One of STRIVE’s intervention trials is the Maisha study in Mwanza, Tanzania. Maisha assesses the effectiveness of microfinance and gender training in reducing intimate partner violence (IPV) and HIV risk. A new national action plan to tackle violence against women and girls may increase opportunities for Maisha evidence to have impact in practice.
Maisha team engagement
On 31 August 2016, the Mwanza Intervention Trials Unit (MITU) organised an in-depth meeting. Policy makers, programme implementers, researchers and other stakeholders discussed the issue of intimate partner violence (IPV) and how to work together effectively. As a result of this meeting, the Maisha team was invited to join a Technical Working Group (TWG) on Reproductive Health and Gender chaired by the Ministry of Health’s Reproductive and Child Health Unit. The TWG meets every quarter and involves the Ministry of Health’s reproductive health and gender focal persons from all regions, development partners, research groups, NGOs and INGOs working on gender and reproductive health. The MITU team joined the meeting in October and will continue to participate and to contribute progress and findings from Maisha.
National Action Plan
Recognising the burden related to violence, the Tanzanian government has created a five-year National Plan of Action (NPA) to end violence against women. Launched on 13 December 2016, this plan provides for a comprehensive and coordinated response to IPV in the country. The Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu, launched the NPA on behalf of the Vice President in Dar es Salaam. Nine ministers were present, in recognition of the need for multi-sectorial cooperation in the implementation of the plan. The NPA identifies eight thematic areas, each with strategic objectives and plans to achieve them. Among the objectives are research studies and reviews to provide further evidence and information. As part of the Ministry of Health’s TWG for Reproductive Health and Gender, the Maisha team has an opportunity to provide scientific evidence to support of the NPA for successful programmes, services and policies for preventing and addressing violence.
This NPA indicates that the issue of violence against women is high on the government agenda and affirms evidence-based practice among its guiding principles. As the NPA comes into effect, MITU involvement in Ministry of Health’s TWG establishes a potential channel for Maisha evidence to feed into related programming and funding across Tanzania.
Read more about Maisha in a brochure – now available in Swahili and English – detailing the study’s foundation, evaluation and impact.