Engaging Counties on Gender Based Violence Data

Participants follow proceedings during the workshop in Makueni County
A study done by a team of scholars from KU-WEE hub on the intersection between   Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Women’s Economic Empowerment focused on the effectiveness of initiatives by State and Non-state actors in facilitating the recovery of GBV survivors. Most significantly, it looked into the costs incurred by GBV survivors as a result of the violence.
As part of dissemination of study findings for policy influence, the team engaged different cohorts from the County governments’ key personnel through a series of workshops. The target audience was the Gender Sector Working groups in three counties, namely Nairobi, Makueni, and Nakuru. This was done in partnership with Innovations for Poverty Actions (IPA), a research and policy organisation that promotes use of rigorous evidence. IPA conducts assessments followed by capacity building, embeds technical data staff and builds internal capacities of partners on data generation and use, a role they have so far engaged the Makueni GSWG.
These workshops, that took place on March 22nd (Makueni), May 29th (Nairobi) and 4th July (Nakuru) 2023 gave an opportunity to KU researchers to highlight key findings in the ongoing study. Of significance is the observation that, default services offered by the initiatives studied rotated around psychosocial, medical and legal assistance, mostly omitting the inevitable economic angle. Given that the typical GBV survivor is often impoverished, sometimes due to situations of violence; or those that lead to violence, it is imperative to include economic empowerment in the menu of services offered. The cost of GBV was subsequently noted to thus place a heavy financial burden on individuals, households, communities and the entire nation, duly affected by GBV be it directly or indirectly.  Such finances could be diverted to productive use if GBV was effectively addressed or eradicated altogether.
Following the workshops, Makueni County Government participants proposed streamlining of the GBV reporting system, development of an integrated GBV data management system and training of data personnel. On the same note, their counterparts in Nairobi proposed a data quality assessment for the county GBV sector and agreed on the need for a county and national GBV database. Nakuru, on the other hand, endorsed capacity assessment, customised training and embedment of technical staff within the county to support data cleaning and harmonization processes.

All groups demonstrated an appetite for partnership with IPA and Kenyatta University to implement the proposed solutions. Makueni participants in particular, proposed a follow-up meeting of Kenyatta University, IPA and the County Governor towards a memorandum of understanding to kick-start the arrangement.

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