The CARE Project: Building Sexual Violence Survivors' Capacity to Evidence and Research (C)rimes and (A)dvocate for Effective (Re)sponses

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: School of Psychology


Sexual violence is an enduring human rights violation, and its effects are major obstacles to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly SDG5, which concerns gender equality and the empowerment of women. Survivors struggle to access post rape care services and prosecutions are extremely rare, particularly in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). The lack of data, and weak statistical and technical capacity, pose major obstacles to sustainable development in LMICs. The proposed secondary data analysis will inform policy makers about barriers to service access and case attrition. The dataset provides urgently needed information about the experiences of adult and child survivors in Nairobi who attempted to access post rape care services from 2016 to present day. The results will enable rape survivors in Kenya to use the insights from the research to advocate for policy change while providing generalisable insights for other LMICs. Our vision is to show, via this project, how secondary data analysis can be creatively used to help Kenya and other countries address the global issue of sexual violence. Our ESRC GCRF IAA grant has prepared us to undertake this research and it culminated in a series of co-developed research objectives and questions. Our objectives are to conduct the secondary data analysis to deliver high-quality impactful data research on the nature of sexual violence, post rape care service gaps, and case attrition patterns, and to study sexual violence health and well-being impacts. Our research questions focus on understanding the nature of sexual violence, the barriers survivors face in accessing post rape care services (medical, police, legal), and the reasons why so few cases are prosecuted. We will also build the capacity of the WKF to update their results as new data are collected. The findings of the secondary data analysis will be discussed with policy makers and other stakeholders. Further, the secondary data analysis project will develop a capacity building research agenda that improves the ability of the Survivors' Network to research and document sexual violence cases. The project will engage and partner with rape survivors' networks in other LMICs to share results and demonstrate the value of secondary data analysis in delivering important insights to effectively prevent and respond to sexual violence, helping to achieve SDG5.

Planned Impact

Our secondary data analysis project addresses urgent knowledge gaps about post rape care services and case attrition, and maximises the value and use of data held by the Wangu Kanja Foundation (WKF). The project builds the capacity of the Rape Survivors' Network in Kenya (founded by the WKF) to use the new understandings and insights from the secondary data analysis to achieve policy and practice impact. The project will provide generalisable insights that can be used to address sexual violence in other LMICs. Short-term impacts will develop from engaging survivor beneficiaries and stakeholders in project activities, while medium term effects will occur through reaching out to a wider range of stakeholders, such as rape survivors' networks in other LMICs (e.g., the Phephisa Survivors Movement in South Africa).

The timing of the application around the recent launch of MobApp, an innovative tool that has been developed for documenting sexual violence cases across Kenya, is important for survivors, and other stakeholders within and beyond Kenya.

The project impacts Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve Gender Equality and empower all women and girls. This innovative data research will deliver a co-produced, substantive, and critical mass of knowledge regarding the accessibility of post rape case services and case attrition in Kenya.

We will build on the partnerships developed and the workshops delivered through our recent ESRC GCRF IAA funding by opening our events to survivors, policymakers, politicians and practitioners, eliciting their feedback and help in disseminating the findings to achieve the greatest potential impact. Events include stakeholder workshops and a residential end of project conference.

We will also establish a project website and a social media presence to disseminate news about the project and project outputs. We will also engage with survivors' networks in other LMICs to share the insights we have learned through the secondary data analysis. Toward this end, we will leverage our existing connections (e.g., the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative team), and rape survivors' networks in other countries.

Through the knowledge gained via the secondary data analysis and stakeholder engagement, the project has strong potential to provide generalisable insights for other LMICs to effectively respond to and prevent sexual violence around the world, and tackle SDG5.
Description We have found so far in our secondary data analysis that 1) emergency measures are exacerbating the vulnerability of children and women to sexual and gender based violence; 2) the socio-economic impact of the crisis has increased tensions within households, with reports of physical violence and increased homelessness for women; 3) Vulnerability to violence has been amplified across the population as a whole according to reports by human rights actors, with there being numerous incidents of death and injuries caused by the police while enforcing the COVID-19 emergency measures put into place. Policy recommendations are offered.
Exploitation Route Patterns of sex offending against children coinciding with the implementation of lockdowns, curfews, and school closures may be shifting since the pandemic began. In particular, emerging evidence from Kenya suggests that child victims are younger, more likely to be victimized by a neighbor in a private residence, and in the daytime, compared to pre-pandemic. We conclude that situational crime prevention strategies that focus on providing alternative safe venues to reduce offending opportunities must be a central part of a public health approach to reduce children's vulnerability during crises such as COVID-19.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Government, Democracy and Justice

Description The program is including interactive activities on using evidence to influence policy to build the capacity of the Survivors' Network. The activities are building relationships between academics, and the Kenyan partners, which inlclude USIU Nairobi, the WKF, and the Survivors' Network, who together are producing the outputs. The process of producing jointly written outputs (research and policy briefs, an academic paper, a GCRF concept note and joint conference presentations) is ensuring the participants work together towards a shared goal. For most survivors, this project is their first engagement with research, so the knowledge and skills gained will be new and potentially enduring (SDG 5.5). The in-country Co-I and NGO partner have considerable expertise on SV in Kenya, and an extensive network of partners and supporters in Kenya. The profile of the WKF, the Survivors' Network, USIU Nairobi, and the academics is being promoted via the project website, as well as via social media channels @CareProjectKen1. To improve the capacity and methods for secondary data research on post rape care services and justice in Kenya, we are currently programming the automated data analysis and reporting tool, which will lead to sustainable impact (SDG 5B). The Survivors' Network will be able to update the results beyond the life of the project (we will use the program R, which is open source and free) and allow for tracking change in survivors' access to services and justice over time.
Sector Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

Description USIU, Nairobi, Kenya 
Organisation United States International University
Country Kenya 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Statistical analysis, report writing, and publication dissemintation.
Collaborator Contribution Contribution to the research design and dissemination plan, authoring of papers.
Impact In progress: An academic paper is in preparation.
Start Year 2019
Description Wangu Kanja Foundation, Kenya 
Organisation Wangu Kanja Foundation
Country Kenya 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Thsi project was conducted in collaboration with partners in Kenya, including the Wangu Kanja Foundation.
Collaborator Contribution This Kenyan partner contributed to the design of the study, data analysis, and dissemination, which has included written outputs and workshops.
Impact *1 policy brief (see publications section of form) *1 research report (see publication section of form) *3 research articles (see publication section of form) *2 webinars
Start Year 2019
Description Effective Case Documentation Training, Kenya 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This event delivered a bespoke co-deleloped training programme to the Survivors of Sexual Violence in Kenya Network
•This activity occurred in-country and was delivered in person in Nairobi, Kisumu, Vihiga and Bungoma and Mount Elgon counties
• The Wangu Kanja Foundation, the Survivors of Sexual Violence Network in Kenya, and ADSOCK, all of which are Kenyan organisations co-developed and delivered the training
• Identify networking activities and workshops. Ensure the following information is provided:
o 78 survivors, 46 duty bearers (healthcare workers and police) attended these training sessions, and 3 people delivered the training sessions. All of these individuals were Kenyan.
from the DAC list country/countries)

To date our evidence is that the training programme is improving participants' knowledge of interviewing skills and we have found that the training significantly increases their understanding of interviewing best practice e.g. ground rules, rapport and independent voice. This will increase attendees their case documentation and employability skills, and increase the GBV evidence base, leading to more resources to combate GBV in Kenya.

The FCDO and the IICI have asked for further information and results, increasing the potential for wider dissemination beyond Kenya.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021