Ready to learn: Generating and using evidence to reduce gender-based violence in Peru

People sit around a conference table.
Staff from J-PAL LAC, IPA Peru, and Peru’s Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations discuss policies to reduce gender-based violence.

How can policymakers learn what programs might effectively reduce gender-based violence in their context? In 2016, Peru has seen 108 murders of women and over 50,000 reported cases of domestic and sexual violence. The frequency of these events triggered public demand for effective policies that address gender-based violence as tens of thousands of Peruvians joined street protests in different cities throughout the country to call for action. To address the issue of gender-based violence, Peru’s Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations (MIMP), J-PAL’s Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) office, and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) Peru are partnering to develop a cycle of learning and institutionalization of evidence-informed decision-making, including incubating potential evaluation designs. This collaboration is supported through funding from J-PAL’s Government Partnership Initiative.

J-PAL LAC and IPA Peru will support the efforts of MIMP to reduce gender-based violence through the institutionalization of a learning cycle for policy design that encourages public agencies to evaluate new interventions and design evidence-informed policies. This learning cycle starts with a needs assessment, followed by brainstorming of the design of an intervention to be piloted and evaluated. Finally, the evidence generated by these evaluations will inform MIMP’s decision to scale the program. In addition, to support the learning cycle and facilitate MIMP’s access to rigorous research, J-PAL LAC and IPA Peru collaborated to build an evidence database of gender-related studies.

J-PAL LAC and IPA Peru also implemented workshops to incubate potential evaluations in order to strengthen the technical capabilities of MIMP staff and to identify gender-focused research opportunities. This process included two trainings to build the capacity of MIMP staff to conduct impact evaluations and use evidence to inform policy. In addition to the trainings, J-PAL LAC and IPA Peru hosted technical assistance sessions to refine potential evaluation designs proposed by MIMP’s technical staff. One promising design identified during the incubation workshop is already moving forward. The project, which will be evaluated by J-PAL affiliated professor Erica Field (Duke), will test the impact of Facilitadoras, a program that trains local leaders on gender violence issues and promote actions to prevent and identify gender violence cases.

To further strengthen the institutionalization of a learning cycle for policymaking, MIMP, J-PAL LAC, and IPA Peru will continue to identify needs for evaluation, design additional tools to foster the integration of existing evidence, conduct more training activities, and develop the evaluation opportunities identified in the incubation workshops. These efforts will continue the partnership with MIMP to develop evidence-informed policies to reduce gender-based violence.

Learn more about J-PAL’s Government Partnership Initiative.