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PRESS RELEASE April 19, 2018

Research Team at Monash University Awarded for Innovation in Preventing Gender-Based Violence in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, April 19, 2018—The World Bank Group and the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) recently awarded $99,900 to Monash University for research in Cambodia that aims to reduce incidents of gender-based violence (GBV).

The Award, part of the 2018 Development Marketplace for Innovation to Address Gender-Based Violence*, will support the Cambodia-based organization Reproductive and Child Health Alliance, working together with Monash University in Australia, to explore cultural forces that underpin and shape GBV, and test how interventions by Buddhist monks and female devotees could contribute to prevention.

Specifically, the award will help them test how women, men, girls and boys use their local cultural references to understand GBV that they may have experienced or witnessed. Through collaboration with a Buddhist network, they will examine initiatives developed by monks to help prevent GBV and mitigate its effects. They will also document why perpetrators and survivors sought help from monks and female devotees, and how it changed attitudes towards women and girls.

“Cambodia has made advances against gender-based violence, but understanding cultural attitudes is an important part of making sure that responses to GBV succeed,” said Miguel Eduardo Sanchez Martin, World Bank Acting Country Manager for Cambodia. “We congratulate the winners on this innovative approach and look forward to learning more about the ways that monks and devotees can prevent and mitigate the effects of GBV.”

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. According to UN Women, in Cambodia, at least one in five women is a victim of GBV and more than half of all children experience some form of physical violence by an intimate partner, parent or adult relative, or community member.

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)”


World Bank Group Gender Equality Strategy 2016-2023

Violence Against Women & Girls Resource Guide

Sexual Violence Research Initiative

World Bank Group Gender


Last Updated: Apr 19, 2018