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Violence Research Centre


Evidence for Better Lives (EBLS) is an innovative birth-cohort study in low- and middle-income countries across the world. Between 2018 and 2019, a pilot version, also known as Foundational Study, collected data from 1,208 pregnant women - during the third trimester of pregnancy - living in Ghana, Jamaica, Pakistan, the Philippines, Romania, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. 

The data collected aimed to help identify the risk factors that lead to violence against children and alert decision and policy makers about preventative measures to end violence and foster the well-being of children and their families. Information obtained from mothers included mental and physical health, perceptions and attitudes towards corporal punishment, adverse childhood experiences, pre-natal partner violence and social support in their communities. Two additional initiatives in the Philippines and Sri Lanka recruited 300 fathers to explore their involvement in future research.

Towards the end of June 2020, Dr Sara Valdebenito and Prof Manuel Eisner issued a report on behalf of the EBLS Consortium focusing on the impact activities generated by EBLS. Impact activities comprised local meetings, international events, multimedia assets and capacity-building initiatives. These led to:

  • Stronger partnerships with local and international stakeholders. From the very start, EBLS aimed to share data and insights with local authorities, policy makers, NGOs and international organisations. This knowledge could also inform future violence prevention plans and highlight support gaps at a local level. Recommendations were presented through the WHO INSPIRE framework, which includes strategies for amending and implementing laws, changing norms, supporting caregivers, fostering economic strengthening, creating safe environments and improving public services.
  • A methodology for mapping needs and resources in each EBLS site. A Needs and Resource Assessment report (NaRA) was compiled with local experts’ input.
  • A Stakeholder Summit in the Philippines, held in conjunction with the Ako Para sa Bata International Conference in Manila. Attended by almost 2,000 multidisciplinary professionals involved in women and child protection, this conference gathered EBLS researchers, senior policy representatives and international collaborators.
  • Local events to introduce the EBLS study, disseminate the results of the pilot and plan future alliances with local authorities, hospitals and other stakeholders. The report lists events in the past two years.
  • A number of scientific publications, including systematic reviews of literature, a protocol paper explaining the characteristics of our multi-country study, as well as empirical papers based on EBLS findings.
  • Capacity building in EBLS sites, including fostering the development of research staff, postdoctoral fellows, PhD and postgraduate Students, and early-career professional collaborators in each site.
  • Films to showcase EBLS to policy makers and the general public. Two films were produced thanks to an ESRC Impact Acceleration Account fund.

You can find all the reports, the films and more information about the EBLS Study here.

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