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SVRI Forum 2011 Research Publication and Mentoring Programme

I had a positive experience and would be glad to be involved again in a similar capacity. I was very happy to mentor a young researcher and I hope he feels the experience was worthwhile in terms of his learning” – Mentor SVRI Forum

Building capacity of young and emerging researchers to undertake quality research on sexual violence is a core objective of the SVRI. As part of meeting this objective, the SVRI proudly implemented its first Research Publication and Mentoring Programme at the 2011 conference in Cape Town, South Africa. This Programme provided an opportunity for young and emerging researchers from developing countries to receive feedback and guidance from more experienced researchers (mentors) on their conference presentations. For more information on mentors see Appendix 2.

To be eligible for the programme all applicants had to submit an abstract relevant to the field of research in sexual violence. The programme gave preference to new and emerging researchers from low- and middle- income countries. The programme received 166 applications from 32 different countries. The majority of applications were from low- and middle-income countries (95%) covering Africa, South-East Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. All abstracts received were sent out for scientific review.

As a result of this competitive selection process, four full bursaries and two partial bursaries were awarded under this programme. Over a period of two months prior to the conference, the four full bursary winners worked alongside their mentors on developing their conference presentations. All successful programme candidates were offered an oral presentation and were invited to attend a pre-conference workshop on presentation skills.

Full bursaries (Mentoring and Presentation Skills Workshop)

Name Country Abstract Title Mentor
Ayit (Yves) Elo Gaba Togo Sexual Harassment and Violence Among Youth. Prof Holly Johnson, University of Ottawa, Canada
Ruth Ojiambo-Ochieng Uganda Research with Women Survivors of Armed Conflict in Central Equatorial State, Southern Sudan. Prof Linda Williams, University of Massachusetts Lowell, USA
Frank Kiwalabye Uganda Effects of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace: A Ugandan Case Study. Prof Jill Astbury, Monash University, Australia
Kerry-Jane Coleman South Africa Children are Precious (CAP): A Community Based Approach. Prof Jan Coles, Monash University, Australia

Partial bursaries (Presentation Skills Workshop only)

Name Country Abstract Title
Alice Clarfelt South Africa Contexts of Risk for Child Sexual Abuse: Community Perspectives from the Rural Eastern Cape.
Erin Stern South Africa Sexual Coercion in the Lifeworlds of South African Men.

Participants on this programme successfully and confidently presented their research work in an international forum. Overall it was an extremely positive experience by both mentors and mentees. The Publication and Mentoring Programme is a useful strategy for supporting the development of a cadre of new and emerging sexual violence researchers and providing them with an opportunity to expand their knowledge and skill base, and to network and build relationships in the field. This has been a valuable learning experience for the SVRI and has provided us with a model for future programmes.