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

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4 Results for Health Topics

4.4 Sexual and reproductive health (including gender-based violence)

4.4.4 Recommendations for future research



  • Research, including the use of trials, is needed which can show causation and direct impact of an intervention on a given health outcome.
  • In a crisis setting, research needs to focus on the most effective means of service delivery rather than on the efficacy of interventions themselves when they have been proven in other resource constrained settings.


  • Overall, there is no strong evidence on what interventions (stand alone/short-term or comprehensive GBV service provision) effectively address the immediate and long-term impact of violence on physical and mental health of survivors. Importantly, evidence on successful primary and secondary prevention programming is lacking throughout all crisis phases.
  • Numerous promising interventions are being implemented but their impact on preventing GBV has not been evaluated, including the role of safe spaces for women/children, the effect of cash transfer or livelihood interventions on preventing GBV, mechanisms to reduce unaccompanied children and provide protection, the impact of the placement of a GBV specialist advisor in acute crisis settings on the delivery of GBV services across the humanitarian clusters.



  • Most organisations in crisis settings do not appear to have the research capacity or the funding to design, collect, analyse and disseminate research findings. Operational data and research from local NGOs is useful for service planning but are not designed or powered to assess impact. Rigorous research designs are needed which are implemented from an early stage.


  • Methodological development: the collection of GBV prevalence data in the acute stage of a crisis is not always ethical or logistically feasible. Therefore alternative methodological approaches need to be explored to better understand the experiences of GBV in the early crisis stages.
View Publication View Executive Summary View Executive Summary - French HHER 2021 Update

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