Research Aims and Methodology

Research under this theme is being conducted in Egypt, India, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Kenya and Uganda. 


The aims of the research are to:

  • Identify the ways in which collective action and the involvement of men and boys may influence effective strategies to address sexual and gender-based violence. We have been finding out more about such efforts by engaging with in-country partners in six countries through a critical review and evaluation of interventions that work with men and boys to address sexual and gender-based violence. In five of the six countries we are working in, we have developed profiles of collective actors working to challenge GBV. See the profiles on our country pages. 
  • Working with in-country partners, identify examples where men are engaging as gender equality activists to address sexual and gender-based violence through collective action. Examples of the work done include:

    -Brainstorming to develop criteria for what makes collective action successful in a transitional context such as Egypt.
    -Undertaking a situational and issue-based mapping of the forms GBV takes in private and public space, the main causes and the underlying power dynamics affecting them in Kenya and South Africa.  
    -Identifying how a dynamic network of actors in Sierra Leone emerge from the country’s history of violence, and its capacity for ‘rebuilding differently’ to foster resilience and create long-term social transformation.
    -Focusing on the perspectives and experiences of male survivors of violence in Uganda to understand the dynamics and resilience of survivors in the context of the structural violence they face.
    -Illustrating how a growing network of men in Uttar Pradesh, have built engagement for addressing GBV through Men’s Action to Stop Violence Against Women (MASVAW) - a political project and movement.
  • Work with at least one collective actor in each country to map stakeholders in a systematic way, interviewing them to determine the role that policy (state or donor) and other factors plays to enable or diminish the chances of success of these actors.
  • Work with one of these collective actors in one of the countries to assess the effectiveness of a change in their relationship with the state/donors to change knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of different stakeholders towards GBV. We will use a variety of methods to do this, striking the right balance between internal and external validity of the assessments.

Key outputs

  1. Profile collections of successful collective actors that have built constituencies against gender-based violence, and particularly engaging with men and boys.
  2. Systematic stakeholder mappings of multiple actors working in the case study countries to address sexual and gender-based violence, using action research and participatory methodologies
  3. In-depth case studies exploring the value and limitations of working with men and boys to address sexual and gender-based violence through collective action.  
  4. Three policy briefs pulling out learning from the above activities. 
  5. An online event 'SGBV Dialogues' featuring a series of blogs and responses around specific topics relating to sexual and gender-based violence. 
These outputs can be found in the six country pages


What makes it possible for male survivors of conflict-related sexual violence to organise and become activists, challenging discriminatory social and gender norms? This question is addressed in a new study from IDS, the Refugee Law Project and Men of Hope Refugee Association Uganda which also looks at the the role of third-party service providers and non-governmental organisations.

A new IDS policy briefing summarises the key findings of a global research programme on effective organised activism against sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). It highlights the importance of addressing the underlying structural causes of violence showing that men are becoming more visible as partners in tackling SGBV, holding themselves and others accountable for maintaining harmful gender norms that perpetuate violence.

It is now widely accepted that effective strategies to end sexual and gender-based violence must engage with men and boys. However, as highlighted by a new IDS policy brief, the relationship between traditional women’s rights movements and organisations working on engaging men and boys is an uneasy one. The paper makes recommendations on how to build better alliances for the future.

On Human Rights Day, Kabafunzaki Darius King and Dieudonne Maganya talk about their work in participatory filmaking in Uganda - the successes and challenges they've experienced and the impact that video can have on creating positive change. 


Interactions has published a new series of dialogues on the engagement of men and boys in tackling sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). This one-off blog series offers an opportunity to openly talk about SGBV and the successes and challenges connected to addressing it. Experts will have their say and anyone can join the dialogue until 10 December. 

Throughout the 16 Days campaign, from 25 November until 10 December, IDS will be bringing together its work on gender, violence, militarism and education, along with that of its global partners and friends. Check back each day for new things: from academic research to news, blog posts to video.

This new policy brief from IDS highlights that gendered violence does not exist in isolation, and is intertwined with other forms of power, privilege and social exclusion. It argues that taking an ‘intersectional analysis’ approach can help to realise the tangled nature of SGBV and how cross-movement alliance building and the sharing of best practice is crucial in tackling this violence.

On Thursday 19 November a seminar discussing the rape of men in conflict settings will also launch the film 'Men Can Be Raped Too', which has been developed by the members of the Men of Hope Association (MOHA), a refugee support group in Uganda. The event will include 'provocations' from Refugee Law Project Director, Chris Dolan and, via video link from Uganda, members of the MOHA. Watch the film and tune in to the live discussion on Interactions.

How do we make cities more inclusive and secure? At the ‘From Urban Exclusion to Inclusive Urbanisation’ workshop, hosted by IIED, IDS and UNFPA in London from 28-30 October 2015, Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed outlined the particular challenges urban women face in accessing the increased social, economic, and political opportunities available to them in cities.

A new report, published by IDS, focuses on gender and the emergence of a dynamic network of actors that reveal not only Sierra Leone's history of violence, but also its capacity for ‘rebuilding differently’ to foster resilience and create long-term social transformation.

The Refugee Law Project has produced five video testimonies from men who experienced conflict-related sexual violence in their home country of Democratic Republic of Congo and are now taking a stand against sexual violence in Uganda.

A new case study, published by the Institute of Development Studies, explores the 'New ‘MASVAW Men’', a growing network in Uttar Pradesh, India, and the role of men and boys in addressing sexual and gender-based violence through collective action.

This report from the IDS Gender, Power and Sexuality Programme explores the programme's emphasis on linking local voices to global arenas to influence policy discourses on gender justice and sexual rights, the paper reviews the contribution made by engagements with the Men and Masculinities field and reflects on challenges faced and lessons learned.

As highlighted by the State of the World's Fathers report, involved fatherhood is one way to address violence against women and children. But, as Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed argues, it also requires attention to interrelated areas such as prevention, treatment and legal frameworks.

In two video interviews Rukia Cornelius of Sonke Gender Justice, South Africa and Philip Erick Otieno of Men for Gender Equality Now, Kenya talk about the challenges and opportunities when engaging men and boys in ending sexual and gender-based violence, as well as how experiences in their own lives have inspired them.

Ntokozo Yingwana explores the importance of a collective strategy for impact, inspired by a recent global learning workshop on engaging men and boys in sexual and gender-based violence initiatives. The workshop brought together partners from Egypt, Kenya, India, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Uganda.

It is not enough to have a targets and commitments on SGBV if this is not connected to political processes of change, but collective action can help bridge this gap for a transformative agenda and address the underlying causes of violent inequality across scale, from the global to the local.

Amy Hall from the Interactions team will be in New York from 9-20 March and following conversation around sexual and gender-based violence at the 59th Commission on the Status of Women.

The Institute of Development Studies, Sonke Gender Justice and the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation have published a case study which explores the value and limitations of collective action in challenging the community, political, social and economic institutions that reinforce harmful masculinities and gender norms related to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).

Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is a global problem, but research in West Africa suggests that it becomes particularly acute in post-conflict countries, such as Sierra Leone, the focus of this report. It explores the role of men and boys in addressing SGBV including key themes, stakeholders and the opportunities and challenges.

This report is based on a recent case study which explored how collective action contributes to addressing the structural inequalities and discriminatory social norms that perpetuate sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), as well as the role of men and boys in enabling transformative change.

A digital storytelling process formed the heart of a case study which explores the role of collective action in challenging harmful gender norms related to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in South Africa. Vee and Sinazo are two of the people from informal settlements and townships in Cape Town who created video stories about the actions they are taking to address SGBV in their lives and in their communities. 

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) will host a global workshop about men and collective action on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), from 16-19 February, in Brighton, UK. It will bring together national partners in Egypt, India, Kenya, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Uganda. Engage in person or online: come to the open events in person or connect through Interactions or social media.

A new report introduces a collaborative research project between the Centre for Health and Social Justice, India, the Men’s Action to Stop Violence Against Women campaign and the Institute of Development Studies. The research aims to improve understanding and knowledge of the changing roles of men in addressing gender-based violence (GBV) and how and why collective action holds possibilities as an effective strategy. 

Sonke Gender Justice, the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation and the Institute of Development Studies conducted case study research in South Africa between June and November 2014 to explore how collective action contributes to addressing sexual and gender-based violence, and the role of men and boys in enabling transformative change. Early findings were shared at November's MenEngage Global Symposium in New Delhi.

This pilot evaluation engages with community activists in Khayelitsha township in Cape Town, South Africa to understand the reality of gender-based violence in the life of their community and what drives and sustains their action against this. 

This new evidence report is about a mapping workshop which was conducted in Kenya to identify promising avenues and approaches by which men and boys can become engaged in addressing sexual and gender-based violence, within social and institutional contexts of Kenya.


Drawing on findings from research on unpaid care, women’s empowerment, men and masculinities, and gender and social movements, this NGO/CSW parallel event will explore the steps we need to take to create strong and sustainable alliances to influence global policy processes, to challenge the myths and expose the reality. Roundtable discussion features Jerker Edström, Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed and Mariz Tadros (IDS)

Preliminary outputs from a Nairobi workshop which mapped out some of the key collective actors and aimed to improve understanding and knowledge of shifting roles of men in movements which address sexual and gender based violence.

The international campaign is running until Human Rights Day on 10 December. The theme for 2013 is: ‘Let’s challenge militarism and end violence against women.’ Various teams at IDS have come together to promote key initiatives and actors working in this disturbing yet essential development area.