Finding clear messages in mixed findings: Experiences from Samvedana Plus cluster-randomised trial

13 November 2018
Kavitha DL

STRIVE researchers from the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT) presented at the 4th What Works Annual Scientific Meeting, 29 - 31 October, Kathmandu Nepal.

Researchers, programmers and academics from 30 organisations gathered to share and learn from trials that aimed to reduce violence among various population sub-groups. The meeting focused on strengthening the policy-relevance of the What Works research programme and sought to develop an impactful narrative and set of key messages from different programmes around the world.

The STRIVE project, Samvedana Plus, is funded by UKaid through the What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls? Global Programme led by the South African Medical Council (MRC) and the University of Manitoba. Samvedana Plus was the first cluster randomised control trial (RCT) to evaluate an intervention that addressed the factors that contribute to violence and impede condom use in the relationships of Female Sex Workers (FSWs) and their intimate partners.  Samvedana Plus researchers presented key findings and lessons from the trial at the meeting:

  • Adressing violence in the context of the intimate relationships of FSWs is highly complex.
  • It is important to use a mixed methods approach for interventions of this kind.
  • RCT evaluation design may not suit interventions implemented by local groups. The primary goal to help beneficiaries may interfere with implementers grasp of impact evaluation.
  • It is important to set up comparison communities and restrict the intervention in certain areas during the course of the trial.
  • Mixed methods data can help to explain complex findings.

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