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Multi-country study on the drivers of violence affecting children: Italy, Peru, Vietnam and Zimbabwe

Violence affecting children evolves in complex socio-economic and cultural contexts. Our research analyses how structural, institutional, community and individual factors interact to affect violence in children's lives and identifies causal pathways to better inform national strategies for prevention. A cornerstone of this work is to link quality research, translating it into evidence, and turning evidence into effective and meaningful interventions.

The Multi Country Study on the Drivers of Violence is an action-research project seeking to understand what drives violence affecting children and what can be done to prevent it?

The study focuses on four countries—Zimbabwe, Viet Nam, Peru and Italy—representing low-,middle- and high-income contexts in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe. The early phases of the study focus on applied research then transition into intervention development and evaluation.

Outcomes occur throughout the process and findings can be used to inform child protection and violence prevention planning, practice and policy on a continual basis in a positive and reinforcing feedback loop.

In 2014 we built research infrastructure in all four countries through capacity building of national study partners in government, civil society, and practitioner organizations. This has focused on exchanging and building upon quantitative and qualitative skills with 34 national researchers on a variety of topics.

In 2015, we worked with each country team to analyse and synthesize data on evidence collected from nearly 450 publications and 10 national data sets. Numerous workshops ensured context specificity and a nationally-owned and led interpretation of results.

In 2016, findings from the first stage of the study will be forthcoming in a number of key policy and technical reports. An additional four-country analysis with Oxford University’s Young Lives Longitudinal Study on Childhood Poverty is building evidence on the drivers of violence. A series of seven working papers addressing long term outcomes for children exposed to violence will also follow, on: corporal punishment; bullying; social support services; and children’s experiences of violence in Peru, Viet Nam, Ethiopia and India.

An integrated publication, building on all of these findings and introducing a conceptual framework for understanding violence affecting children—from the structural to the individual levels and across age and gender— will synthesize this important first stage of research.