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PRESS RELEASE April 18, 2018

Research Team in Papua New Guinea Awarded for Innovation in Preventing Gender-Based Violence

PORT MORESBY, April 18, 2018—The World Bank Group and the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) today awarded over $79,000 to a non-governmental organization in Papua New Guinea to help reduce incidents of gender-based violence (GBV).

The award, part of the 2018 Development Marketplace for Innovation to Address Gender-Based Violence*, will support Equal Playing Field (EPF, formerly Rugby League Against Violence) and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) to improve and strengthen the School Action Group program, which teaches primary school students aged 12 to 15 in Port Moresby and Bougainville about healthy relationships, respectful behavior, and gender equality.

“This program’s commitment to boys and girls working together to end gender inequality is innovative for Papua New Guinea,” said World Bank Country Manager for Papua New Guinea, Patricia Veevers-Carter. “It is important that young people grow up with the capacity to be leaders of change when it comes to gender equality and gender-based violence.”

Specifically, the award will help EPF to develop a group of boys and girls who are committed to ending gender inequality and violence against women, and who have the skills to participate in advocacy and campaigning. It will also ensure the development of a curriculum and manual that can be used as a model elsewhere in the region.

“Through our partnership with Equal Playing Field, we’re working to support young people who are seeking to change perceptions of equity, respect and gender roles, which underpin gender-based violence,” said RMIT Vice Chancellor's Senior Research Fellow, Dr. Ceridwen Spark. “We look forward to continuing this work in Papua New Guinea, and thank the World Bank Group and the Sexual Violence Research Initiative for their support.”

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.

Studies show that gender-based violence can cost economies up to 3.7 percent of GDP due to lost productivity, in addition to the direct harm caused to women and men,” said Caren Grown, Senior Director, Gender, World Bank Group. “The World Bank Group is proud to support the Development Marketplace winners, whose projects seek to find sustainable and scalable approaches to preventing GBV for us today and for future generations.”

Launched in 2015 in memory of Hannah Graham, daughter of a longtime World Bank Group employee, the Development Marketplace is an annual competition for researchers towards finding innovative solutions that can help individuals, communities, and nations stamp out GBV.

This year’s winners, chosen from more than 250 submissions from research institutions, NGOs, and aid and other organizations around the world, come from Armenia, Cambodia, Colombia, Honduras, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Rwanda, and South Africa.

Winning teams received up to US$100,000 each and were chosen based on overall merit, research or project design and methods, significance, team expertise, and ethical considerations.

The SVRI Grant, a global innovation award started in 2014, previously awarded more than US$1 million to nine projects in seven countries. With more than 5,500 members, SVRI is one of the largest global research networks focused on violence against women. SVRI supports research by disseminating and sharing knowledge and nurturing collaboration and networking, and improves policy and practice by supporting and funding research and capacity development. It hosts an international forum every two years to advance and expand research on sexual and intimate partner violence.

*The official title is the “Sexual Violence Research Initiative and the World Bank Group’s 2018 Development Marketplace for Innovation in the prevention and response of gender-based violence (In memory of Hannah Graham)”


Port Moresby
Ruth Moiam
+675 321 7111
Ben Brighouse
+61 433 028 405