246625 Community centered multi-sectoral response to sexual and gender-based violence in an informal settlement: The experience of the Women's Justice and Empowerment Initiative in Kibera, Kenya

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 9:30 AM

Margaret Makumi, MD, MPH , Pathfinder International Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya
Gwyn Hainsworth, MEd , Pathfinder International, Watertown, MA
Nelly Maina, MA , Pathfinder International Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya
BACKGROUND: Following the 2008 presidential elections, Kenya experienced unprecedented political turmoil and escalating rates of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). From 2009 to 2011, Pathfinder International-Kenya implemented a multisectoral response to SGBV under the US Government supported-Women's Justice and Empowerment Initiative (WJEI) in Kibera, a large informal settlement in Nairobi. DESCRIPTION: Implemented within Pathfinder's USAID-supported APHIA II Nairobi project, WJEI sought to increase primary and secondary prevention of SGBV through partnerships with Kenyatta National Hospital Gender-Based Violence Recovery Centre, the government, and civil society organizations. Peer educators, school forums, and trained community leaders heightened community awareness of SGBV and SGBV working groups were formed at the local level to coordinate a more effective response. The community response included 37 trained community volunteers who linked survivors with services, utilizing community structures to provide shelter, the formation of a male champion network, and economic empowerment opportunities for survivors. LESSONS: -Coordination mechanisms are essential to guarantee a multisectoral response to SGBV. This foundation must be built early on and sustained. -Community volunteers were critical to increased reporting and enhanced service access. A total of 165 survivors received referral services. -Economic opportunities and male engagement are critical to address structural underpinnings of SGBV. -A longer timeframe is needed to institutionalize multisectoral collaboration and build local capacity for a sustained response. DISCUSSION: Even within informal settlements, community members can be empowered to develop their own response to SGBV. A community-centered approach is essential to increase reporting and improve primary and secondary prevention of SGBV.

Learning Areas:
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the core components of a multi-sectoral, community-centered response to sexual and gender based violence. 2. Discuss the implications of multi-sectoral models for sexual and gender based violence response efforts in informal settlements beyond Kibera.

Keywords: Gender, Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am the Deputy Country Representative for Pathfinder's Kenya office. I oversee all Pathfinder programming in Kenya and hold an MD and MPH.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Pathfinder International Sexual and gender based violence Employment (includes retainer)

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.