Funding for What Works to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls

What Works to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls: funding opportunity. Aims to build knowledge on what works to prevent violence against women and girls (VAWG).


What Works To Prevent Violence is a global programme administered by a consortium led by the Medical Research Council of South Africa, in partnership with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Social Development Direct, on behalf of DFID. Its aim is to build knowledge on what works to prevent VAWG, spanning:

  • primary prevention strategies and programmes
  • interventions to support women’s and girls’ resilience to violence
  • specific response mechanisms that seek to prevent VAWG

Within the programme there are 2 funds available:

  • innovation grants to support 10 to 14 national organisations or international Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working in DFID priority countries to fund innovative approaches to preventing violence or meeting the needs of victims/survivors. In the process, the grants will support the capacity of researchers to conduct rigorous evaluation research on VAWG interventions
  • operations research and impact evaluations of promising existing interventions to assess their effectiveness, or if proven effective, to better understand the economics of scale up

Update: Formal call for innovation grant applications announced

A formal call for Innovation Grant applications for What Works to Prevent Violence has been released through the SVRI website. The formal announcement and application guidelines can be accessed online.

All Innovation Grant applications must be submitted via the ProposalCentral website irrespective of any previous submissions at the pre-announcement stage.

Organizations that submitted a pre-application exclusively for Impact Evaluation or Operations Research of their programme (ie. not for programming) are NOT required to submit a second application at this stage. Your pre-application will go directly to the next stage of shortlisting and you can expect to hear from What Works in early August.

Applications close: 10 July 2014 at midnight South Africa Standard Time (10 July 5pm United States EST).

Please see more details here:


  • Innovation grants will range between £300,000 and £1million. Awards will be made in late 2014 for up to 3 years. The grants may cover the development, implementation and evaluation of the intervention, monitoring and evaluation, and capacity development of staff from the in-country lead organization

  • Operations Research and Impact Evaluation of existing interventions or combinations of interventions: we would like to hear of existing interventions that aim to prevent intimate partner or sexual violence against women and girls, either as their primary goal or a secondary goal within a wider programme, and would benefit from robust operations research or impact evaluation. We have funding for such evaluation and it would be conducted by the MRC Consortium in collaboration with in-country partners. We would particularly like to hear of interventions that already have some evidence of promise from preliminary research

We welcome interventions that seek to work with disabled women and girls or other socially excluded groups, or interventions that will enable us to better understand how dimensions of social exclusion may affect both risk of violence and effectiveness of interventions.

Eligible countries

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, South Africa, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe; projects working across more than one priority country or across a region will also be considered.

Who can apply

Applications from organisations in-country will be preferred, but all institutions are eligible. Applications will not be considered from individuals.

Detail information

Application process

A pre-application notice should be sent by email to

Content of pre-application notice (1 or 2 pages)

  • name and address of lead applicant organisation and lead individual
  • name of co-applicant organisations and lead individuals (if any)
  • country (or countries) of intervention
  • expertise in VAWG prevention, research and or intervention evaluation (max. 150 words)
  • description of the intervention including: type of intervention, intervention timeframe, methods to be used, setting, risk factors to be addressed, target group(s) for intervention, preliminary work on the intervention, intervention scale up potential. If a combination of interventions, provide this information for each component
  • plan for using the resources of the innovation grant, including distribution of responsibilities among co-applicants
  • justification for why the intervention would be suited for operations research, impact evaluation or research on scale up
  • total sum envisaged to be requested for innovation grant (if applying)

Closing date for pre-application process 25 April 2014. Request for Applications (RFA) in June 2014.

Published 4 April 2014
Last updated 2 July 2014 + show all updates
  1. Updated with formal call for innovation grant applications

  2. First published.