Project blog

Linking interventions to cultural ceremonies and practices to reduce intimate partner violence among displaced populations in humanitarian crises

Organisation: Women and Health Alliance (WAHA) International

Partners: Addis Ababa University, EngenderHealth, Harvard Medical School

Location: Ethiopia

Type of grant: Core – development

Status: Ongoing

  • Practice interviews. Qualitative data collectors training by Samuel T.

  • Practice interviews. Qualitative data collectors training by Samuel T.

  • Qualitative data collectors training by Samuel T.

  • A man holding khat, source internet


Summary

The project targets a gap in humanitarian research and programming by developing and testing a novel intervention to reduce IPV in displaced Muslim communities in sub-Saharan Africa.

What is the humanitarian need?

Humanitarian practice guidelines recommend the integration of gender and protection
programming at each phase of a humanitarian crisis. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is one of the most common forms of gender-based violence; however, most guidelines focus on the prevention of violence in the emergency phase and the protection of women from non-partner sexual violence. There are fewer guidelines on how to prevent IPV among displaced populations during the stabilisation phase of a crisis and on how to adapt IPV interventions from non-humanitarian settings to humanitarian settings. There are limited data on IPV and a lack of evidence on effective IPV interventions in humanitarian settings; thus, there is a need for innovation in this area of humanitarian response.

What is the innovative solution?

The project will develop and test a novel intervention to reduce IPV in displaced Muslim communities in sub-Saharan Africa. The intervention will target women, men and married couples in a Somali refugee population in Ethiopia and will use community practices, cultural ceremonies or traditions as a platform for intervention delivery. The proposed project attempts to also understand and assess the protective cultural traditions that prevent and reduce IPV within families and communities rather than only emphasising the ‘harmful’ traditions addressed in current research and programming.

This will also allow exploration of how cultural norms related to IPV and how cultural practices and ceremonies shift as a result of displacement. This project will develop a framework that can be used as a tool for program planning and design by other humanitarian actors in other settings to integrate cultural factors into the design of public health and IPV interventions.

What are the expected outcomes?

This innovation will build the evidence base on gender, social, cultural, and religious norms that contribute to IPV in displaced populations and also inform how cultural and community practices in refugee settings may serve as platforms for IPV intervention delivery. This evidence will be used to inform IPV intervention design and implementation in refugee settings. Curricula for three IPV prevention interventions – for women, men and couples – will be developed, piloted and refined. It is expected that the intervention will lead to long term impacts in attitudes and behaviours related to gender, social, cultural and religious norms that contribute to IPV, which will lead to decreased incidence of IPV in the intervention site. The learning and evidence from this intervention may be used to address IPV in other humanitarian contexts.

What materials or research outputs are likely to be produced?’

  1. qualitative data on gender, social, cultural, and religious norms that contribute to IPV and on community practices in Dollo Ado camps that may serve as platforms for IPV intervention delivery;
  2. an IPV intervention logic model and curricula for three IPV interventions targeted for a Muslim and Somali context (women, men, and couples);
  3. baseline and endline data from the pilot study on feasibility, acceptability, and attendance and knowledge and attitudes related to IPV and gender and social norms;
  4. a framework outlining the selection of community and cultural practices for IPV intervention delivery, guidelines on the process of adapting an intervention from the non-humanitarian settings, and oral and written dissemination.

Elrha is hosted by Save the Children, a registered charity in England and Wales (213890) and Scotland (SC039570).

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