Promising practices for the monitoring and evaluation of gender-based violence risk mitigation interventions in humanitarian response: a multi-methods study


Vandana Sharma, Emily Ausubel, Christine Heckman, Sonia Rastogi and Jocelyn T. D. Kelly


Background: Risks of gender-based violence (GBV) are exacerbated in humanitarian crises. GBV risk mitigation interventions aim to reduce exposure to GBV and ensure that humanitarian response actions and services themselves do not cause harm or increase the risk of violence. The 2015 IASC Guidelines for Integrating Gender-Based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Action (‘GBV Guidelines’) are a globally endorsed resource that provides comprehensive guidance for all humanitarian actors and sectors on GBV risk mitigation. While uptake of GBV risk mitigation approaches across multiple humanitarian sectors has occurred, there is limited understanding of how to monitor and evaluate GBV risk mitigation interventions.

Methods: A multi-methods study was conducted in 2019 to identify promising practices for the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of GBV risk mitigation interventions in non-GBV sectors and to develop a set of illustrative case examples. The study included a comprehensive desk review of 145 articles, documents and resources from the published and grey literature, as well as 11 in-depth interviews and five focus group discussions with humanitarian practitioners. Using Dedoose software and a codebook developed a priori, qualitative data were transcribed and coded and a content analysis was conducted. Excerpts focusing on promising practices from the qualitative data and the desk review were analyzed together and grouped by thematic area. Similar promising practices were combined and consolidated to create a final list, and case examples were identified.

Results: Current promising practices for M&E of GBV risk mitigation activities in the following categories are described: (1) Coordination and collaboration, (2) Designing M&E approaches and tools for GBV risk mitigation activities, (3) Contextualization, (4) Developing and selecting indicators, (5) Data collection, (6) Data analysis and use of findings, (7) Potential safety concerns for affected populations and staff, and (8) Staff capacity and engagement. These are supplemented with seven diverse case examples to illustrate application of the promising practices using real-world examples.

Conclusion: This paper highlights current promising practices for M&E of GBV risk mitigation interventions in humanitarian response. Further application of these practices—alongside ongoing documentation of emerging approaches—will be critical to ensuring that GBV risk mitigation interventions are more rigorously tested with the aim of building the evidence base on the effectiveness of different GBV risk mitigation interventions within specific humanitarian sectors.

Keywords: Gender-based violence, Safety perceptions, Humanitarian contexts, GBV risk mitigation, Humanitarian response, Protection, Measurement, Monitoring and evaluation