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International effort to strengthen evidence on violence against children

Robust data and research on violence, extremely hard to come by, threaten progress
18 March 2019 - 19 March 2019
Students walking past their school in Brazil where 62 per cent of reported child victims of violence are girls and 60 per cent of reported cases occur at home.

(14 March 2019)  Ending violence against children by 2030 is among the most important goals for children in the SDGs. The lack of robust, disaggregated data and evidence to understand the magnitude and nature of violence against children in their respective countries remains a challenge.   

An international meeting to create a Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Data and Evidence to End Violence Against Children is held 18 – 19 March 2019 at UNICEF Innocenti, in Florence. The meeting is organized by the office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, and UNICEF on behalf of the Executive Committee of the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children.

While advocacy and political will to support ending violence is on the upswing, challenges in the field of violence prevention remain around improving global, regional and national availability of quality data, evidence and learning. Resolving these issues and building consensus on greater global cooperation moving forward is necessary to ensure accelerated progress towards the scaling up of promising programmes and strategies, and also to ensure timely and effective monitoring of progress towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.

These factors further underscore the importance of “quality, accessible, timely and reliable disaggregated data to enable the measurement of progress and to ensure no one is left behind”.

The international consultation brings together experts and stakeholders working on data and evidence on the protection of children from violence to discuss and build consensus on how to address the challenges in producing sound data and evidence.  The agenda includes discussions on how to build agreements on definitions, indicators and methodologies to ensure collective global effort to improve evidence standards and practices.

The two-day meeting will focus on conversation and consensus building about:

  • what data and evidence resources are needed to support countries taking action to end violence against children;
  • what tools are currently used across agencies and places to collect data;
  • what are the gaps in data, evidence and learning, and how can be addressed;
  • how can current resources and platforms can be enhanced to create a dynamic and useful resource and avoid duplication;
  • what actions should be taken to keep this agenda moving forward.

The organizers expect an engaging and fast-moving meeting, setting an agenda for the Forum’s work, and resulting in a strong coordinated action plan to guide data and evidence efforts to meet the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, for a world where children can live free from violence, abuse and exploitation.


Research Projects

Violence affecting children
Research Project Research Project

Violence affecting children

Violence affecting children manifests differently in every society. The most effective interventions address both the immediate needs of children and the broader social causes of violence. The Multi Country Study on the Drivers of Violence Affecting Children, led by Innocenti and national partners in Peru, Zimbabwe, Viet Nam and Italy, builds national research capacity across the four countries. National reports and policy briefs synthesize findings to create a composite picture of violence. Field research tests if interventions to prevent violence are addressing the underlying drivers. An Advisory Board  provides advice and guidance for the Multi Country Study.   Several countries neighboring the four main field sites have initiated the Research to Policy & Practice Process, called R3Ps.. These are scaled-down studies on the drivers of violence allowing UNICEF Country offices and partners to systematically review and prioritize best possible prevention and response interventions based on local evidence. Young Lives is a longitudinal study following the lives of 12,000 children in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam over a 15 year period. The study measures the effect of violence on child outcomes at multiple points in time. Young Lives study data is powerful in suggesting when, where and how risk and protective factors manifest in children’s lives; this work complements the Multi Country Study findings and contributes to new understandings for violence prevention policy and programming.  For a list of the studies, reports, videos, blogs and other related content produced by the Multi-country Study and its spin-off studies, see our list of outputs. 


Research that Drives Change: Conceptualizing and Conducting Nationally Led Violence Prevention Research
Publication Publication

Research that Drives Change: Conceptualizing and Conducting Nationally Led Violence Prevention Research

Globally, studies have demonstrated that children in every society are affected by physical, sexual and emotional violence. The drive to both quantify and qualify violence through data and research has been powerful: discourse among policy makers is shifting from “this does not happen here” to “what is driving this?” and “how can we address it?” To help answer these questions, the Multi-Country Study on the Drivers of Violence Affecting Children – conducted in Italy, Viet Nam, Peru and Zimbabwe – sought to disentangle the complex and often interrelated underlying causes of violence affecting children (VAC) in these four countries. Led by the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti with its academic partner, the University of Edinburgh, the Study was conducted by national research teams comprised of government, practitioners and academic researchers in each of the four countries.
The multi-country study on the drivers of violence affecting children. A cross-country snapshot of findings
Publication Publication

The multi-country study on the drivers of violence affecting children. A cross-country snapshot of findings


Multi-Stakeholder Forum Agenda
Participants list
Multi-Stakeholder Forum participants list