SVRI Primary Prevention Project

SVRI Primary Prevention Project: Testing parenting and school-based GBV prevention interventions in East Africa

This project contributed to the evidence base for primary prevention of sexual and intimate partner violence through developing adapting and testing parenting and / or school strengthening interventions.

Harnessing the power of South-South partnerships to build capacity for the prevention of sexual and intimate partner violence. Dartnall E, Gevers, A. African Safety Promotion Journal, 15(1), 1-15, 2017.

Building capacity for SIPV primary prevention research and intervention development in Sub-Saharan Africa - Lessons Learned. Briefing paper. Dartnall E, Gevers A. SVRI, 2015.

SVRI Workshop: Building the evidence base in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. 8-12th April 2013, Zanzibar, Tanzania

Four research teams, four proposals, three countries – Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. To follow is a summary of the studies undertaken by the four research teams:


This team is a research partnership between Child Health and Development Centre, Makerere University and Medical Research Council / UVRI Uganda. The team is co-led by Dr Godfrey Siu and Professor Daniel Wight. The title of their proposal is “Parenting for Good Behaviour and Respectability: Developing and piloting an intervention to reduce sexual and gender based violence in Uganda.” The research team will first undertake formative research to inform the development of a community based parenting programme. At this stage, it is envisaged that the parenting programme will, at its core involve, 10 single sex and 10 mixed sex group sessions, led in a semi-participatory way by a trained facilitator, supported by a trainee facilitator. The main goals of the programme:

  • facilitate infants’ secure attachment and encourage parental bonding and connectedness with children
  • discourage authoritarian or harsh parenting, especially corporal punishment
  • encourage parents’ positive engagement with their children’s schooling
  • discourage parental conflict, especially violence between parents
  • discourage socialisation into inequitable gender roles and norms

This team undertook formative research and a small pilot phase in order to:

  • develop a manual for the community based parenting programme
  • clarify mode of delivery, in particular the selection, training and support required for facilitators
  • successively pilot and revise programme with one ethnic group in one locality
  • establish feasibility of using outcome measures
  • collect evidence to assess whether intervention warrants rigorous evaluation

The intervention was developed for use with parents/caregivers with children aged 0-17 years.  This team is received technical advice and support from Professors Peter Cooper and Lynne Murray.

The design and formative evaluation of a parenting programme in Uganda for early prevention of gender based violence. Wight D, Siu  G, Zalwango F, Kasule S, Seeley J. SVRI, 2015


This team was led by Professor Sylvia Kaaya, and is a partnership between Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Science and Women in Law and Development in Africa. The title of this research: “Formative assessment on primary prevention of school based gender based violence and parenting intervention in Tanzania”. The aim of this study was to conduct formative research on GBV in schools and current parenting practices in Tanzania to inform the development of an intervention for use in schools. The proposed intervention will had two core components:

  1. Social Structural intervention: which focused on sensitization of parents on positive parenting including improved communication skills; encourage less punitive discipline methods the current school policies and to make violence free schools.
  2. Behavioural intervention: which included training of teachers and parents on positive disciplining strategies and GBV prevention; sensitizations/training of learners aged 11-14 years in standard five (victims and perpetrators) on GBV prevention.

The study population for the formative research phase were learners aged 11-14 from selected schools in Kinondoni Municipality in Dar es Salaam, their parents and teachers.  Technical support and advice were received by SVRI as requested.

Formative assessment on primary prevention of school GBV and parenting interventions in Tanzania. Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Health Sciences & Women in Law and Development in Africa, 2014.

Kenya – Nairobi:

This research consortium was a partnership between LVCT and SOWED, and is led by Ann Gatuguta from LVCT. The study was entitled, “Identification of the forms, extent of risk and protective factors for child abuse in schools, and the roles of parents and teachers in prevention”. The initial phase of this study was to undertake formative research to understand children, teacher and parent related factors that generate vulnerability to abuse and those that create a protective environment. Findings of the formative research will inform a second phase of the study which will be the development and pilot evaluation of a school-based primary prevention intervention. Ultimately, the study process identified strategies that are viable in preventing child abuse in primary schools through engagement with children, parents and teachers. The study population included primary school students (male and female in class 6, 7 and 8), teachers and parents of the schools, members of the community and county education officers. Key outcomes of this study:

  • Report of formative research including nuanced discussion of the contexts of child abuse and child protection in primary schools and home environments, and recommendations for intervention.
  • Development of a draft intervention that integrates HC1 and SHARE.
  • Report of pilot intervention outcomes
  • Complete proposal for the RCT of the intervention developed.

The SVRI provided technical advice and guidance to this team.

An exploratory study on the risk factors to child abuse in primary schools in Kajiado County-Kenya. Findings of a formative research. LVCT Health, SOWED Kenya, SVRI and SAMRC, 2015

Kenya – Nairobi/Mombasa:

The research consortium for this was led by Tom Omwenga and includes the following organisations: Child Aid Organisation Kenya; Centre for Gender Equity and Empowerment, Kenyatta University, School of Social Work, University of Hawaii; International Centre for Reproductive Health; Kenya and Coexist Initiative. The research study was entitled,Developing/adapting a school-based sexual and dating violence prevention intervention in Nairobi and Mombasa in Kenya”.  The study started with a baseline study conducted in six public primary schools in Nairobi and in Mombasa cities. Baseline data was used to gain a insight into the drivers of sexual violence and youth dating violence in target schools’ and to use these findings, our theory of change, and our literature review to inform the development/adaptation of a promising school – based sexual and dating violence prevention intervention.  The study primarily targeted a key and most challenging driver of sexual violence: gender inequality and oppressive gender norms. The intervention was piloted in selected schools in the two study locations. Another research protocol for the intervention development and piloting will be submitted once the formative research is done.  Study methodologies included: school assessments/surveys, in-depth interviews for the key informants, and individual interviews and focus group discussions with the youth to collect mostly qualitative data.

The SVRI provided technical advice and guidance to this team.

Developing & adapting a school-based sexual and dating violence prevention intervention in Nairobi in Kenya. Formative Research Report. Omwenga T, Plummer C and Mwaura P. Child Aid Organization, Kenya, 2014.

A short video on the SVRI Primary Prevention project is available here.

Please also visit the SVRI and Oak Foundation supported projects for more information on primary prevention of sexual and gender based violence.