Programming Essentials, Monitoring & Evaluation
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Drawing upon existing evidence

Last edited: October 31, 2010

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Programmes should be designed based on the existing knowledge of “what works” (or doesn’t) to respond to and prevent violence against women and girls. Such information about the evidence-base may be drawn from formal evaluations and assessments, research and studies, expert consensus and recommendations, shared practitioner experiences and the feedback of survivors. Implementing activities without considering existing evidence wastes resources, reduces the effectiveness of programmes and, at worst, may harm women and girls.

Interventions can draw upon the evidence-base by:

  • Examining the material available through this Virtual Knowledge Centre
  • Examining the few resources which provide information on promising practices,  a meta-analysis or cross-country global review of the evidence-base:

Addressing Gender-Based Violence:A Critical Review of Interventions (Morrison, Ellsberg and Bott/World Bank, 2007). Available for purchase from Oxford Journals.

Preventing and Responding to Gender-based Violence in Middle and Low-income Countries: A Global Review and Analysis (Morrison, Ellsberg and Bott/World Bank, 2005).  Available in English.

Addressing Gender-Based Violence in the Latin American and Caribbean Region: A Critical Review of Interventions (Morrison, Ellsberg and Bott/World Bank, 2004). Available in English.

Intervening with Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence: A Global Perspective (WHO, 2003).  Available in English.

Evaluating batterer counseling programs: A difficult task showing some effects and implications (Gondolf, 2004).  Available in English.

Violence Prevention: the Evidence (WHO, 2009).  Available in English.

Primary prevention of intimate-partner violence and sexual violence: Background paper for WHO expert meeting (WHO, 2007).  Available in English.

Bringing Security Home: Combating Violence Against Women in the OSCE Region. A Compilation of Good Practices (Organization for Security and Economic Co-operation in Europe, 2009).  Available in English.

Good Practices in Combating and Eliminating Violence Against Women (United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women, 2005).  Available in English.

  • Scanning literature reviews and studies in free and paid journals, which can be found through:

End Violence Against Women: Information and Resources (Johns Hopkins University Center for Communications Programs)

National Online Resource Center on Violence against Women

MINCAVA Electronic Clearinghouse (Minnesota Center Against Violence & Abuse)

GBV Bibliography (Reproductive Health Response Consortium)

Sexual Violence Research Initiative

Stop Violence against Women Website (Advocates for Human Rights)

The Bora Laskin Law Library: Women’s Human Rights Resource Programme

The WHO Violence Prevention Alliance (World Health Organization)

GBV Prevention Network (Raising Voices)

Men, masculinities and gender politics(compiled by Michael Flood)

Masculinidades y Equidad de Género Biblioteca Virtual

Paid Journals: JSTOR and Elsevier among others.

  • Reviewing programme evaluations, which often identify lessons learned and promising practices from specific interventions. However, there are limited evaluations that have been conducted on programming to end violence against women and girls, and even fewer are available publicly. Obtaining these evaluations often requires contacting the programme directly or searching the paid journals noted above.
  • Consulting specialists and organizations with practical experience and expertise (see Sources of Expertise Section of the Virtual Knowledge Centre).


Programmes and interventions should also document their findings and contribute to the knowledge base to augment the limited evidence on addressing violence against women and girls.

Toward contributing to the global knowledge base, programmes should give attention to:

  • Conducting research on the situation and the needs of the population to establish data prior to an intervention, which can serve as comparison post intervention.
  • Monitoring and evaluating innovative and learning initiatives by considering monitoring and evaluation activities from the design phase and integrating them throughout interventions.
  • Improving quality documentation and dissemination through systematic information and knowledge management processes and practices that capture programme experiences, lessons learned, recommendations for other practitioners and promising approaches.
  • Use participatory and reflective practices, engaging a wide range of stakeholders to maximize learning and analysis of the experiences.
  • Stimulating interest in scaling up or replicating catalytic initiatives by implementing pilot or experimental models with an identifiable theory of change and evaluation of outcomes to demonstrate impact, enhance the effectiveness of investments, and provide data on key issues (e.g. costing, reliable external evaluation) for upscaling and possible absorption of the intervention by governments.
  • Establishing partnerships with recognized expert entities, such as research institutions, that can guarantee strong measurement as well as monitoring and evaluation indicators and plans.