2015-09-29 GBV Project Kickoff in Nairobi

Stanford researchers at the  Nairobi headquarters of their with Kenyan research team. From left to right (Gabriel Oguda, Clea Sarnquist, Mike Baiocchi, Mary Nyamongo, Dorothy Akinyi 

October 19, 2015---

Worldwide, an estimated 35% of women worldwide have experienced gender-based violence, either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence, in their lifetime, according to the World Health Organization. In the unplanned informal settlements of Nairobi, Kenya, Stanford researchers, Clea Sarnquist and Mike Baiocchi, have previously shown that between 18-24% of high school girls had experienced sexual assault in the preceding year.

So, what works to prevent such violence? That’s the very question being asked and answered by the ground-breaking What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls Initiative. A multi-year program funded by UKAID and housed at the South African Medical Council, What Works is funding the Stanford team’s latest research project in the same informal settlements in Nairobi. This time, Sarnquist, Senior Research Scholar in Pediatrics, and Baiocchi, Assistant Professor in the Stanford Prevention Research Center at the Stanford School of Medicine, are testing a condensed gender empowerment intervention aimed at young adolescents, to prevent GBV in their communities.

They are continuing the work that they, and the larger Stanford Gender-Based Violence Prevention Collaborative, began in Nairobi in 2012 with their NGO partner, Ujamaa Africa. (Read more here and the study here).

Sarnquist and Baiocchi traveled to the Nairobi headquarters of African Institute for Health and Development, which will lead their field research, to launch the new project. They also traveled to South Africa for the What Works inaugural scientific meeting and the biennial Sexual Violence Research Initiative Forum in Stellenbosch.