Our Work

Delivering excellence in social development consultancy and research

Gender Based Violence

Why we work on Violence Against Women & Girls

1 in 3 women and girls experience some form of physical and or sexual violence in their lifetime.  Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a serious human rights concern and a major public health problem. The social and economic costs of violence are enormous for individuals, and have ripple effects throughout families, communities and society, lasting for generations.

Prevention is possible, but to stop violence against women and girls happening we need to understand and address the underlying causes.


Our approach and experience

Our experienced and specialist team of VAWG experts and researchers are committed to ensuring that policies and programming are informed by high-quality applicable research and evidence on violence against women and girls.

Social Development Direct is one of the leading suppliers of VAWG research, evaluations and technical advice. Our extensive portfolio includes lead and support roles on major DFID VAWG initiatives and high profile work for UN agencies and iNGOs.

Some examples of our work include:

  • DFID’s VAWG Helpdesk: We are the lead contractor for a global helpdesk service on VAWG that provides research and expert advice, reports and products to DFID and other UK Government Departments. We deliver this service in a consortium with the International Rescue Committee, Womankind, ActionAid and the Institute of Development Studies.
  • What Works to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls: DFID’s flagship 5-year global research and innovation programme to help prevent violence against women and girls and build knowledge on what works. We are a core member of a research consortium led by the Medical Research Council of South Africa, in partnership with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Social Development Direct. 
  • Impact evaluation of the Madhya Pradesh Safe Cities Initiative: We are leading an independent impact evaluation of the Madhya Pradesh Safe Cities Initiative. The Initiative, led by DFID-India and the Government of Madhya Pradesh, is designed to reduce the prevalence of both intimate partner violence and violence and harassment against women and girls in public spaces across 250 urban slums. Our team undertook a robust mixed-methods Randomised Control Trial (RC) evaluation, involving a large-scale household survey as well as participatory qualitative research.
  • Global guidance on School Related Gender-based Violence (SRGBV): In March 2015, SDDirect was commissioned by UNESCO to develop comprehensive global guidance on SRGBV. Senior experts from our team worked with UNESCO, the UNAIDS Inter-Agency Task Team (IATT) on Education and School Health, and UN Women to produce a guidance note that is a comprehensive, one-stop resource on SRGBV. It is available in hard copy and as an expanded online version available at www.endvawnow.org
  • Research on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) and VAWG: We conducted research for Plan UK in Uganda and Cambodia on how CSE can influence a positive shift in gender norms and contribute to preventing VAWG in schools and the wider community. Our team identified four key pathways for changing attitudes on gender equality and reducing VAWG as part of CSE.