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Approaches to Scale-up and Assessing Cost-effectiveness of Programmes to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls

With its focus on low-income and middle-income countries, this review paper summarises evidence on the cost and value for money  (VFM) aspects of interventions to prevent VAWG, as well as on approaches for scaling up such interventions. The specific objectives of the evidence review are:

    • To summarise examples of entry platforms through which VAWG programmes are being implemented: schools and life skills programmes, poverty alleviation programmes, maternal ad child health programmes, sexual and reproductive health services, community mobilisation, workplace programme, mass media, policies and legal reform.
    • To start to identify current VAWG prevention interventions that have been replicated in more than one setting; 
    • To synthesise current evidence on the costs of VAWG prevention (focusing on good quality costing studies, rather than financial cost assessments alone); 
    • Drawing upon the broader literature of intervention scale-up, to discuss how to conceptualise the replication and scale- up of violence prevention programming, and potential approaches to considering how to value the cost-effectiveness of VAWG prevention programmes, and the implications for future evaluation research;
    • To identify potential opportunities to conduct future economic evaluation of scaled-up VAWG prevention components, to enable lessons to be learnt about the variations in unit cost estimates, and to produce evidence of the impact of scale on programme costs.


  • Improve understanding of the pathways to intervention impact
  • Evaluate new models and existing models
  • Invest in understanding what different intervention models cost, and how these change with scale
  • Document multiple human rights, social, health, and economic outcomes of prevention programmes
  • Standardise VAWG outcomes
  • Consider the potential cost and scalability of models when deciding what to evaluate
  • Evaluate interventions embedded in structures that allow large scale delivery
  • Consider opportunities to cost existing programmes
  • Support operational research
  • Link intervention costing work with studies on the economic and social costs of violence
Date published
  • 2015
  • Michelle Remme
  • Christine Michaels-Igbokwe
  • Charlotte Watts
Published by What Works