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Evidence SynthesesEvidence Syntheses
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Anoo Bhuyan

Addressing Intimate Partner Violence in South Asia: Evidence for Interventions in the Health Sector, Women’s Collectives, and Local Governance Mechanisms

This evidence review looks at a range of programmes implemented in South Asia to prevent Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). It looks at interventions to prevent IPV implemented via three different ‘systemic’ platforms:

– The public health system: Frontline (community) health workers interact with women on personal issues such as fertility and childbirth and can therefore engage with women on issues as private as IPV.

– Local governance systems: The Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) at village level are strong village level institutions with elected women’s representatives and can be well-placed to catalyse local change related to gender equality and IPV.

– Women’s collectives: Most villages in India have collectives such as self-help groups (SHGs) which work both on women’s financial inclusion and building social capital and in some cases serve as alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. They also have potential to address IPV.

In each case, the review summarises the available evidence, challenges and gaps, and learning about factors that contribute to programme effectiveness. It also considers questions of scale up and sustainability.

Enabling Factors Across Platforms

– Clear protocols, procedures and responsibilities.
– Intensive, high-quality, gendered training
– Strategic engagement with other sectors and stakeholders from the start
– Fostering community engagement
– Including men and boys in addressing domestic violence

Common challenges and obstacles

– Lack of evaluation and documentation
– Time and availability of the sectoral agents addressing IPV
– Lack of clarity about mandate
– Community or peer hostility
– Engaging with men and boys in ways that maintain interest, attention and participation
– Limitations in reaching the most vulnerable women
– Consent and confidentiality
– Logistical challenges

Date published
  • 2017
Author(s)
  • Rohini Prabha Pande
  • Priya Nanda
  • Kavya Bopanna
  • Alpaxee Kashyap
Published by ICRW (with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)