Solomon Islands Gender-Based Violence Study Wins Global Funding Award

April 19, 2017

World Bank and Sexual Violence Research Institute to fund pioneering study

HONIARA, April 19, 2017— Safe Families, an initiative to address the root causes of family and gender-based violence in Solomon Islands, today won a coveted award – and a significant funding boost of US$150 thousand dollars – in an initiative whose winners were announced at World Bank’s headquarters.

The Development Marketplace Award from the World Bank Group and the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) recognized the Equality Institute and Oxfam’s Safe Families program, Solomon Islands’ first gender based violence program to be locally developed, community mobilization-based, long-term, and intensive. This combination facilitates lasting changes in social norms by mobilizing communities to understand the root causes of family and sexual violence, and to take action to address these causes.

The winning team from Solomon Islands and Australia is one of 10 from around the world awarded competitive funds totaling US$1.14 million for innovations to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. The funding will help evaluate what is working and help better understand how social norms drive family and sexual violence in the Solomon Islands.

"We are thrilled to be honored with such a distinguished award," said Safe Families Program Manager Doris Puiahi. "This is a first and important step in trying to understand how to stop the social norms that enable gender-based violence to thrive."

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime, and in Solomon Islands an estimated 64% of women aged 15-49 who had ever been in a relationship reported having experienced some form of violence (emotional, physical and/or sexual). Beyond the devastating personal costs, gender-based violence inflicts a steep economic toll, with estimates of resulting lost productivity attributed to both survivors and perpetrators running as high as 3.7 percent in some economies.

The Development Marketplace Awards aim to help individuals, communities, and nations stamp out GBV. The idea for the awards, which first launched in 2016, honors GBV victims and survivors around the world, and is in memory of Hannah Graham, daughter of a longtime World Bank employee.

The winners of this year’s awards range from efforts to reduce inter-partner violence among refugees in Ethiopia to community approaches to prevent gender-based violence in the Amazon of Peru.

Gender-based violence thrives on secrecy and indifference with devastating consequences,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. “We cannot stand by while so many women suffer harm that’s completely preventable. Through this competition we hope to shine a spotlight on gender-based violence and inspire innovative solutions. It is my honor to congratulate and thank the 2017 Development Marketplace winners for taking action to end GBV.”

An expert panel reviewed more than 200 proposals submitted to the Bank Group and SVRI following an open call in July 2016 for innovations to prevent GBV in low- and middle-income countries. Winning teams, which received up to US$150,000 each, were chosen based on overall merit, research or project design and methods, significance, team expertise, and ethical considerations.

“The efforts funded by this award will produce evidence which will enable policy makers to design effective policies and programs to prevent and respond to gender-based violence thus contributing to a world in which women and children are free of violence and able to reach their full potential,” said Alessandra Guedes, SVRI co-chair and Regional Advisor for Family Violence at the Pan-American Health Organization/WHO. “The SVRI and World Bank Group have identified a global portfolio of superb innovators that we can learn from.”

The SVRI Grant, a global innovation award started in 2014, previously awarded more than US$1 million to nine projects in seven countries. SVRI uses an innovative mix of evidence-based information, communication and technology media; capacity-building workshops; on-granting and hosts an international Forum every two years to advance and expand research on sexual and intimate partner violence globally.

Through the Development Marketplace platform, the World Bank Group and its partners have awarded more than US$65 million in funding to more than 1,200 innovative social enterprises and raised awareness about the role of social enterprises in addressing challenges facing the poor.

2017     Winners:

  • Sexual Harassment Among Jordanian College Students: Pilot Testing a Promising Primary Prevention Intervention (Jordan, Middle East/ North Africa).Team: Information and Research Center - King Hussein Foundation and Emory University
  • Gender Equity Model - Promoting Women’s Economic Empowerment and Fighting Gender-Based Violence (Egypt, Middle East/North Africa).
    Team: The American University of Cairo
  • Gender-based Violence Prevention in the Amazon of Peru Project (Peru, Latin America).
    Team: University College London; and, DB Peru
  • Building the Evidence Base for ‘Safe Families’ – a Comprehensive Community-led model for Violence Prevention in Solomon Islands (Solomon Islands, East Asia).
    Team: The Equality Institute; Oxfam Solomon Islands; Oxfam Australia
  • Combatting Culturally-endorsed Sexual Violence in Kyrgyzstan through Innovative Education and Information Technology (Kyrgyzstan,CentralAsia).
    Team: American University of Central Asia (AUCA)
  • Building Research Capacity and Data Use for Gender-Based Violence prevention and Response in Adolescents/Young Adults (Nigeria, Africa).
    Team: Together for Girls
  • Mapping for Policy (Pakistan, South Asia).
    Team: The Urban Institute and, Information Technology University Data Science Lab in Pakistan
  • Building the Evidence to Understand and Prevent Campus Sexual Assault in Swaziland (Swaziland, Africa).
    Team: University of Swaziland; and The Regents of the University of California, San Diego
  • Development of Standard Measures to Support Gender-Based Cyber Violence (GBCV) Prevention (Uganda, Africa).
    Team: International Center for Research for Women
  • Piloting a Customizable, User-Designed Information and Communication Technology-based Approach to Reduce Intimate Partner Violence among Refugees (Dollo Ado refugee camps in Ethiopia, Africa).
    Team: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; and, Addis Ababa University School of Public Health



World Bank Group Gender Equality Strategy 2016-2023

Violence Against Women & Girls Resource Guide

Sexual Violence Research Initiative

World Bank Group Gender