Good School Toolkit ‘wins’ at SVRI

A collaborative presentation by Dipak Naker (co-founder and co-director of Raising Voices) and SaME’s Dr Karen Devries won the prize for Best Research Presentation at the SVRI Forum 2015.

Their research on the Good School Toolkit highlights the innovative partnership between Raising Voices and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) researchers. Dipak Naker’s presentation on Preventing Violence against children at school: A systematic response to an entrenched problem and Karen Devries’ The Good School Toolkit coordinated brilliantly not only to emphasis partnership in practice but also to win the prize.

Raising Voices and the London School are fundraising to test a model for rolling out the toolkit across Uganda. In this next phase, researchers plan to follow children who have experienced the toolkit intervention into adolescence, to observe the impact of the toolkit on their use of violence in relationships with intimate partners and peers.

Innovation and Intersections

The 2015 Forum of the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) saw more than 350 key researchers, gender activists, policy makers, practitioners and survivors from around the world convene in Stellenbosch, South Africa, 15–17 September. This global event was hosted by the South Africa Medical Research Council.

The forum provides ways of strengthening innovative work in low and middle income countries and bolsters partnerships between organisations and across sectors to build capacity to respond effectively to gender-based violence (GBV) in the global South. Presentations at SVRI Forum are available to download here.

Best Research Presentation

Violence against children and adolescents

In previous years, the SVRI Forum has been primarily devoted to violence against women. This year, however, Dr Devries noted a greater focus on interventions, evaluations and qualitative research on violence against children and adolescents.

This was my third SVRI conference and I can really see the evolution of the sexual violence field. This year’s conference was the first where there were a lot of separate sessions on violence against children and adolescents.

Dr Devries, Senior Lecturer in Social Epidemiology, LSHTM


Links between GBV and HIV were also highlighted at the conference, with an emphasis on the importance of addressing GBV as part of a comprehensive HIV strategy. In many places, as various presentations showed, systems are failing when it comes to tackling sexual violence. In particular, justice systems are failing to protect the rights of sex workers who are prone to slip through the cracks in violence prevention and support infrastructures.

SaME presentations at SVRI Forum 2015

Tuesday, 15 September

Introduction Integrating culture into interventions to prevent GBVDr Shelley Lees

Intimate partner violence and its associations with mental health among pregnant women in Dar es Salaam TanzaniaDr Heidi Stöckl et al

Wednesday, 16 September

The Good Schools Study – Dr Devries, Louise Knight, Dr Nambusi Kyegombe et al

Reducing secondary distress in violence researchers A randomised trial of the effectiveness of group debriefings – Heidi Grundlingh, Louise Knight, Dipak Naker and Dr Devries

Women’s perceptions of the role of health services in preventing and addressing IPV following HIV disclosureDr Manuela Colombini, Susannah Mayhew et al

Dr Lori Heise chaired the ‘Using research to influence policy’ parallel session.

Thursday, 17 September

Dr Heise presented on ‘The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach? A mixed methods study on the causal mechanisms/pathways between a cash and in-kind food transfer programme and decreased intimate partner violence’. This took place at a plenary session on ‘Economic empowerment interventions for the prevention of violence against women and children’.


Image: SVRI Forum 2015 Programme

Image: Dr Karen Devries and Dipak Naker receiving their prize. Credit: Antonio Erasmus

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