PRB is a partner on Evidence to end FGM/C: Research to Help Girls and Women Thrive—a UKAID-funded research program to end female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) within one generation. The research program is led by the Population Council in Nairobi, in partnership with the Africa Coordination Centre for Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, Kenya (ACCAF); Gender and Reproductive Health & Rights Resource Centre, Sudan (GRACE); Global Research and Advocacy Group, Senegal (GRAG); Population Council, Nigeria; Population Council, Egypt; Population Council, Ethiopia; MannionDaniels, Ltd. (MD); Population Reference Bureau (PRB); University of California, San Diego (Dr. Gerry Mackie); and University of Washington, Seattle (Dr. Bettina Shell-Duncan).

The Consortium’s research seeks to produce a global evidence base on the most effective and cost-effective approaches to ending FGM/C in different contexts, to inform policy, programming, and strategic investments. Seven countries in Africa are the focus of primary research: Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, and Sudan. 

This research program is guided by a theory of change, to help infer its effects on policy, investment, and improved programming for ending FGM/C through four main elements: 

  • Continuous stakeholder engagement to encourage evidence-informed decisionmaking.
  • Generation of high quality evidence in accordance with stakeholders’ evidence priorities, and with scientific credibility. 
  • Communication of high quality policy and program relevant evidence to intended audiences through multiple mechanisms and products. 
  • Capacity strengthening for researchers and stakeholders to identify, produce, communicate, and use evidence on FGM/C. 

The research consortium has categorized its evidence and policy questions in four broad themes:

  • Theme 1: Building the picture: Where, when and why is FGM/C practiced, and are these changing? 
  • Theme 2: Abandonment interventions—What is working, where, and why? 
  • Theme 3: What are the wider impacts of FGM/C? 
  • Theme 4: Measurement—What are valid measures of change? 

Evidence to End FGM/C began in March 2015 and will conduct its research for five years. PRB’s primary roles on the project are to provide technical assistance and to build the capacity of researchers in the Consortium to effectively communicate their findings to decisionmakers and effect positive change for policies, programs, and strategic investments. PRB is working with researchers from the outset of the project to help them: identify key decisionmakers, craft questions and designs that will meet the information needs of those decisionmakers, develop plans to keep them engaged throughout the research process, and plan for dissemination of key messages. 

PRB recently co-authored “A State of-Art-Synthesis of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: What Do We Know Now?” (October 2016 Update). A key Consortium deliverable, this state-of-the-art (SOTA) synthesis recognizes that efforts to end FGM/C are a rising priority on many national and global agendas. As such, there is a need to paint a clear picture of the scale and scope of the practice, and where it occurs, as well as the dynamics of change and the broader context surrounding it. The synthesis does this by offering a snapshot of the most recent data available as of July 2016 and the most relevant contextual information on key FGM/C issues in clear, nontechnical language that can help inform policymakers, donors, program planners, and other key stakeholders. 

PRB also produced "Communicating Research Through Data Visualization," a five-part video series that provides an introduction to data visualizations to help researchers better communicate FGM/C findings to key policy and program audiences. The toolkit covers strategizing how to present data, basic design concepts, and tools that can help improve workflow. See the toolkit.

For more information about PRB’s role on Evidence to End Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C), please contact Reshma Naik, senior policy analyst at: rnaik@prb.org.