One of the things that Population Reference Bureau helped us in very well is to think about your audiences, the diverse audiences, from the start, not at the end.
Nafisa Bedri, Professor of Reproductive Health at Ahfad University for Women (Sudan)
One of PRB’s primary roles was to support the project’s workstream on research uptake by building the capacity of researchers in the consortium to effectively communicate their findings to decisionmakers so that they could effect positive change for policies, programs, and strategic investments. As such, we worked with researchers to identify key decisionmakers, craft policy-relevant questions and designs, develop plans to keep decisionmakers engaged throughout the research process, craft compelling messages, and plan for dissemination. PRB also provided technical assistance and created several compelling written and digital products to communicate key findings and the project’s legacy messages to global and national audiences in visually appealing and accessible ways.
PRB’s work on evidence uptake for Evidence to End FGM/C contributed to some important legacies for the project, including increased demand for evidence from health professionals, associations, regulatory bodies, and program implementers. As a result of Consortium staff bringing together key players working on FGM/C in their respective countries and communicating evidence effectively, the consortium’s work has become part of the FGM/C response in much of Africa.
By distilling research in easy-to-understand language and formats for targeted non-technical audiences, the consortium was able to share information through a variety of channels to influence decisionmakers, including conference presentations, workshops, peer-reviewed journal articles, webinars, print and broadcast media, consortium members’ websites, videos, briefs, blogs, and social media.
As a result of the new approaches they’ve taken, many of the country teams have achieved important results. For example, some were invited to national-level strategic thinking and planning sessions for FGM. One team influenced the inclusion of FGM in a medical school curriculum in Egypt, and others guided high-level investment decisions based on statistical modeling estimates.
'Our end goal is that our results–the findings–be used'
Reflections From Five Years of Research
Multiple Evidence to End FGM/C consortium members and advisors discuss their experience with the project:
“It’s really unique in the sense that we are saying–we need to have methods besides the health surveys that then we can use to sort of triangulate and give us an idea of whether, really, prevalence is going down,” said Agnes Meroka-Mutua,Lecturer, School of Law and Africa Coordinating Centre for the Abandonment of FGM/C, Univeristy of Nairobi, Kenya.
From 2015 to 2019, the African-led consortium developed innovative research methods and uncovered new evidence about the practice and how it is changing—focusing on families and communities, and health and legal systems—in eight countries: Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, and Sudan.
Synthesizes quantitative data on trends over time, the relationship between medicalization and overall FGM/C prevalence, and qualitative data on provider and community perspectives
This digital report offers a clear understanding of the health effects of FGM/C to provide direction for future investment by donors, highlight important knowledge gaps for further research, help medical professionals identify and manage complications, and strengthen advocates’ messages.
This guide aims to help researchers, advocates, program managers, and policymakers understand, interpret, and use the latest FGM/C data.
This video highlights how the four P’s—product, price, place, and promotion—can be used to design a high-quality FGM/C campaign.
PRB has created a short video that shares key lessons from two studies in Egypt and Sudan that looked at effective elements of various social marketing campaigns.
Understanding Local Variation in How Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting Declines, Changes, or Persists
To help fill key knowledge gaps and inform policies and initiatives aimed at ending FGM/C, the research consortium examined geographic differences in FGM/C trends among girls aged 0–14 in Kenya, Nigeria, and Senegal.
Research Uptake is about ensuring that the evidence is generated is used by the stakeholders that need that information–people who will bring about change in policies and programs. There's no point in generating evidence without people being able to use it.
This video series shows how to create data visualizations to better communicate FGM/C findings to key policy and program audiences. It covers strategies on how to present data, basic design concepts, and tools to improve workflow.
These three evidence briefs summarize the program’s findings on FGM/C and its relationship to HIV, fistula, and early/child marriage.
With efforts to end female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) a rising priority, it is imperative to have a clear understanding 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.
"This consortium can make huge contributions to policy and practice both at the national levels and down to the local levels and community levels."