M&E Resources

Gender-Based Violence Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation with Refugee and Conflict-Affected Populations
The Global Women's Institute
The George Washington University

What is the manual?

This manual and the associated practitioner toolkit form a comprehensive package to support researchers and members of the humanitarian community in conducting ethical and technically sound research, monitoring and/or evaluation (RME) on gender-based violence (GBV) within refugee and conflict-affected populations. The manual’s step-by-step approach enables readers to make appropriate ethical and methodological decisions when collecting data with refugee and other vulnerable populations. In addition, the practitioner’s toolkit provides data collection tools, templates and other resources that can be used in the field to enhance data collection and analysis efforts. Created by the Global Women’s Institute (GWI) at the George Washington University, these materials have been developed through a multi-phased process designed to identify and consolidate best practices and lessons learned in the field. Researchers at GWI first conducted a literature review of peer-reviewed articles and grey literature on GBV in refugee and conflict-affected populations. The team consulted with research and GBV specialists to identify the most important considerations for conducting ethical and methodologically-sound data collection among these populations. Through this process, the team also collected case studies to demonstrate the practical applications of best practices in real world settings. The combination of these lessons and GWI’s own experience in GBV research, monitoring and evaluation form the basis of this document.

Why is it needed?

There is an increasing emphasis on research, monitoring and evaluation for GBV programs among refugee and conflict-affected populations. However, these efforts are mixed in quality and often raise ethical questions. Researchers and practitioners often use weak methodologies (e.g. non-population based sampling, insufficient sample sizes, utilizing poor questionnaire design, insufficient training/piloting for data collectors, etc.) that reduce the utility of their results. In addition, not all researchers appropriately consider the unique ethical considerations that are relevant to collecting data on GBV in these particularly vulnerable and resource-poor populations. Key Concepts | 2 Despite this, donors are now emphasizing the importance of NGO accountability to affected populations as well as demanding that NGOs demonstrate the effectiveness of the funds they provide. This has increased the pressure on the humanitarian community to move to a more evidence-based approach and to better understand and measure the effect of their programs to prevent and respond to GBV. While there are other existing guidelines and manuals that can help researchers and practitioners to collect data on GBV, none comprehensively examine the full research, monitoring and evaluation spectrum or focus specifically on the unique needs of refugee populations. This manual and toolkit aim to be practical and accessible to both researchers and GBV program staff alike. It provides an overall introduction to key concepts and considerations for GBV research, monitoring and evaluation as well as focuses on what makes this work different when undertaken with refugee and conflict-affected populations.

Who is it for?

This manual and toolkit have been written for a variety of audiences. Most importantly these resources aim to bridge the gap between the academic and international humanitarian communities by focusing on these two groups. First, for the international humanitarian community, the guidance will service as a primer on how to conduct safe and ethical research, monitoring and evaluation on GBV in refugee and conflict-affected settings. It provides a basic overview of methodological choices and best practices on data collection for GBV – allowing GBV specialists to design and conduct their own basic research, monitoring and evaluation as well as to feel empowered to engage with the academic community to undertake more complex research and evaluation designs. For the academic community, this guide will provide an introduction to the key principles that make GBV research, monitoring and evaluation different – particularly among refugee and conflict-affected populations. It will share best practices and lessons learned that will help them make the most methodologically and ethically appropriate decisions for their own research, monitoring and/or evaluation efforts.

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