Our Work

Delivering excellence in social development consultancy and research

DFID What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls Programme


The What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Programme is a flagship DFID programme investing an unprecedented £25 million over five years to the prevention of violence against women and girls. The programme supports primary prevention efforts across Africa, Asia and the Middle East, that seek to understand and address the underlying causes of violence, and to stop it from occurring. The What Works Global Programme:

  • Conducts cutting-edge research around the world that will substantially advance the evidence on what drives violence, what works to prevent violence, what makes interventions successful and how they can be replicated, adapted and scaled up. This includes conducting large-scale impact evaluations of successful and promising prevention interventions, costing studies, and in-depth secondary analysis of existing data.
  • Supports innovation. Prevention is a growing field, and much new and promising work is being done. The Global Programme supports ground-breaking work through an innovation grant scheme, to support non-profits working in DFID priority countries to develop and test pioneering approaches to preventing violence against women and girls.

Social Development Direct works in partnership with a Medical Research Council of South Africa-led consortium, which also includes the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The Social Development Direct team of VAWG technical advisers provide long-term capacity building support to partners in Nepal, Kenya, DRC, Zambia and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This advice is wide-ranging and related to evidence and theory-based design, implementation, research, monitoring and project management. Examples of our work include:

  • Our team of researchers and VAWG experts have co-authored evidence reviews examining the global evidence base on what works to prevent VAWG, including which response interventions prevent VAWG.
  • In Nepal, our VAWG technical adviser supports VSO Nepal who are implementing a programme to sustainably reduce the risk of violence against women and girls in communities which experience labour migration in Baglung district through developing and testing an intervention running a gender norm change and economic empowerment interventions with families.
  • In Rwanda, our senior VAWG expert is acting as Principal Investigator leading on qualitative methods in a mixed methods impact evaluation of the Indashyikirwa Agents of Change for GBV Prevention programme run by Care International. The programme will implement a package of prevention interventions which aim to change attitudes, behaviours and social norms around gender inequality and GBV in communities across seven districts
  • We also lead support to innovation grantees to develop approaches to monitoring, including integrating safety and ethics guidelines and protocols.

You can read more about the projects we support through What Works here.


Photo credit: VSO Nepal