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The SVRI Forum is proud to announce exciting and informative pre-conference workshops to be held on Monday 18 September 2017.

The workshop registration fee is $35 per workshop. Please note that workshop registrations will be on a ‘first come’ first paid’ basis. Limited number of delegates can be accommodated per workshop.

REGISTRATIONS are closed - no late entries will be accepted

Morning workshops: 09:00 – 12:30

Workshop 1: Engaging Men in Ethical Feminist-Centered Ways (Presentation 1; Presentation 2)

Presenters: Amy Bank (Puntos de Encuentro),  Tim Shand (Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University)

Workshop description: As the field of engaging men and boys in gender equality grows, there is increasing debate on boys’ and men’s roles within feminism and how to involve men and boys in ways that do not overshadow women’s voices nor hinder their agency. This pre-conference workshop will bring together researchers, academics, activists and gender practitioners to participate in an open and honest dialogue about boys’ and men’s roles in building gender justice, and preventing and reducing sexual and gender-based violence, including violence against women. The workshop will center on answering the following questions:

  • What is the place of boys and men in feminism? More specifically, what are the roles of men in feminist efforts to prevent and end sexual and gender-based violence, including violence against women?
  • How can individuals, organizations and networks working with men and boys create stronger - and more accountable - partnerships with women and women's rights organizations?
  • What are the current ways men and boys are being engaged through feminist-centred approaches? And how can this work be strengthened?

Presenters will engage participants in large and small group discussions on these questions with the purpose of both sharing concerns but also developing concrete recommendations on how organizations engaging men can create safer, more accountable and inclusive environments for all. Final discussions will also explore how to create more regular and open dialogue between groups working in this field.  The inputs from this pre-conference workshop will be included in a reflection paper written by the presenters.

Intended audience: This workshop is intended for anyone interested in participating in a thoughtful discussion on men’s roles in feminism and sexual and gender-based violence prevention.


Workshop 2: Qualitative study design and data analysis (Presentation)

Presenters: Nwabisa Shai (SAMRC) and Lyndsay McLean (Social Development Direct)

Workshop description: This workshop will be suitable for both beginner and experienced qualitative researchers and programme implementers working on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV). The involvement of participants with varying practical knowledge and expertise in qualitative research design and analysis will facilitate sharing of ideas and experiences between participants themselves. Some elements of the session will involve both beginner and experienced qualitative researchers and some of the group exercises will allow participants to work at their own level of expertise – to ensure that all participants are able to both share and extend their knowledge and skills.

Workshop objectives:

  1. To introduce participants to various qualitative study designs, to discuss the suitability of each design for different research questions and projects on SGBV.
  2. To highlight what qualitative research can and cannot achieve – alone and alongside quantitative research - with respect to understanding the causes and consequences of SGBV, support intervention development and measure impact.
  3. To present and discuss different approaches to qualitative data analysis and their suitability to different types of qualitative data.
  4. To discuss various ways of dealing with common challenges (e.g. low-quality interviews, sub-optimal data, social desirability and other biases) inherent in qualitative research procedures.
  5. To facilitate sharing of practical ideas, knowledge and skills on how to conduct rigorous and credible qualitative studies and data analysis using real life examples of qualitative research projects.

Intended audience: Both beginner and experienced qualitative researchers and programme implementers who intend to use qualitative data to inform development of interventions and influence policy on SGBV.  


Workshop 3: Methodological and ethical challenges of conducting research on violence against women and girls in conflict and humanitarian settings (Presentation)

Presenters: Manuel Contreras and Maureen Murphy (The Global Women's Institute, The George Washington University) and Jeannie Annan (The International Rescue Committee)

Workshop description:

  1. Build knowledge of key issues related to generating evidence on violence against women and girls.  The first component of the workshop will further explore the documented gap in knowledge related to GBV in humanitarian settings. It will address fundamental elements that should be considered when designing and conducting research on GBV in humanitarian settings. This first session of the workshop will focus heavily on the importance of understanding the conflict situation and the broader context in which the research takes place to ensure the definitions, theories, and methods are culturally relevant and sensitive. Additionally, it will lay out the basic research areas to be expanded on in these settings to better understand GBV, such as an analysis of risk factors and drivers of GBV and related social norms. The session will outline key theoretical concepts and definitions to be included in research amongst these vulnerable populations. While the conversation will largely focus on women’s experiences of violence, the workshop organizers will also facilitate a discussion on how to improve our understanding of men’s practices and experiences with GBV.

  2. Give stakeholders a basic understanding of strategies to overcome challenges of researching VAWG.The presenters will provide examples and share their experiences in managing key ethical, security and methodological challenges, including: ensuring that the benefits outweigh the risks; collecting data in a manner that is methodologically sound and minimizes security risks to respondents and the research team; assuring basic care and support services are available and accessible; guaranteeing confidentiality and privacy; obtaining informed consent; monitoring potential unintended consequences after research; and managing community expectations, among other topics.
    Related to methodological challenges, the presenters will explore: establishing temporality; sampling issues; contextualizing methodologies to different settings; ensuring quality of research when planning is put into practice; and adapting research in dynamic settings, among others.

  3. Share initial findings of What Works Project Component 2 studies: “What Works to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls in Conflict and Humanitarian Settings”. The presenters will share initial findings from the What Works Project, highlighting key issues on how What Works is addressing gaps in evidence. Some ideas of research uptake strategies in these scenarios will be also shared.

Intended audience: This workshop is intended to reach researchers and practitioners interested in discussing and learning more about the best practices and challenges of conducting research on gender-based violence in conflict and humanitarian settings.


Workshop 4: Developing meaningful academic and practitioner partnerships for violence against women and girls research (Presentation)

Presenters: Kathryn Falb and Danielle Roth, International Rescue Committee

Workshop description: Partnerships between implementing organizations, whether international non-governmental organizations or local community-based organizations, and academic researchers are growing in popularity as more emphasis is placed on generating evidence regarding the effectiveness of interventions.  While such partnerships are useful for robust and rigorous impact evaluations, challenges may emerge throughout the research cycle from study design development through data analysis and interpretation of findings based on different perspectives, values, and priorities between researchers and organizations.

The purpose of this workshop is to:
Define academic / practitioner partnership models and different perspectives
Outline key challenges that may emerge throughout academic/practitioner relationship during different points in the research process
Understand mitigation steps that may reduce challenges and improve understanding and communication between partners

Intended audience: This workshop is intended for research, humanitarian and development professionals who may: 1) be interested in pursuing a research-implementer partnership and 2) have been part of a prior research-implementer partnership and would like to capture lessons learned from peer organizations/colleagues in the field to make their partnership more fruitful


 Afternoon workshops: 14:00 – 17:00

Workshop 5: Feminist Perspectives on Addressing VAWG (Presentation)

Presenters: Jeanne Ward, Sophie Reed-Hamilton, Anu Pillay, Lori Michau and Sarah Martin (Coalition of Feminists for Social Change)

Workshop description: Progress has been made in the last three decades in addressing violence against women and girls (VAWG) globally. Feminist analysis and activism have been instrumental in achieving gains in women’s rights, including in recognition of and action to address violence against women and girls. However, many feminist practitioners, academics, and activists are becoming increasingly alarmed by the shrinking space for work on VAWG and by the active undermining of work to centre women and girls in VAWG discourse and practice in both humanitarian and development settings.  This is manifesting in numerous interrelated challenges, including:

  1. The dominance of gender neutrality, particularly within humanitarian discourse and practice;
  2. Different and confusing interpretations of what “gender-‐based violence” (GBV) entails, including categorizing any violence as GBV;
  3. A shift from women and girl-led movements and activism to a technocratic politically neutral approach to ending violence that ignores gender inequality;
  4. A lack of clarity about how VAWG intersects with other forms of interpersonal and collective violence and the emergence of competition around victimhood;
  5. A lack of analysis of how to include men and boys in work to eradicate VAWG in a way that is accountable to women and girls.

This pre-conference workshop will facilitate reflection by and dialogue among participants about these challenges.  The workshop will begin with a series of individual presentations by VAWG practitioners, activists and academics focused on the issues of concern noted above, and followed by small group work to discuss the following issues: 

  • How do we re-politicize and reinvigorate feminist perspectives on and approaches to VAW and to gender equality in humanitarian and development spaces?
  • How can we balance the tensions between working ‘in the (patriarchal) system” and working to disrupt it?
  • How can we ensure the language and conceptualization of gender and ‘GBV’ underscore the foundations and approaches in addressing VAWG and women’s rights?
  • How do we push back to reclaim space for women and girls in a way which is proactive, rather than reactive, while not displacing the needs and rights of others affected by violence?
  • How do we continue to demand attention to women’s and girl’s needs and rights whilst identifying and partnering with other social justice movements?
  • How do we include men and boys in work to eradicate VAWG in a way that is accountable to women and girls, and that contributes to deconstructing rather than reinforcing the oppressive power relations that lie at the core of the problem?

Small group work will be followed by large group discussion on these and other points of concern, including recommendations for moving forward as a feminist community.

Intended audience: All audiences, particularly those working on VAWG. 



Workshop 6: Moving beyond regression toward causality: Introducing advanced statistical methods to advance sexual violence research (Presentation)

Presenter:  Regine Haardörfer (Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University)

Workshop description: This workshop will introduce attendees to advanced topics in statistical analysis. We will cover methods that are mostly based on multivariable regression but allow researchers to draw conclusions beyond associations between predictor and outcome variables.

Specifically, we will cover propensity score analysis, path models, cross-lagged models, and latent class analysis.

  1. Propensity score methods are useful in studies where random assignment is not possible. While randomized controlled trials are the gold standard, many times we do not have the option to randomize participants. Propensity scores offer a way to adjust analyses to account for differences in group membership that are crucial drawing strong conclusions from non-randomized data.
  2. Path models allow to model relationships between variables that are more aligned with our theoretical frameworks which often hypothesize pathways.
  3. Cross-lagged models are a type of path models that allow to investigate what we might call chicken and egg problems.
  4. Latent class analysis is a statistical method that allows us to identify class membership among participants using a group of behaviours. This is crucial as we know that many behaviours do not occur in isolation bur rather co-occur with other behaviours. Class membership has the potential to not only explain outcomes, but allow researchers to target interventions to different classes.
    For each method, we will introduce research questions that can be answered, demonstrate the method with an example, and discuss interpretation of findings. Participants will discuss how these methods apply to their research.

Intended audience: This workshop is intended for researchers who are familiar with regression analysis and want to expand their knowledge beyond regression.


Workshop 7: Creating safe spaces to talk about unsafe relationships: Developing guidance for children and young people’s participatory involvement in research about sexual violence (Presentation)

Presenters: Silvie Bovarnick,  C.J Hamilton and Kirsten Walker (International Centre: researching sexual violence, exploitation and trafficking, University of Bedfordshire).

Workshop description: Extensive research globally provides evidence of the prevalence of sexual violence towards children and young people (Finkelhor et al., 2005; 2014; Radford et al., 2011; WHO, 2013), whilst qualitative studies with adult survivors provide rich data on personal experiences of historic cases of abuse.  However, due to a range of ethical concerns and logistical barriers – and a lack of knowledge and experience about how to address these - research directly involving children and young people affected by these issues has been noted to remain relatively scarce (Horvath et al., 2014). For the same reasons, examples of more participatory approaches to research on sexual violence with children and young people are in their infancy.  Central aspects of ethical concerns focus on the desire to avoid secondary traumatisation, and unnecessary  ‘re-telling’ of narratives of abuse, alongside recognition of the potential for further stigma and, for some, interruption with existing therapeutic alliances or, more problematically, legal processes.  Valid as they are, these concerns frequently mask and ‘trump’ other significant ethical imperatives, stemming from a rights based framework. Central to these is the need to recognise and promote children’s own voices and capacity to inform debate, both as a means of personal empowerment and a means of challenging the cultures of silence and impunity in which abuse flourishes.

This presentation will start to explore these issues drawing on findings from an international scoping review of existing strategies and approaches to involving young people in sexual violence research and development work on guidelines and resources to support researchers. It will include an interactive discussion to present and further develop learning about the support needs of researchers interested in involving children and young people ethically in studies to address sexual violence. 
It will begin by exploring the rationale for children and young people’s participation in research about sexual violence, considering the pragmatic (methodological); political and moral imperatives for doing so. This will be followed with a consideration of the key challenges involved in this work – including both practical and ethical tensions and specific issues relating to sexual violence.

The workshop will then present ideas (in development) for future international guidance for researchers interested in involving children and young people directly in their research. This aspect of the workshop will utilise consultative methods to discuss participant’s own experiences and needs; the challenges which inhibit participatory research practice; and the potential format, use and accessibility of guidance.  This section of the workshop will also surface context and culturally specific considerations.  Finally, a small number of example tools and draft strategies will be presented for consideration/discussion – drawing on both findings from the review and the research team’s own experience.

Key learning objectives for participants:

  1. Understanding of appropriate potential roles and value of children and young people’s ethical participation in research to address sexual violence.
  2. Understanding of ethical and practical issues in participatory research with children and young people to address sexual violence
  3. Example strategies, approaches and tools for addressing some of the challenges of children and young people’s involvement in research to address sexual violence

Intended audience: It is envisaged that this workshop will be relevant for any researchers undertaking empirical research on sexual violence affecting children and young people and practitioners and policy makers who are involved undertaking, commissioning and/or partnering in applied research in this area


Workshop 8: Effectively communicating research and scaling up for social change (Presentation)

Presenters: Emma Fulu, Marta Jasinska and Scarlett Thorby-Lister (The Equality Institute)

Workshop description:  Violence against women is highly prevalent across the world. Therefore, the solutions need to be wide-reaching. While emerging evidence demonstrates that preventing violence against women is possible, this information needs to be communicated to a wide range of stakeholders who have the power to make change. Further small-scale project and policies need to be taken to scale to have the necessary impact to end violence against women.

The influx of new technologies and media for communication have immeasurable potential for disseminating research and promoting its uptake. However, in the violence against women research sector in particular, there is a significant disparity between the amount of available research and its effectiveness at informing a range of stakeholders, influencing policy, and promoting social change. 

The Equality Institute is leading the way in translating knowledge and communicating research to a range of audiences to prevent violence against women and take efforts to scale. The workshop will make use of our experience in identifying stakeholders, tailoring research and communication to match stakeholder needs, identifying mediums to communicate research findings, including advice for using social media, and tracking research uptake.

We will share the latest global evidence around what works in scaling up interventions and then go through a universal research uptake step-by-step process that can be adapted by researchers, practitioners, activists, and others. Each participant will have the opportunity to actively participate and contribute to discussion, and will receive a handbook that they can populate as we go through the workshop. 

The workshop will have three main learning outcomes:

  1. To understand the latest evidence in terms of what works to scale up prevention interventions
  2. To understand how to disseminate research to achieve specific goals, and use different tools for research uptake, including social media.
  3. To learn how to communicate complex research findings in a simple, fun and engaging way.

Intended audience:  This workshop is intended for academics, researchers, journalists, activists, and service providers.


22 September, 10:00 to 13:00:

Storytelling Workshop: Change the Story, Change the World (Presentation)

Since we first began talking to each other, telling stories has been a powerful way to capture attention, engage an audience, and motivate them to act.

Stories are intrinsic to decision-making and can be a powerful to influence policymaking and practice.

Learn the craft of storytelling at the Storytelling Workshop on Friday 22 September, 10:00 to 13:00, facilitated by the Goodman Centre’s Director, Andy Goodman.
An opportunity not to be missed. Read more:
Register here for the event.


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