RESEARCH, Uncategorized

SHELTER PROJECT FINDINGS CAN HELP IMPROVE SERVICE DELIVERY FOR DOMESTIC ABUSE SURVIVORS

— Media Release —

Today (Thursday, 6 December), marks the final event the National Shelter Movement of South Africa (NSM) and the Heinrich Boell Foundation’s (HBF) 3-year project, “Enhancing State Responsiveness to GBV: Paying the True Costs”. The project – which seeks to support State accountability for adequate and effective provision of domestic violence survivor support programmes, specifically those associated with the provision of shelter for abused women – makes a number of policy recommendations relating to funding of shelters, as well as on the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act (DVA).

The event will include the release of findings undertaken in shelters in 6 provinces. Extensive research went into understanding how the State funds shelters, versus the funds needed. Further research was also done on the South African Police Service (SAPS) – which is often victims’ first point of contact – to understand how police officers deal with domestic violence situations.

Zubeda Dangor, Head of the Executive of the NSM, says that the project has helped a great deal to uncover the host of challenges that shelters face in the provision of services to women. She says, “It is important that decision-makers fully understand the pressures placed on these very important facilities, which exist to help fulfil their mandate to the women of this country.”

“Our research reveals that shelters are chronically under-funded and subsidies by government vary widely from province to province, and at times, even within the province. And, since the Department of Social Development’s (DSD) current policy does not fully fund the shelter services, shelters either end up providing inadequate services or spending a great deal of effort in raising funds elsewhere,” adds Dangor.

According to Shelter Manager, Delene Roberts, “It is very difficult to be responsible for ensuring the safety of our clients and provide the services they need to help their long-term rehabilitation and healing, while seeing to the daily running of the shelter, as well as all the work entailed to secure additional funding.”

Funding is also at times delayed, sometimes for up to three months in some provinces. This places shelters in precarious positions where some have even had to borrow money to buy food for clients while they await their tranche.

The research on police – which considered things like the extent to which police could refer women to shelters, as required by the DVA – found that responses by the police to those seeking shelter were often misinformed and apathetic. In some instances officials were unable (or unwilling) to assist abused women.”

Says HBF Project Manager, Claudia Lopes, “These studies have provided empirical evidence of the gaps in government’s approach to helping vulnerable, at-risk women who seek refuge at a shelter. By having an in-depth understanding of the funding and the resulting service delivery issues, we are better able to address them. We also now, have a better understanding of various other pitfalls that survivors have to contend with in the system.”

“Each year in South Africa, the 16 Days of Activism initiative drives home the reality that we still have a very long way to go to guarantee the safety and protection of the women of this country. For a country that still has among the highest instances of femicide, globally – we need the decision-makers to realise the significant, disruptive role shelters play in stemming ongoing domestic abuse,” adds Lopes.

“We hope the evidence will convince government of the undeniable value that shelters have for abuse survivors, and that it uses the findings from this project, to ensure the sustainability of sheltering facilities – with a view of making long-term impact, not only for those who have managed to escape the abuse, but for our society as a whole,” adds Dangor.

Reports resulting from the research, will be available on www.za.boell.org

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JOBS

JOB! Research Uptake Manager – What works to prevent violence against women & girls?

Gender and Health Research Unit, Medical Research Council, South Africa
Pretoria
Contract position until November 2018

The MRC is leading the DFID-funded global progamme ‘What works to prevent violence against Women & Girls?’ This aims to build knowledge on what strategies and interventions can prevent men’s violence against women and girls (VAWG). The programme will work across 28 countries of Africa, South Asia and Middle East. The primary task of this position will be to implement the research uptake policy, communicating science to non-scientists in order to influence their work and policy, and ensure communication among the What Works partners. This involves communicating research findings in an accessible way to NGOs, policy-makers, and donors, and supporting programme partners to develop effective activities that result in research use, and training programme partners in how to do this more effectively. The post holder will use a range of technologies, and have responsibility for managing the project website. This post is a contract position until November 2018, available immediately,
based in Pretoria and will involve overseas travel.

Minimum qualifications: Masters in a health, gender, politics or international development related subject (or equivalent professional qualification)

Experience required: a minimum of 3 years’ experience in GBV or health communication involving the interpretation of scientific findings for non-scientific audiences; experience of working with the media – developing media strategies, preparing press releases, writing articles/responses; experience influencing policy-makers to use research; an established interest and knowledge of VAWG; experience in one or more countries networking with policy-makers and other stakeholders, and/or journalists, and/or donors; experience of online media for audiences/ users in settings with low bandwidth including websites.

The successful candidate will be able to write syntheses of research for non-scientists independently, have good communication, interpersonal skills and writing skills and will understand gender issues. Ability to travel is essential. Candidates will have an advantage if they have: experience of developing web-based communication, producing products for publication and working with editors and graphic designers, work in cross-cultural contexts, training or capacity building on communications for VAWG prevention, understanding of the research uptake environment globally.

Responsibilities:

* Developing and implementing a strategic approach to using research findings to influence policy and programming decisions in multiple countries and globally
* Writing non-scientific syntheses of findings of science generated through ‘What Works’ and disseminating these to the target audience in multiple countries and globally
* Generating interest in findings from the media in different countries and regionally and managing media relations
* Managing the development of content for a website
* Working with a London-based communications specialist to ensure uptake is coordinated and impacts at all levels, globally and locally in multiple countries, including through assisting in capacity development for this at a country level
* Supporting the monitoring and evaluation of the What Works research uptake strategy
* Supporting and building capacity of partners including innovation grantees to develop their own research uptake strategies and engage with key local stakeholders on research uptake

This post has a cost to company salary of in the region of R 500 968 pa (depending on experience).

The MRC subscribes to the principles of Employment Equity.

Please quote the reference number “R756” in all communications. Certified copies of your ID and highest formal qualifications must be submitted with the application. Should your application not contain these required information and documents, it will unfortunately not be considered.

The MRC retains the right not to make an appointment.

Closing Date: 6 June 2014

If you have not heard from us within 30 days of the closing date,
this will mean that your application has been unsuccessful.

Applications should contain: a) a full CV, and b) a covering letter outlining experience relevant to the key responsibilities of the post. This should be sent to Lee – Anne Louw by email: recruitment@mrc.ac.za<mailto:recruitment@mrc.ac.za> by 4.30pm on Friday 6 June 2014.