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Principal Investigators: Claudia García-Moreno, WHO & Mary Ellsberg, George Washington University


The study in a refugee camp in Tanzania will evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of a brief empowerment counselling intervention (ECI) among pregnant women and girls from the primarily Congolese and Burundian refugee population in Nyarugusu, Tanzania  receiving antenatal care who have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) in humanitarian healthcare settings.

The study will include two phases: Phase 1 will involve formative qualitative research, analysis of which will inform adaptation of the ECI package and Phase 2, implementation of the intervention, accompanying qualitative and quantitative data collection, data analysis, and dissemination.

This study provides an opportunity to understand how to strengthen the role of healthcare providers in identification and response to IPV through improved competencies and integration of first-line support for gender based violence (GBV) in a humanitarian setting. ANC offers a window of opportunity to identify and support women and girls facing violence, with the possibility of more than one visit.

Claudia García-Moreno


Pregnant women experience many forms of violence in humanitarian emergencies, including from their partners. They may also experience further violence when they seek help. Antenatal care visits provide an opportunity for them to disclose and receive first-line support from sensitized and trained providers that will empower them and help them to be safe and address their violence experiences.

Expected Outcomes

The study will strengthen the humanitarian sector’s understanding of how to responsibly implement IPV identification and response in health facilities. It will help to build an understanding of how to respond effectively to a disclosure of violence and build evidence for health services as an entry point for effective IPV identification, response and prevention. Findings will contribute to meeting WHO standards for evidence-based recommendations and influence multisectoral integration at a global level.

Research Methodology (Brief Summary)

Mixed qualitative and quantitative methods will be used. During Phase 1, qualitative data will be collected through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with health centre staff, GBV service providers, and pregnant women. The findings will guide intervention design and assess acceptability of the intervention for Phase 2. During Phase 2, participants in the intervention and control group will receive a baseline assessment, with 3 and 6 month follow-ups. A small subset will also participate in follow-up qualitative research 3-months post-baseline. Outcomes will be measured through a quantitative questionnaire, which will collect basic demographic information at baseline and follow-up, along with questions from instruments to measure changes in primary and secondary outcomes. Qualitative research in Phase 2 will also assess intervention acceptability, feasibility and impacts.

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