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Data driven programming to prevent and respond to school-related gender-based violence

Mon, March 23, 10:00 to 11:30am, Hyatt Regency Miami, Floor: 4th, Calusa

Group Submission Type: Formal Panel Session (English)


For millions of children and youth, school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) is a major obstacle to receiving a quality education. SRGBV can be defined as acts or threats of sexual, physical, or psychological violence occurring in and around school, perpetrated as a result of gender norms and stereotypes, and enforced by unequal power dynamics. Approximately 246 million girls and boys worldwide experience some form of school-related violence, yet the extent and forms of SRGBV that girls and boys experience differ. Evidence suggests that girls are at greater risk of sexual violence, verbal abuse, and harassment, and that boys are at greater risk of corporal punishment and physical violence. Negative social norms that reinforce unequal power structures between men and women, and adults and children, have been identified as the most significant drivers and root causes of SRGBV. Both girls and boys, and teachers as well as students can be victims and perpetrators of SRGBV and it can have serious and long-term consequences.

In 2014, 35 of the leading international agencies, civil society organizations and institutions promoting girls’ education and gender equality came together to form the Global Working Group to End School-Related Gender-Based Violence in order to increase coordination and develop shared resources and tools related to SRGBV. Over the past five years, the Global Working Group has developed and piloted new tools and resources on how to measure the nature and extent of SRGBV, as well as the impact of interventions to prevent and respond to the violence. These resources include: the USAID Conceptual Framework for Measuring SRGBV, the Global Guidance on Addressing SRGBV, and the UNGEI Whole School Approach to Prevent SRGBV: Minimum Standards and Monitoring Framework.

The new tools and resources have led to a growing body of evidence on SRGBV, as well as a new generation of evidence-based programming. More rigorous evaluations better demonstrate the impact of programming, while flexible monitoring systems allow for educators and programmers to continually adapt and improve their interventions. New tools that have been specifically designed with a gendered lens allow researchers and implementers to better understand the power dynamics and gender discriminatory norms and practices that are often at the root of SRGBV.

The following panel will highlight four data-driven projects that are working to systematically design, measure, and understand the impact of SRGBV programming. Our presentations will extend and push the boundaries of this research to explore the implications of a socio-ecological model and feminist theory on SRGBV to move the conversation “beyond the human,” as is called for in the CIES 2020 theme. The authors will pose questions to engage the audience in dialogue on how to “re-situate the ways in which the human and the non-human in the planet are interconnected” through interventions and research such as this.

First, Miske Witt and Associates International will present on the piloting of the UNGEI Whole School Approach in Zimbabwe. This pilot sought to more deeply understand how a set of Minimum Standards and a Monitoring Framework could lead schools and communities to work together to prevent SRGBV and improve reporting and response to violence. Results from this pilot reveal how the drivers of SRGBV (such as the normalization of and silence around violence against children and women, rigid gender roles, stereotype constructions of femininity and masculinity, socio-economic inequality and discrimination, and institutional frameworks) are understood and experienced differently across stakeholders.

Second, VVOB Suriname will share findings from the pilot of their iGROW program, a holistic response to preventing and addressing sexual violence in and around lower secondary vocational schools in Suriname. The program combines professional development for school leaders and teachers, with coaching for students and parents. VVOB trained teachers and school leaders in the Sensoa Flag System, an evidence based methodology that allows professionals to correctly recognize unacceptable sexual behavior in youth and respond in an appropriate manner.

Third, the Education Development Center (EDC) will present on their Accelerated Quality Education for Liberian Children (AQE) Project. This activity works with the Liberian Ministry of Education to provide accelerated learning opportunities for learners who have dropped out or have never been in school. It aims to improve the safety of the accelerated learning centers and reduce the prevalence of SRGBV in order to reduce drop out and improve learning outcomes. EDC will share how they used their Rapid Education and Response Assessment, Gender Analysis, and Safe Learning Environment baseline study to design their school leadership and community engagement approach to improving learner safety.

Finally, NORC at the University of Chicago will share the midline findings of a mixed-methods, cluster randomized controlled trial of the Literacy Achievement and Retention Activity in Uganda (implemented by RTI International). This evaluation explores the links between SRGBV, retention, and learning, by gathering rigorous data through early grade reading assessments, student/caregiver/teacher surveys, a school safety inventory tool, classroom observations, and focus group discussions. This evaluation will produce critical evidence and learning on the causal pathways and impacts of SRGBV on retention and learning.

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