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Harmful Practices

The Strategic Technical Assistance for Research (STAR) Initiative to end harmful practices
Harmful Practices

Strengthening evidence generation, use and uptake


Improving data and evidence is central to accelerating action to end harmful practices such as child marriage and female genital mutilation. Yet high-quality evidence generation, synthesis and uptake can be complex and have limited impact without structured support and coordination.


A partnership with the UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to End Child Marriage, UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation and the UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti, the STAR Initiative (Strategic Technical Assistance for Research) to end harmful practices aims to strengthen evidence generation and learning. The initiative has three areas of focus: evidence generation, evidence synthesis and research dissemination and uptake. 

How we work

The STAR Initiative provides high-quality research and analytical support to UNICEF and UNFPA country and regional offices seeking technical support, leads evidence synthesis to identify and address prioritised evidence gaps, and promotes the use and uptake of evidence by policymakers, practitioners and researchers. 

Support offered

The STAR team offers in-depth methodological and subject matter expertise to country and regional offices in the following capacities:



The Global Programme to End Child Marriage is generously supported by the governments of Belgium, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United Kingdom, the European Union and Zonta International.

The Joint Programme on the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation is supported by a range of generous donours including the European Union (through Spotlight Initiative Africa Regional Programme) and the governments of Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.