Making the case for preventing violence in schools, with Safe to Learn
Alongside the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children’s Safe to Learn initiative, we recently co-hosted the Together to #ENDviolence event:
Pranita Achyut is Director, Research and Programs in the Asia Regional Office of ICRW. There, she works closely with Ravi Verma. She is a member of ICRW’s Global and Asia Senior Management Teams, leading oversight of the four teams that represent ICRW Asia’s research agenda: Health; Violence, Rights and Inclusion; Gender, Youth and Development; and Gender, Economic Empowerment and Livelihoods.
Pranita has 20 years of experience in applied research and program monitoring, particularly in gender, gender-based violence, adolescent health and family planning. In a previous stint with ICRW, she led some of ICRW’s flagship programs, including Gender Equity Movement in Schools (GEMS) and Promoting Adolescent Engagement Knowledge & Health (PAnKH). Pranita has also worked extensively with USAID supported programs including Impact on Marriage: Program Assessment of Conditional Cash Transfers (IMPACCT), the evaluation of the Apni Beti Apna Dhan (ABAD) program initiated by the Government of Haryana in 1994.
She has previously led research for Population Services International’s India office, and she is has also worked with UNICEF, the World Bank and the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare. Her topic focuses have included family planning, sanitation, non-communicable diseases, gender, gender-based violence, adolescent health, and child health.
Sohini is the CEO of Breakthrough, a leading organisation working in gender norm change to transform how women and girls are valued in society by using media, leadership development and community mobilisation. It has implemented scale programmes for adolescent empowerment and violence prevention in schools through Taaron ki Toli (Gang of Stars), a curriculum on gender equity. This covers 1293 schools and reaches over 573,000 adolescents across 5 states. In a RCT evaluation, the programme led to significant improvement in gender attitudes, among both girls and boys. Breakthrough is scaling this up in partnership with the education department of the government of Punjab, reaching 1 million+ adolescents by 2022.
Sohini brings to her role deep knowledge of Breakthrough’s issue areas and fundraising landscape through 30 years of work. Before Breakthrough, Sohini worked with Ashoka Innovators for the Public to raise awareness on social entrepreneurship and ramp up its operations in South Asia.
Patrick Burton is an independent research consultant and outgoing Executive Director of the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention (CJCP) in South Africa. At the CJCP, he led a programme of research focusing on child and youth victimization; youth resilience to violence; and extensively, on school-based and cyber violence.
He has designed and led several large-scale studies on violence in schools and violence against children, including the first two national school-based violence studies, child and youth victimization studies and the Optimus Foundation Study on Child Sexual Abuse and Neglect, as well as the South African Global Kids Online study. He led the development of South Africa’s National School Safety Framework for the National Department of Basic Education. Patrick has worked on different aspects of violence (both offline and online) against children in South Sudan, Ethiopia, Malawi, Tanzania, Mozambique, Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, and Jordan, and is currently working with various UNICEF offices in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and with Save the Children in Zambia.
He served as co-chair of the Violence in Schools Learning Group of the Know Violence in Childhood Global Learning Initiative and has sat on several international expert groups and advisory boards, including the Expert Meetings convened by the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence Against Children on bullying and cyberbullying as well as Meetings convened by the UNODC and UNICEF. Patrick currently sits on several research study advisory groups, including for the UNICEF Office of Research at Innocenti and the Steering Group of the Global Kids Online Study. He has contributed to several global status reports including the State of the World’s Children 2017 on online risks and harms.
Patrick holds an Msc. degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in development studies, and an H.Dip. in Development Planning from the University of the Witwatersrand.
Enrique Chaux is Full Professor in the Department of Psychology at Universidad de los Andes in Colombia. He holds a doctorate degree in Education from Harvard University, a Masters in Risk and Prevention from Harvard and a Masters degree in Cognitive and Neural Systems from Boston University.
His main interests include: prevention of aggression, school violence, citizenship competencies, socio-emotional development, conflicts, bullying, cyberbullying, peace education, and humane education. He led the teams which created the Colombian National Standards of Citizenship Competencies, the National Test of Citizenship Competencies, and the school-based program Aulas en Paz (Classrooms in Peace).
He has advised the Colombian government on topics related to peace education, school violence and citizenship education. In 2012 he was awarded as one of the best leaders in Colombia.
Urvashi Gandhi specialized in Human Development and has been working in the development sector for 21 years on addressing issues of Child Rights, Refugee Rights and Women's Rights. She is currently working with Breakthrough as a Director for Global Advocacy.
During her 16 years with Breakthrough, she has built extensive experience in developing national and international program strategy and plans; implementing state, national and regional level program on women’s rights, prevention of gender based violence, sexual and reproductive health rights, adolescent empowerment, engaging men & boys for gender justice and HIV/AIDS.
Urvashi has strong skills in developing issue based campaigns, curriculum, training programs and IEC materials for various audiences. She is an experienced trainer, has facilitated capacity building programs with CSOs, government departments, youth, marginalised communities and corporate houses on integrating the issue of gender justice and violence against women. She represents Breakthrough as a board member on the MenEngage Global Alliance board, as a member of the Global Alliance for Social and Behaviour Change and on GBV Action Coalition under the Generation Equality Forum.
John is the Executive Director for HakiElimu, a CSO in Tanzania which is the winner of 2019 African CSO Excellence Awards https://awards.epic-africa.org/. John has more than 27 years of professional experience in senior strategic management roles in national and international NGOs having worked in Tanzania, Belgium, South Africa and Zambia.
He is a Board Chairperson for the Tanzania Education Network (TEN/MET), Board Member of The Africa Network Campaign on Education for All (ANCEFA), Railway Children Africa, Light for the World Belgium (Tanzania) and Partnership for Nutrition in Tanzania (PANITA). He is a member of the Governing Council of St John’s University of Tanzania, and a member of Convocation Executive Committee of the University of Dar es Salaam.
John holds an MScEfS from the London South Bank University (UK), B.A. Economics from the University of Dar es salaam, PhD in Business Administration (DBA – Honoris Causa) of the Commonwealth University.
Dr. Bernadette Madrid is the Director of the Child Protection Unit of the University of the Philippines Manila – Philippine General Hospital. There, she also serves as Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics. Dr Madrid is also the Executive Director of the Child Protection Network Foundation, which provides training to child protection workers and develops Women and Child Protection Units across the Philippines. She served on the Executive Council of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect from 2004-2010, and chaired its Asia Forum.
Bernadette has advised the Philippines government and legislative committees on issues of health, social welfare, law enforcement and the judiciary. She is a member of the Department of Special Concerns of the Philippine Judicial Academy of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, and serves on the Department of Justice’s Committee for the Special Protection of Children. Her research is frequently described as having influenced policies and practices in the Philippines. She has also supported the work as a consultant of UNICEF, WHO, UNESCAP & UNFPA. Dr Madrid is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance, and was formerly president of the Philippine Ambulatory Pediatric Association.
She is a focal person in the Violence Prevention Alliance and a member of the CPC Learning Network. She was also an active member of the Know Violence collaboration. As a researcher, she is the author of numerous peer reviewed articles on child protection and on the prevalence of violence against children in the Philippines and beyond, and she has worked to incorporate violence prevention into university curricula. She is also primary investigator of Safe Schools for Teens in the Philippines project, which aims to decrease peer sexual victimization and increase reporting of sexual abuse in schools. She is additionally a reviewer for leading academic journals.
Her work has led to being awarded the following honors: The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service 2001; named one of the 5 Most Outstanding Philippine Doctors in 2004; Outstanding Women Leaders of the City of Manila 2009; Outstanding Service Award for Child Protective Services by the National Children’s Advocacy Center, Alabama, USA in 2012; The Outstanding Pediatrician 2021 by the Philippine Pediatric Society.
Shanaaz is the director of the Children’s Institute and professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at University of Cape Town, South Africa. She has a doctorate from the University of the Witwatersrand.
Her research interests include intersections of violence against women and children using an intersectional feminist lens. She has led the national study on Femicide and Child Homicides in South Africa and has been a leading voice in the debate on GBV and violence prevention in children in South Africa. Her work also focuses on understanding gaps in child protection services and alternative models of treating trauma in low-resourced settings.
She is a Commissioner on the Lancet Commission on GBV, a member of the International Advisory Board for the UNICEF Innocenti Research Office’s Multi Country Study on the Drivers of Violence, and a managing committee member for the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence on Human Development, at the University of the Witwatersrand.
José Fernando Mejía is the Executive Director of Classrooms in Peace (Aulas en Paz), a non-profit organization based in Colombia that works for the prevention of violence through peace education. Its main Program, Aulas en Paz, which shares the name of the organization, is an elementary school-based multicomponent initiative for socioemotional learning. The program has been implemented in Colombia, México and Chile and inspired the Peruvian National Curriculum for socioemotional learning.
He also serves as the Chair of the Board of EDUCAPAZ, a Colombian Peace Education Program which brings together the experience of seven renowned organizations, including universities and NGOs around Peace Education reaching some of the most vulnerable communities in Colombia.
He has had direct participation in the designing of Peace and Citizenship Education Policies in Colombia and has worked as consultant for International Organizations such as The World Bank, The Organization of American States, The Interamerican Development Bank and the Ministries of Education of Colombia and Perú.
José studied Psychology at the University of the Andes in Colombia and received a Master’s degree in Education from Harvard University.
Sunita is Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships and Scale Up at Breakthrough, spearheading national and global partnerships for Breakthrough’s impact-oriented work to end violence against women and girls. She builds key strategic alliances with government; UN agencies; corporates and global networks to deliver world class programs and campaigns by aligning partners' vision, creative ideas and cross category strategies.
A strong believer in people’s right to live with dignity and their ability to make a difference, Sunita designs and implements programs inspiring people to take action within their homes, institutions and communities to address domestic violence, gender biased sex selection, early marriage , stigma and discrimination around HIV and sexual harassment.
She was instrumental in conceptualising and designing “Taaro Ki Toli” a gender equity curriculum which is empowering over 400,000 adolescents in India. The program is currently being scaled up by Breakthrough with the Punjab Education Department and is expected to reach over 650000 adolescents every year.
She is a technical expert on gender and rights to various government departments, ministries, UN agencies and INGO’s for developing curriculum and capacity development. Sunita has written and edited over 80 educational guides and publications on addressing intersectional issues of violence against women and girls.
Sunita is a qualified instructional designer and has a Master’s in Political Science. She has been a freelance journalist and a theatre activist in her earlier avatar. Sunita is on the board of Pravah, a youth development organisation and is an alumni of the International Visitor Leadership Program run by the US state department. She is fluent in English, Hindi and Malayalam.
Martha heads the FAWE Regional Secretariat and is responsible for the day-to-day management of the organization. She ensures that FAWE Regional Secretariat’s fiscal operations, fundraising, advocacy, human resource and programmatic strategies are effectively implemented across the FAWE network.
She previously served as the Senior Programme Coordinating Officer supporting FAWE programs and activities in 34 FAWE National Chapters in line with the FAWE Strategic Objectives. Before joining FAWE Africa, Martha served in FAWE Uganda as Technical Advisor for almost three years before rising to become Executive Director of FAWE Uganda. Before joining FAWE, she worked as Program Officer with Child Fund international.
She is a development specialist with more than 20 years of experience in the civil society sector nationally, regionally and internationally. Her areas of expertise include Organization Management and Program Coordination with practical experience in Programme Management: Design, Planning and implementation of varied programs, Gender Mainstreaming, Gender Budgeting and Audit, Governance, Strategic Planning, Training and Facilitation, Advocacy, Budgeting and Budget Control, Participatory Methodologies and Approaches and Monitoring and Evaluation.
She holds a Master’s degree in Women Studies and a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Gender Studies at the University of Nairobi.
Dipak Naker is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of Raising Voices, a non-profit organization based in Uganda that has been working since 1999 to prevent violence against women (VAW) and children (VAC). He is the proposer and convener of this group of practitioner voices from the Global South.
Dipak has been one of the leading voices advocating for prevention of VAC in schools. At Raising Voices, has steered the creation, evaluation and scale-up of the Good Schools Toolkit, which has now reached more than a 1000 schools. Dipak has designed an award winning communication campaign and has served as a Principal Investigator on several large-scale research projects and co-authored more than 25 peer reviewed articles.
Dipak has fostered many frontline organizations to focus on prevention of violence against children. Dipak was born in Tanzania and has lived in East Africa for most of his life.
Ravi is the Asia Regional Director for the International Center for Research on Women, where he has worked for 14 years. He led the design and evaluation of the Gender Equity Movement in Schools (GEMS), which now operates across many Indian states, Bangladesh and Vietnam.
He also led the evaluation for Parivartan, a successful Indian adaptation of ‘Coaching boys into men’. Ravi is a former Global Associate for the Know Violence partnership, and has supported policy influencing efforts on adolescent girls, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and gender-based violence. In 2013, he was appointed by the Government of India to the High-Level Committee on the Status of Women. He currently serves on the Lancet Commission on Gender and Health.
Ravi has numerous publications to his credit in both National and International journals and published a well-received co-edited book titled “Sexuality in the times of HIV and AIDS”. He previously worked with Population Council, India and was a longstanding professor at the International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai India.