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Course Details

Researching gender-based violence: methods and meaning

Contact Provider
Short Course
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 15-17 Tavistock Place, London, WC1H 9SH, Greater London, United Kingdom


Gender-based violence is prevalent globally. It occurs in many forms, including intimate partner violence, rape and coerced sex, child sexual abuse, and human trafficking. Such forms of gender-based violence are a significant risk factor for poor health, impacting on individuals’ physical, sexual and psychological health, as well as their social and economic well-being. Evidence from rigorously conducted research is essential to ensuring that policies and services to prevent and respond to violence are well-designed and appropriate to the context where women and men live. Yet, conducting action-oriented research on gender-based violence that is robust and carried out in ethical and safe ways requires specific methodological approaches.

The course

This course aims to strengthen participants’ knowledge and skills to conduct or commission technically rigorous, ethical and policy- and service-relevant research on various forms of violence against women.

Launched in 2006, the Gender, Violence and Health Centre (GVHC) at the School is a multi-disciplinary research group that works in partnership with local and international organisations around the world to carry out research on gender-based violence and health. The Centre aims to improve the health and well-being of populations, particularly women and girls, through action-oriented research on the extent, cause and consequences of gender-based violence.

We are experts in the evaluation of complex social interventions to prevent violence, using rigorous, cutting-edge evaluation methods, including randomised controlled trials. We are committed to using our research and our strong global partnerships to inform policies and interventions that promote reductions in gender-based violence.

The course is intended for individuals who will conduct or commission research on gender-based violence. It will be of particular interest to those who want to add a ‘violence component’ to study that is quantitative or qualitative study or an intervention evaluation. It is relevant for individuals working on health-related topics such as, sexual and reproductive health, maternal health, HIV, mental health and substance use.

Upon completing the course, participants will have a strong understanding of: current gold standard methods to conceptualise and measure violence exposures, various methodological techniques for assessing the relationship between violence and health outcomes; and practical issues faced when meeting ethical and safety obligations.


This is a specialised course focusing on methods to research gender based violence. Participants are expected have some prior familiarity or experience with conducting research, and relevant knowledge about the subject of gender based violence. Teaching will be conducted in English and participants will need sufficient language skills to read course materials and participate actively in group discussions. Participants will be expected to have an undergraduate degree and ideally, some post graduate training in research methods. Knowledge of computers and a basic knowledge of word for Windows and Excel is also essential.

Course fee

Fee for 2020 - £1,809.00

This fee covers participation in the course and course materials. If the course fee is to be paid on the applicant’s behalf, please send a letter from the sponsor to confirm this as soon as possible. Otherwise, the applicant will be held personally responsible for payment.

Course organisers

Karen Devries is a social epidemiologist with 15 years’ experience. Her research interests centre around prevention of violence against children and adolescents, and child protection.  She is affiliated with the Gender, Violence and Health Centre, and with the Social and Mathematical Epidemiology Group. She also conducts research on violence against women, sexual health, mental health, disability, and epidemiological methods.

Her main research collaborations are currently in Uganda, Zanzibar and Cote d’Ivoire, and her work is funded primarily by the UK MRC, DfID, Wellcome Trust, and the UBS Foundation.  She is a member of the academic technical advisory board for the International Violence Against Children Surveys, and advises WHO on measurement of violence against women. Karen supervises MSc and PhD students, co-organises the Social Epidemiology Module, the short course Researching Gender-Based Violence: Methods and Meaning, and lectures on a number of different MSc modules, and tutor on Basic Statistics.

Nambusi Kyegombe is an interdisciplinary social scientist with 16 years of experience working in global health and development.  She is affiliated to the Gender Violence and Health Centre of the department of Global Health and Development. Her research focuses on the evaluation of interventions to prevent violence, and formative research to better understand the causes and contexts in which violence occurs. 

She has led the qualitative evaluation of a number of trials and interventions including the Jigisémèjiri cash transfer programme in Mali, a randomised controlled trial of the Good School Toolkit in Uganda the qualitative evaluation of SASA! a community mobilisation intervention designed to prevent violence against women and reduce HIV risk-related behaviours.  She has also led multi-site formative research on transactional sex and sexual abuse and exploitation of young people in Uganda as part of the Learning Initiative on Norms Exploitation and Abuse. 

In addition to her other teaching commitments, Nambusi is module organiser of Principles and Practice of Health Promotion and co-organiser of the short course Researching Gender Based Violence: Methods and Meaning.  She is an associate scientist at the Medical Research Council/Uganda Virus Research Institute (MRC/UVRI) and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and the ge2p2 Global Foundation which strives to advance scientific rigour and ethical resilience in research and evidence generation.  

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