World Bank Group and SVRI award $1 Million to 11 Research Teams for Addressing Gender-Based Violence

The World Bank Group and Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) awarded US$1.1 million to 11 research teams from around the world for innovations to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.

The Development Marketplace Awards, in their fourth year, honor victims and survivors of violence, and are held in memory of Hannah Graham, daughter of a longtime World Bank Group employee.

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This year’s winners include a project studying how a mobile phone application can improve the collection, documentation and preservation of forensic medical evidence to support prosecutions of sexual violence crimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya, research evaluating the impact of a media campaign to reduce the acceptability of violence among couples in Bangladesh, and a study of how youth social networks affect attitudes to gender and violence in Jordan, among others.

World Bank Group and Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank, Kristalina Georgieva said, “Gender-based violence has a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities. We need to improve care for survivors, shift norms and behaviors among men, and strengthen health, education and legal systems. The Development Marketplace Awards have an important role in bringing forward new thinking and we hope to see these ideas scaled up in the field.”

Over three years, $4.5 million has been awarded by the Bank Group and SVRI to more than 40 research projects in 28 low- and middle-income countries. This year, Development Marketplace awards will support researchers in Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Mexico, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, and Peru.

SVRI Founder and Coordinating Group member of the World Health Organization, Claudia Garcia-Moreno said, “Research is vital in order to close gaps in evidence, to help to improve programs, and to ensure low- and middle-income countries can enact proven responses to violence against women. Development Marketplace award winners are developing more knowledge about reducing violence in areas where often research is limited or not available.”

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This year, for the first time a private-sector award is being given with the support of the International Finance Corporation. This will help to fill an evidence gap in Peru on how companies can evaluate the impacts and consequences of their actions to reduce violence.

IFC CEO, Philippe Le Houérou said, “Violence affects all of society, and that means all of society must be involved in responding, including the private sector. Employers have a key role to play. The IFC is delighted to support the Development Marketplace private sector award. Our expectation is that we will learn valuable insights in how employers can prevent gender-based violence, which we will use to inform our clients.”

An expert panel reviewed more than 250 proposals submitted to the Bank Group and SVRI following an open call for innovations to prevent GBV in low- and middle-income countries. Winning teams were chosen based on overall merit, research or project design and methods, significance, team expertise, and ethical considerations.

SVRI is one of the largest global research networks focused on violence against women. SVRI’s 6th global conference on violence against women, SVRI Forum 2019, is in Cape Town in October 2019.

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