What are research priorities and why are they important?
“Without priorities, development is blind. With priorities, the science and innovation sectors can flourish to support development, equity and health.” COHRED (2010)
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a multi-dimensional issue, requiring multi-dimensional tailored responses for different settings. Developing a set of research priorities for the field whilst challenging is not impossible, and will be highly beneficial, in that the identification of evidence gaps and highlighting priority areas for research can guide research expenditure and ensure precious research resources are spent effectively. Priority setting will assist researchers, funders, practitioners, and policy-makers with research planning, fund-raising and serve as a signal to stakeholders in the areas of research that have been identified as being important.
Priority setting will advance the field in a more systematic way, ensure that research efforts make the best use of limited resources, and over time serve as a monitoring tool for the field, continuously mapping progress. Our vision for the future is for colleagues to apply to us for funding to undertake topic specific priority setting workshops and studies.
SVRI’s role in developing research priorities
Through rigorous consultative review processes, the SVRI works together with various partners, members, and thought leaders to identify, validate, and disseminate research priorities. Multiple information sources and consensus building help ensure ownership of the outcome by the field.
These processes are conducted regularly in order to respond to emerging needs and ongoing developments in the field. The priorities broadly set out the research needs of the field, informed by several sources and processes. These include: scans of major concerns/issues in the field, literature reviews, stakeholder interviews / online survey, and a Delphi process with key leaders in the field – ensuring that they represent a wide array of stakeholders across sectors, along with reviews of key themes emerging from SVRI Forums, and proposal topics submitted to SVRI and UNTF and other key stakeholders. The priorities are published online, shared via online webinars and SVRI Update.