Shaping the future: Our strategy for research and innovation in humanitarian response.

A global organisation that finds solutions to complex humanitarian problems through research and innovation..
Our purpose is clear: we work in partnership with a global community of humanitarian actors, researchers and innovators to improve the quality of humanitarian action and deliver better outcomes for people affected by crises.
We empower the humanitarian community. Find out how we can support you...

Why Gender-based Violence (GBV)?

Globally, an estimated one in three women will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime.

There is growing recognition that people affected by crises can experience various forms of GBV during conflict, natural disasters and displacement. In these settings, existing support structures and prevention mechanisms are often compromised, while the risk of abuse and violence of all kinds increases, in particular for women and girls.

Despite this, the issue of GBV in emergencies has too often been overlooked during times of crises, or not considered to be a humanitarian need. Despite initiatives over the past ten years to implement GBV programmes in emergencies, the practical difficulties are complex and context specific.

Anwar, the Syrian mother of five who sought refuge in Ramtha. Credit: Timea Fauszt/International Rescue Committee

In 2015, we realised the potential for innovation to improve humanitarian GBV was relatively unexplored and there was a lack of evidence as to what works.

We set about exploring this problem, beginning with the first ever GBV Gap Analysis: Opportunities for Innovation. This looked into the primary needs in humanitarian GBV where innovation could best support.

Since then, we’ve created new and targeted innovation approaches to tackle GBV and we’ve included the insights of people affected where appropriate and possible.

What we do

  1. We conduct research on the most pressing gaps in GBV programming and identify areas where innovation and research can really have an impact.
  2. We take a flexible, ethical and collaborative approach as a donor. We know that research and innovation takes time and we support our GBV projects to continually assess their work and pivot if needed to get the best result.
  3. We work with our grantees and the wider humanitarian community to create and share practical tools and guidance.
  4. We collaborate to drive adoption and change in the system to support wider improvements to humanitarian GBV programming.

Our current GBV work

Gap Analysis of GBV in Humanitarian Settings: A global consultation

Our latest GBV Gap Analysis builds on the work of the original GBV Gap Analysis published in 2016 providing a further breakdown of how challenges, such as the need for quality GBV expertise or improved monitoring and evaluation of GBV programming, manifest across different types of GBV programming. With this adaptation, we aim to present a wider breadth of gaps experienced across humanitarian GBV efforts and to increase the relevance of this report for more actors, such as non-GBV actors working to mitigate risks of GBV.

Similar to the first Gap Analysis, this report identifies both operational and systemic challenges faced by the sector, continually acknowledging the complexity and diversity of needs across the sector in order to achieve its intended positive outcomes for women and girls in humanitarian settings.

Convening our Gender-based Violence Technical Working Group (TWG)

Our HIF’s Technical Working Groups (TWGs) provide a greater depth of technical expertise in the thematic areas we focus on, including innovation for GBV in emergencies. Previously the GBV focus area has been guided by an Advisory Group, but we have now formalised its governance structure by building a TWG.

In November 2019, our HIF programme facilitated this transition to the TWG by convening technical experts who strive to represent the complex needs of innovation for GBV. The TWG members have varied GBV expertise such as: response, risk mitigation, prevention, in addition to gender, empowerment, women’s rights, health and protection.

Our GBV Technical Working Group (TWG)

Our GBV Technical Working Group (TWG) will help guide and inform our GBV work, from advising on exploratory pieces for the global community of practice, to refining our calls for innovation funding proposals.

Meet our TWG members

Our Gender-based Violence Tools & Research

Report Gender-based Violence

Gap analysis of gender-based violence in humanitarian settings

Report Gender-based Violence

Innovation to improve monitoring and evaluation for humanitarian GBV programming

Report Gender-based Violence

Gender Based Violence Research Methodologies in Humanitarian Settings

Report Gender-based Violence

Gender-Based Violence Interventions: Opportunities for Innovation

Report Gender-based Violence, Inclusion of People with Disabilities and Older People

Rapid review of disability and older age inclusion in GBV

Manual Gender-based Violence

Innovation Challenge Handbook: driving the adoption of GBV M&E approaches

Our GBV Innovation Projects

Our GBV Research Studies

Ian Brightwell

Innovation Manager

I'm extremely proud that we contribute to addressing GBV through research and innovation. I'm passionate about exploring how the innovation process can generate and scale improved solutions for women and girls, survivors, practitioners, and the global community of practice that works to address GBV in humanitarian settings.

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