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  1. 1. CHAPTER FOURTEEN oFrom Research to ActionTopics covered in this chapter:Outreach to key constituenciesMatching your message to your audienceSharing findings with the communityReaching beyond your bordersR esearch is a means to an end. Aresearcher’s task is only complete once the university-based researchers who presented their results Example of a Stakeholder Listfindings from a research project are put only at international confer- • Ministry of Healthinto the hands of the individuals and ences or in academic journals. • Office of Women’s Affairsorganizations positioned to use them. For Fortunately this approach is • Members of Parliament,violence research, this generally includes being supplanted by a new especially Women’spolicy makers, legislators, advocacy ethic of research in which Commissionsgroups, the academic community, service researchers and advocates join • Local women’s groups/net-providers, and the respondents themselves. forces to ensure that research works This chapter briefly highlights some cre- findings are used for social • Local rape crisis centerative ways that different research teams change. This section includes • Local journalistshave approached these challenges. several examples of how dif- • School of Public Health ferent research teams have • Department of JusticeOUTREACH TO KEY used their findings strategi- • Local radio—call-in showCONSTITUENCIES cally to change laws, influ- • School of Social Work ence policy, design service • Catholic dioceseResearch can either be a positive force for programs, and place the issue • Municipal authoritieschange or it can sit on a shelf, advancing of violence against women ononly the career paths of individual investi- the public agenda.gators. The field of international violence The first step is to make a list of differ-research is filled with examples of both. ent constituent groups and individuals that In the past, it was not uncommon for should be made aware of the researchwomen’s groups and others working on findings. The study’s advisory group willviolence to be totally unaware that research be particularly helpful in this regard.on violence had been conducted in their Next strategize about the different meanscountry, often by foreign investigators or and venues available for reaching these A Practical Guide for Researchers and Activists 217
  2. 2. o CHAPTER FOURTEEN audiences. Also recognize that the type of To unify the campaign and project a posi- message and style of presentation that will tive image, the researchers developed an be persuasive to different audiences will eye-catching logo and printed 20,000 stickers likely vary. (See Matching Your Message to with the slogan “Let’s create love and peace Your Audience, below.) in intimate relationships.” In addition, the team distributed over 2,000 fact sheets and Let’s Create Love and Peace in posters about violence against women (see Intimate Relationships: National Figure 14.1). The key activity of the month dissemination of research findings was a two-day national seminar, held at the in Thailand National Women’s Council in Bangkok, and It may be possible to reach a number of tar- attended by more than 400 people. On the get groups at once by holding a stakeholder first day, the research team made an official meeting or a symposium at which the results presentation of the research and its findings. are presented and discussed. Members of On the second day, six women with direct the Thai research team of the WHO multi- experiences of violence shared their own country study, for example, worked with the stories of pain and survival followed by pre- Task Force to End Violence Against Women sentations by other researchers and well- and the Coalition for Women’s Advancement known experts in the field. Outside the to organize a month-long program of activi- seminar room, various concerned organiza- ties on violence against women in Thailand. tions set up exhibit booths to advertise their The month was kicked off with a press con- organizations and services. ference to present the Thai findings from the The research team evaluated the impact of WHO multi-country study and to highlight the activities throughout the ensuing months, current activities of organizations working to including tracking coverage of the findings in eliminate violence and gender discrimination the media. Overall, the research findings were in Thailand. presented at events in more than 20 provinces. Significantly, findings on the prevalence of FIGURE 14.1 LET’S CREATE LOVE AND PEACE forced sex in marriage also proved critical to IN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS WAS THE a legislative campaign to amend Article 276 MESSAGE TIED TO THE DISSEMINATION OF STUDY RESULTS IN THAILAND of Thailand’s criminal code that gave immu- nity to men who rape their wives. Silence for the Sake of Harmony: Engaging local leaders in the dis- semination of results in Indonesia The SEHATI Research Project, a partner- ship between Gadjah Mada University and Rifka Annisa Women’s Crisis Center (both in Indonesia), Umeå University in Sweden, and PATH, carried out a prevalence study in Central Java that showed that one in ten women had been physically abused by an intimate partner. To reach a wider audi- ence, researchers asked the Queen of the Province of Yogyakarta in Central Java to host the launch of their report. The launch was attended by local authorities, media,218 Researching Violence Against Women
  3. 3. FROM RESEARCH TO ACTION o FIGURE 14.2 STUDY REPORT FROM CENTRAL JAVA, WHICH INCLUDED PREFACES FROM THE QUEEN OF THE PROVINCE OF YOGYAKARTA, THE INDONESIAN MINISTER OF HEALTH, AND THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT (From Hakimi et al, 2002.1)and religious and community leaders. The technical, academic, or policy audiences, itQueen also wrote a preface to the vio- is important to follow scientific conventionlence report, lending legitimacy to this and to include all required backgroundonce taboo area of research. A similar ses- information so that others can evaluate thesion was held in Jakarta, the capital of findings, such as sample size, measures ofIndonesia, hosted by the Minister of significance, and margins of error. ForHealth and the Minister of Women’s other audiences, this information is merelyEmpowerment, both of whom also wrote confusing and detracts from the message.prefaces for the report (Figure 14.2). Candies in Hell: Using research forM AT C H I N G Y O U R social change in NicaraguaMESSAGE TO YOUR A good example of how the same informa-AUDIENCE tion can be adapted to different audiences comes from the Nicaraguan Network ofA key to achieving impact is to tailor your Women Against Violence. The Networkmessage to the various audiences that you collaborated with researchers from theseek to influence. The language, style, and University of Nicaragua in León andmessage that may be persuasive to one Sweden’s Umeå University to conduct in-group may be wholly unconvincing—or depth interviews of battered women and aunintelligible—to another. The way the household survey on the rate of domesticdata are presented also should vary. For violence among women in León. The basic A Practical Guide for Researchers and Activists 219
  4. 4. o CHAPTER FOURTEEN FIGURE 14.3 PRESENTING RESEARCH RESULTS IN DIFFERENT WAYS FOR DIVERSE AUDIENCES IN NICARAGUA (From Ellsberg et al, 19972 and Ellsberg et al, 1999.3) finding of the study—that 52 percent of To influence health policy and the behavior ever-married women ages 15-49 have been of health workers, researchers and the hit, slapped, or beaten by a partner—was Network cosponsored a symposium at the presented in a variety of ways to make dif- medical school in León, where the results ferent points to different audiences. were presented to local providers, health- The results were presented in a publica- related NGOs, and ministry staff. The same tion using graphs and charts to appeal to presentations were later repeated for a the professional and scientific communities. national audience at the public health220 Researching Violence Against Women
  5. 5. FROM RESEARCH TO ACTION o Several activities were also undertaken to reach legislators and to use the results of the study to push for new domestic vio- lence legislation. The results were included in the Preamble of the Draft Penal Code Reforms for the Prevention and Sanction of Family Violence, which was drafted and presented to the National Assembly by the National Network of Women Against Violence. But more significantly, the find- ings were translated into simple language and incorporated into a national petition campaign asking legislators to approve the domestic violence bill pending before the National Assembly. Network members held “petition-signing parties” and reproducedschool in Managua. Here, the emphasis was the petition as a full-page, tear-out ad inon the health consequences of abuse and the national newspaper. In a few months,the potential role of health workers in more than 16,000 signatures were obtainedresponding to the problem. and presented in great packages to parlia- These meetings helped launch several mentarians. They were so overwhelmed byinitiatives, including the production of a the public pressure, especially since it wasspecialized manual for health workers on an election year, that they voted unani-responding to abuse and the development mously to pass the law (Figure 14.4).of educational material on violence forincorporation into medical school and SHARING FINDINGS WITHnursing curricula. THE COMMUNITY To reach community members, espe-cially women, the Network published the One step often overlooked in research isfindings in the form of a popular booklet the process of communicating findingsentitled Ya No Quiero Confites en el back to the community. TraditionallyInfierno (I No Longer Want Candies in research has been an “extrac-Hell). The booklet told the story of Ana tive” process whereby results “I would like to ask if youCristina, one of the informants in the study, and insights derived from the find something to help us orand the booklet’s margins included easy- research seldom make their to help us know more, canto-understand statistics drawn from the way back to the original you please come again? Dosurvey. The booklet included basic infor- respondents. In recent years, not take our stories withoutmation about where women could get there has been a move toward coming back and telling ushelp as well as questions to guide group “giving something back” to the what you have learned.”discussions (see Figure 14.3). community in addition to shar- Woman from Papua New The prevalence data were also men- ing the results of research with Guineationed in a pocket-sized card urging bat- policy makers, opinion leaders,tered women to get help, under the title and front-line providers. As the quote from“You are not alone: recent studies have the respondent in Papua New Guineashown that one out of every two women makes clear, community members appreci-has been beaten by her husband, and one ate the opportunity to see what comes ofout of every four is beaten each year.” the time they invest with researchers. A Practical Guide for Researchers and Activists 221
  6. 6. o CHAPTER FOURTEEN FIGURE 14.4 PETITION TO THE MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, CITING THE LEÓN RESEARCH AND ASKING FOR A NEW DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAW TO BE PASSED PHOTO BY HAFM JANSEN These letters were distributed in community meetings, parties, and through the newspapers. The National Network of Women Against Violence collected more than 16,000 signatures in the space of a few weeks. (From Ellsberg et al, 1997.2) Sometimes this process of sharing can researchers studying sexual coercion during take the form of directly communicating war translated their findings into drama the findings back to the community via vignettes to communicate their results back workshops or focus groups. Sharing pre- to rural women. Based on survey findings, liminary results with community members the researchers derived a profile that repre- can be an excellent way to test the validity sented the average experiences of the of findings—do they ring true to those women surveyed. Local health promoters who participated in the research? then worked with researchers to develop a Respondents may also be able to offer storyline that reflected the experiences of insights that are helpful in interpreting sur- the majority of women in the survey. The prising or unexpected findings. health promoters acted out the experiences that women discussed in the survey and Community Theater: then the community discussed the “results.”4 Disseminating research findings Similar techniques were used in Uganda by in Liberia, Uganda, and Kenya the organizations CEDOVIP and Raising Investigators have also used a variety of Voices (See Figure 14.5). innovative techniques to communicate the In Kenya, theater was used to communi- essence of research findings back to low-lit- cate findings of a study carried out by the eracy populations. In Liberia, for example, Kenya Adolescent Reproductive Health222 Researching Violence Against Women
  7. 7. FROM RESEARCH TO ACTION o FIGURE 14.5 UGANDAN COMMUNITY THEATER GROUP PERFORMS A PLAY ON THE LINK BETWEEN HIV AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN A KAMPALA MARKET PHOTO BY M. ELLSBERGProject (KARHP). The project was launched and presented them to stakeholders—to bring reproductive health education and many of whom did not speak English—support to communities in Vihiga and in simple format and language.Busia districts. Dozens of parents, teachers, Dancers and drummersreligious and political leaders, health clinic 2. The team then selected two local youth opening a street theaterstaff, and hundreds of young people, cho- theatre groups—Visions 3000 based in performance insen for their capacity to speak candidly to Kakamega and Mwangaza in Mambale Kampala, Uganda.their peers, were recruited by KARHP toreach out with information on sexual vio-lence, sexually transmitted diseases, andother reproductive health issues. Like most development programs,KARHP used baseline and diagnostic stud-ies to evaluate its effect on the communi-ties it serves. But the question was how tocommunicate those findings to the relativestakeholders—people and organizations ina position to interpret, even improve onhow such information relates to our work.Using a new dissemination methodology, PHOTO BY M. ELLSBERGKARHP found two innovative ways:1. The project implementation team drafted a summary report containing key findings A Practical Guide for Researchers and Activists 223
  8. 8. o CHAPTER FOURTEEN with everyone sharing a joint understand- ing of the situation, the community was actively engaged in designing interventions to respond to the challenges that young people face today.5 Reaching communities through traditional art: The Jijenge! mural campaign against violence in Tanzania6, 7 In a similar effort, staff members at Jijenge!, a women’s health center in Mwanza, Tanzania, took great pains to convey back to the community the results of its needs assessment on domestic violence. (See Box 5.2 for a description of the participatory study.) This was done through a workshop with the community volunteers and a PHOTO BY M. ELLSBERG CEDOVIP activists carry out informal series of community street meetings. As discussions with men part of its multifaceted media campaign under a mural painting against violence, Jijenge! also appropriated on domestic violence in the folk-art tradition of mural painting as a Kampala, Uganda. means to communicate important messages District—and trained them to present about family violence and gender issues. A key learnings in an entertaining and series of bright and colorful murals was visually exciting manner. To prepare, the designed and painted on small walls out- actors were provided with a presentation side kiosks, shops, and buildings all over of the major findings, general informa- Mwanza municipality. The images and sim- tion on adolescent reproductive health, ple yet controversial messages were and tips on communication skills. A the- intended to stimulate dialogue. Two pri- ater consultant worked with both groups mary characters—a woman and man in to develop “storylines” for skits that their early to mid-30s—were created and required audience participation. used in most of the murals. These charac- ters are shown in conversation with each Both the skits and the summary report other and the audience (Figure 14.6). One were then presented in three locations in mural, for example, shows the woman western Kenya to an audience that with her arm around her husband and the included government staff, religious lead- husband confidently stating, “I don’t beat ers, village elders, local groups, and com- my wife, we talk about our problems munity members. Not only was the instead.” A rights statement such as information shared with the community, “Women have a right not to be beaten!” but the researchers had an opportunity to appears in each mural to relate practical vet their findings and ask the community if life choices to the broader framework of the skits represented their communities. women’s rights. The murals address many These research dissemination sessions issues concerning violence against women, helped the community to articulate their including emotional well-being, solidarity situation and own the problems. Then, among women, and causal factors of224 Researching Violence Against Women
  9. 9. FROM RESEARCH TO ACTION o FIGURE 14.6. MURALS PAINTED ON COMMUNITY WALLS IN TANZANIA AND UGANDA TO ENCOURAGE COMMUNITY DISCUSSION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCEviolence such as inequality and economic can be in social change efforts is provideddependence. Similar techniques are now by Soul City in South Africa. The Soul Cityused successfully by the Ugandan organi- Institute for Health and Developmentzations CEDOVIP and Raising Voices, Communication produces a prime time tel-which grew out of the Jijenge! experience evision drama, a radio drama in nine lan-in Tanzania. guages, and full-color information booklets to promote social change around a varietyA disaster that men can prevent: of health and social issues. Soul City’sA multimedia campaign targeting fourth series focused on gender-based vio-Nicaraguan men lence, including domestic violence andIn other cases, research is used explicitly sexual harassment. In order to develop theas part of a communication for social storyline about a woman named Matlakala,change strategy. For example, findings formative research was carried out withfrom the study on men’s violence in audience members and experts in the fieldNicaragua (see Box 5.6) were incorporated of gender-based violence. The story alsointo a mass media campaign using televi- incorporated findings from a survey onsion and radio commercials, bumper stick- violence recently carried out in threeers, T-shirts, community workshops, and provinces by the South African Medicalbillboards. The messages targeted men, Research Council.8 Partnerships were estab-and referring to Hurricane Mitch that had lished between Soul City and organizationsrecently devastated the region, suggested active in the field, such as the Nationalthat “Violence against women is one disas- Network on Violence Against Women, ater that we men can prevent” (Figure 14.7). coalition of 1,500 activists and communica- tion organizations from rural and urbanMatlakala’s Story: Communication areas. These partnerships aimed to ensurefor social change in South Africa that the messages developed conveyedAnother example of how effective research appropriate and accurate information on A Practical Guide for Researchers and Activists 225
  10. 10. o CHAPTER FOURTEEN FIGURE 14.7 MEDIA CAMPAIGN FOR MEN CARRIED OUT BY PUNTOS DE ENCUENTRO FOUNDATION IN NICARAGUA BASED ON FINDINGS OF QUALITATIVE RESEARCH ON MALE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN women’s rights, raising awareness of the a cohort sample of 500 respondents at topic and promoting changes in attitudes, baseline, twice during the time that Soul social norms, and practices around gender- City’s fourth series was on the air, and based violence to help connect audiences post intervention. to needed services, including through a toll-free helpline; to promote individual ■ A national qualitative impact assessment and community action; to create an envi- composed of 31 focus group interviews ronment conducive to legislative change; and 30 semistructured interviews with and to develop training materials on gen- community leaders. der-based violence for various audiences. The Soul City series on violence then The evaluation found an association enlisted independent researchers to evalu- between exposure to Soul City media and ate the program through three studies: increases in knowledge and awareness of the population regarding domestic vio- ■ A national survey carried out before the lence and domestic violence legislation. show started, and nine months later, The results of the evaluation were pre- that included face-to-face interviews sented in numerous documents and peer- with 2,000 respondents. reviewed journals, as well as on an easy-to-read fact sheet (Figure 14.8).9-11 ■ A sentinel site study conducted several Even more importantly, the show and the times in a rural and an urban site, with research findings helped create a positive226 Researching Violence Against Women
  11. 11. FROM RESEARCH TO ACTION o FIGURE 14.8 COMMUNICATION MATERIALS IN ENGLISH AND ZULU AND AN EVALUATION FACT SHEET PRODUCED BY SOUL CITY IN SOUTH AFRICAsocial environment for reforming domestic study posted the results of their surveyviolence legislation. on a local Thai-language web page that Elsewhere, researchers have turned included a “bulletin board” where viewersto the Internet to publicize findings of could post their own comments and ques-domestic violence research and seek input tions. The web page received thousands ofand feedback from a broader constituency. hits and comments during its first monthThe Thai team of the WHO multi-country of operation. A Practical Guide for Researchers and Activists 227
  12. 12. o CHAPTER FOURTEEN TV and radio programs. Materials forwarded to the Center will be entered into the Center’s online service, known as POPLINE, and will be featured on the Center’s End Violence Against Women web site (http://www.endvaw.org). Individuals can search for materials using key words, and copies will be sent to developing country practitioners free of charge. The findings of theWHO study in Namibia were published in thepopular women’s maga- zine Sister Namibia. REACHING BEYOND YOUR BORDERS In addition to local outreach, it is also important to consider reaching audiences beyond local borders. Given the general lack of data available on violence against women, every research study is a poten- tially important addition to the global knowledge base. Consider publishing your results in the academic literature, especially in a peer- reviewed journal indexed in one of the computerized services such as Index Medicus, Psych-Lit, or POPLINE. Then, individuals who search for articles on vio- lence will be able to access your findings. Additionally, the Center for Communication Programs at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) have joined forces to produce a central depository for information on violence against women, including documents, jour- nal articles, training materials, posters, and228 Researching Violence Against Women