[Svrilist] Strengthening sexual violence advocacy initiatives through research

Nduku, kilonzo (KEN) nduku at liverpoolvct.org
Mon Jun 19 13:19:02 SAST 2006

Dear all,
Research is certainly a useful tool for SV advocacy.  I will share some
of our experience of Liverpool VCT, Care & Treatment (LVCT) Kenya, and
draw out what I feel are key considerations:
1.	Clarity of what specific issue one wants to target for change.
Where this is not clearly defined, then being able to effectively target
research for advocacy may be challenging.  For instance, we chose to
influence health sector response to sexual violence in Kenya focussing
on both policy and practice.  With this clarity of goal we were then
able to select appropriate studies that could demonstrate the need and
feasibility of provision of these services.
2.	Develop a comprehensive understanding of the
situation/operational environment.  It is essential to understand the
environment within which the advocacy strategy would be expected to
operate - have baseline information on stakeholders, structures, systems
and processes through which SV is addressed.  This allows for the
development of focussed and targeted advocacy.  At LVCT we undertook a
situation analysis on post rape care services in Kenya in 2003 at the
beginning of our study (see attached).
3.	Collaborative research approaches - Once a research strategy has
been developed with the above in mind, it is important to engage the
target personalities/structures that are intended consumers of the
research results.  The more involving the process, the better the
support gained. Some ideas may include sharing the research proposal,
inviting critiques to the research design, including study target
audience as study collaborators.  In our research study design we got
lots of suggestions and critique from the Division of Reproductive
Health- DRH- (who are responsible for SV care services in the health
sector in Kenya), that helped us really focus on critical issues in the
health sector.  In this 2 year intervention study we measured the
feasibility and acceptability of post rape care services.  The health
facilities selected were public health facilities.  When we had
preliminary results, we disseminated this information to other
stakeholders involved in SV care (always in collaboration with the DRH).
The development of National Guidelines for the Medical Management of
SV/Rape in Kenya, and more recently training manuals were largely
informed by this study and other work by various stakeholders and the
DRH was happy to take on and lead this process.   
4.	Targeted dissemination of results - there is need to be
innovative and only provide information that is relevant to specific
groups. In informing policy makers we developed a policy briefing that
focussed on; basic easy to read information, key policy decisions
required to set up national systems for SV care in the health sector,
systems and logistics required (see attached policy briefing)
5.	There is need for costing for SV - costs to the economy, costs
of interventions, costs of lack of intervention.  It is through cost
information that we can effectively influence national planning and
budgets in any context.  Currently the DRH leadership in providing
services in Kenya is based on a moral and public health imperative.  The
key question we are increasingly facing is - what are the costs of
scale-up that stakeholders are so actively pushing? Where will the money
to sustainably finance this come from, given that we have no costs to
advocate for part of the health budget?  I feel that this is an area
that we need to increasingly address in the different contexts.  We are
already pursuing that direction and will share any information with you
when we can.  
Nduku Kilonzo,
Director of Policy & Performance,
Liverpool VCT, Care & Treatment (LVCT) Kenya
-----Original Message-----
From: Liz Dartnall [mailto:svri at mrc.ac.za] 
Sent: 05 June 2006 10:07
To: Sexual Violence Research Initiative
Subject: [Svrilist] Strengthening sexual violence advocacy
initiativesthrough research
Strengthening sexual violence advocacy initiatives through research
<>Research on sexual violence has been used powerfully in advocacy
campaigns.  During the recent rape trial of the former Deputy President
of South Africa, a Johannesburg based NGO, POWA launched the '1 in 9'
campaign.  This used a research statistic to draw attention to the large
discrepancy between rate of rape found in surveys and that of reports to
police ie less that one in nine rapes are reported.  Research can be a
key tool in sexual violence advocacy and research findings have been
used in many different ways.</>  

<>We need to know how to best present our research findings to ensure
the people who can make a difference take notice.  How can we spur them
into action?  What do law-makers, policy makers, planners, NGOs want to
know?  Which messages are most compelling at a community level?  Which
messages work and which don't and why? </> <>

The purpose of this discussion topic is to explore with SVRI list
members ways you have used research as an advocacy tool and what have
been the lessons from this. 

</>More specifically:
<>*  How do we channel our passion into effective advocacy?</> 
*  How do we use our research findings as advocacy tools?
*  What do we need to know to be informed advocates for ending sexual
*  What are some of the more effective lobbying techniques?
*  What has worked, in what settings and why?
*  What are some of the more compelling research based messages?
*  What research and resources have you used to develop your advocacy
<>We look forward to hearing from you regarding your experiences,
available resources and views on using research to advocate for an end
to sexual violence.  The information obtained through this discussion
will be used to inform the development of an advocacy page on the SVRI
website.  This discussion will run for a month.  

This e-mail and its contents are subject to the 
South African Medical Research Council 
e-mail legal notice available at
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