Evaluating the communities care program: best practice for rigorous research to evaluate gender based violence prevention and response programs in humanitarian settings

Confl Health. 2018 Jan 31;12:5. doi: 10.1186/s13031-018-0138-0. eCollection 2018.


Background: Gender-based violence (GBV) is a significant issue for women and girls in humanitarian settings. Innovative primary prevention programs are being developed and implemented with existing response programs to change harmful social norms that sustain GBV in humanitarian settings. Social norms are expectations of how women, men, girls and boys should behave, who should have power and control over behavior, and how families and communities value women and girls and support their rights and opportunities.

Methods: The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) led Communities Care program is a primary prevention and response program designed from the understanding that within the context of conflict and displacement, there is an opportunity for positive change in social norms that support gender equity, and decrease GBV. The goal is to support communities in humanitarian settings to create healthy, safe and peaceful environments with quality response services for women and girls by transforming harmful social norms that uphold violence into norms that promote dignity, equity, and non-violence.

Conclusion: This manuscript will highlight the use of best practices in GBV research to rigorously evaluate the Communities Care program in two diverse in humanitarian settings, Somalia and South Sudan.