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Mary Catherine Maternowska

Former Specialist (Former title)

M. Catherine Maternowska is a Senior Research and Evaluation Specialist at UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti. She has extensive field experience in socio-medical research, evaluation, and programming. Trained in economics, public health and medical anthropology, she has published numerous peer review articles and a book on population and poverty in Haiti. She has also published in the popular press on public health and children's issues. Her experience managing donor-financed national, regional and global health programs has focused on child protection and sexual and reproductive health with expertise in gender-based violence policy, prevention, care, and treatment. She held a faculty position at the University of California, San Francisco for ten years until 2010. At Innocenti she leads a multi-country study on the drivers of violence affecting children. She has a Ph.D. from Columbia University and a MPH from the University of Michigan.
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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.


Mary Catherine Maternowska; Alina Potts; Deborah Fry; Tabitha Casey


Mary Catherine Maternowska; Alina Potts; Deborah Fry


Addressing violence against children online and offline (2019)

Daniel Kardefelt Winther, Mary Catherine Maternowska
Nature Human Behaviour , 2019-12, pp. 4.

Disclosure, reporting and help seeking among child survivors of violence: a cross-country analysis (2020)

Audrey Pereira, Amber Peterman, Anastasia Naomi Neijhoft, Alina Potts, Mary Catherine Maternowska
BMC Public Health, 2020-7 (20, Article number: 1051 (2020) )


Investigating the drivers of violence affecting children in Viet Nam (04 Apr 2017)

A couple of years ago the view of the perfectly terraced rice paddy fields of Viet Nam from my airplane window seemed both beautiful and unn ...

Bringing data on violence out of the shadows in Peru: a 25 year journey (21 Nov 2016)

In 1990, during my first visit to Lima, Peru, the streets were crammed with vendors, pedestrians, vehicles of every description and young ...


Mary Catherine Maternowska on the drivers of violence affecting children

Mary Catherine Maternowska podcast on Peru makes progress on violence against children