What Works to Reduce Violence against Children and Women

A review of parenting programmes, informed by social and behaviour change strategies


This evidence-to-policy brief is based on a rapid evidence assessment of the effectiveness of social and behaviour change (SBC)-informed interventions to reduce both violence against children and intimate partner violence in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). It is intended as a user-friendly overview for anyone with an interest in learning about the broad possibilities of addressing violence provided by SBC-informed parenting initiatives.

The assessment aims to:

  • Appraise the available evidence on the effectiveness of SBC-informed interventions that target parents and caregivers in reducing violence against children in the home
  • Assess the impact of parenting interventions on reducing co-occurring intimate partner violence
  • Identify the theories underpinning SBC-informed interventions and the settings in which SBC interventions work and for whom
  • Evaluate the costs and cost-effectiveness of SBC-informed parenting interventions
  • Identify relevant contextual factors, including population groups, intervention characteristics and the implementation considerations required for successfully delivering SBC-informed parenting interventions.

The findings indicate that:

  • There is a robust evidence base demonstrating that parenting programmes informed by SBC can be effective in reducing violence perpetrated against children by parents in LMICs, provided the programmes are implemented by trained facilitators
  • Co-occurrence of intimate partner violence can also be reduced through SBC-informed parenting programmes
  • Local resources and personnel can help keep programme costs low
  • SBC-informed parenting programmes may be transferable to different contexts, populations and settings in LMICs.

Some studies suggested programmes were successfully implemented in humanitarian settings and for parents of children of various ages. Implementation in new settings, however, should be accompanied by quality monitoring and evaluation.

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Anil Thota; Floriza Gennari; Alessandra Guedes
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