also coordinating a major learning activity that involves working with subject matter experts around the world to conduct literature reviews on 11 gender-based violence questions ranging from corporal punishment and child early forced marriage, to the performance of gender-based violence service centers and the impact of gender-based violence on women’s economic or political participation. Select reviews were presented at a major conference on gender-based violence in Washington, DC, in November 2019. USAID will use the results to identify and promote promising interventions.