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While there has been an overall increase in funding for programmes related to violence against women (VAW) , investment over the last five years has been estimated to be significantly less than 0.002% of international development assistance . When it comes to resources for research on violence against women (VAW) and violence against children (VAC) funding remains highly concentrated in high income countries (HICs). Whilst HIC and lower and middle-income country (LMIC) research partnerships are widely acknowledged to play a critical role in terms of allowing researchers to develop capacity, work with new collaborators, gain access to resources and equipment, and conduct mutually beneficial research, more work needs to be done on how to make these partnerships equitable . Increased resources need to be allocated towards research in LMICs and led by researchers in LMICs, as well as towards building partnerships between researchers and activists in LMICs. This is so that LMIC based researchers gather and analyse their own data and develop locally relevant, contextually appropriate VAW and VAC response and prevention programmes. Other issues include funding processes that recognize power imbalances between funders and their recipients, the importance of research priorities being set through a collaborative process as well as cognizance of the costs of collaboration and how this needs to be factored into proposals and budgets. SVRIs Funding Ethically Project aims to address these complex issues and develop guidance for funders on ethical and coordinated funding for research on VAW and VAC in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
SVRI is involved in an ongoing process to develop and disseminate a global shared research agenda that will be used to advocate for more resources to be put towards building the knowledge base and addressing key research gaps in the field of violence against women and girls (VAWG) prevention and response. We are also exploring how we can add value to the VAC field and we are involved with priority setting for research on the intersections between VAW and VAC. Simultaneous work is being carried out to identify streams of funding that can be utilised to resource this research agenda and analyse key gaps and problems with existing funding. The Funding Ethically Project will support and build on these different processes (what needs to be funded and where the money is for this) and would be a contribution to advocacy on how resources are being allocated.
The primary objectives of this project include:
- To reframe funders as collaborative and equitable partners in building evidence for improved responses and prevention of VAW in LMICs.
- To promote fair, equitable and effective funding in the field.
- To advocate for more and smarter investment that uses research gaps and priorities to guide funding decisions and promote best use of limited research resources.
- To advocate for more research funding on VAW and VAC in LMICs to be conducted by local researchers and guided by collaboratively set research agendas.
- To draw on lessons learned from different projects and case studies to illustrate principles of ethical and sustainable funding.
The guidance will be created through consultative participatory processes held during June, July and August, 2021, with a diverse range of stakeholders including researchers, community activists, service providers, funders, and partners especially from LMIC’s. These processes will aim to be as inclusive and accessible as possible and will include an online survey that will be widely distributed in English, French and Spanish, focus group discussions held with diverse stakeholders and key informant interviews.
Please visit us here for updates related to the consultative processes and for news and outputs from the project as they become available.
 OECD Report. Donor support to southern women’s rights organisations, OECD Findings. 2016. https://www.oecd.org/dac/gender-development/OECD-report-onwomens-rights-organisations.pdf