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Violence, uncertainty, and resilience among refugee women and community workers

An evaluation of gender-based violence case management services in the Dadaab refugee camps

Authored by: What Works to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls in Conflict and Humanitarian Crises Research Consortium

Categories: Human Rights Violations
Sub-Categories: Human Development, Migration, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Year: 2018

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Executive Summary

Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is now recognised as a serious and widespread global health
issue. During a humanitarian crisis, the risk of such violence is heightened, often continuing after the early phases of a crisis – reports of gender-based violence (GBV) are common in camps for refugees and displaced populations. However, there is limited evidence on how to provide effective response services to survivors of violence in humanitarian contexts. One approach – comprehensive case management – builds on existing evidence from other fields and contexts (social work, legal, healthcare) as well as years of field experience by humanitarian agencies to improve survivors’ health and psychosocial outcomes.

In the Dadaab refugee camps, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and CARE International (CARE) have developed a comprehensive case management approach to address the needs of GBV survivors. Both humanitarian agencies implement programmes in Dadaab that aim to both respond to and prevent GBV. A cornerstone of this work has been to develop a broader implementation of traditional GBV outreach, community mobilisation, and case management to include task sharing with refugees known as refugee community workers. These refugee community workers are trained by IRC and CARE to carry out specific aspects of outreach, service delivery, and referral support to assist national humanitarian staff.