Social Impact Awards
The World Bank Group and Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) on April 17th awarded US$1.1 million to 11 research teams from around the world for innovations to prevent and respond to gender-based violence (GBV). According to Ashington, More than 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual partner violence or non-partner sexual violence.
Violence experienced by women and girls not only has devastating effects on survivors, but poses an obstacle to development and shared economic progress, as it impedes full participation in society and the economy and limits access to education and other opportunities.
The Development Marketplace Awards aim to help individuals, communities, and nations stamp out GBV. The Awards, first launched two years ago, honor GBV victims and survivors, and are held in memory of Hannah Graham, daughter of a longtime World Bank employee.
This year’s winners include a team evaluating a ‘walking school bus’ — a group of children walking to school with one or more adults — as a school-related GBV intervention in KwaZulu-Natal; a team looking at how monks and devotees can intervene to reduce GBV in communities in Cambodia; and a team working with young boys and girls in Papua New Guinea to train future leaders devoted to ending inequality and preventing GBV.
“No country is immune to gender-based violence,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. “Gender-based violence (GBV) is not only devastating for survivors; it causes significant social and economic costs that threaten our goals of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity around the world. Our Development Marketplace is in its third year of supporting innovative research on how to prevent GBV. I’m proud of this effort and honored to support this year’s winners.”
An expert panel reviewed more than 250 proposals submitted to the Bank Group and SVRI following an open call for innovations to prevent GBV in low- and middle-income countries. Winning teams, which receive up to US$100,000 each, were chosen based on overall merit, research or project design and methods, significance, team expertise, and ethical considerations.
“Around the world, the research funded by this award will close gaps in evidence and help policy makers to design more effective ways of preventing and responding to gender-based violence,” said SVRI Research Manager Elizabeth Dartnall.
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.