LVCT Health

GBV Research

Participatory barriers analysis for child and adolescent survivors’ access to multi-sectoral services in response to gender-based violence in Kibera


The prevalence of violence against children (VAC) in Kenya is unacceptably high. National estimates show that about half of girls (45.9%) and more than half of boys (56.1%) in Kenya have experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence in childhood. Response services are important for children and adolescents to heal and recover from experiences of violence. Unfortunately, these children do not get the support and care that they need. This research sought to explore the barriers to post violence from the perspectives of adolescents and their caregivers, service providers, community leaders.

The study objectives were to (a) Explore barriers to disclosure and formal service seeking for adolescent survivors of violence (formal services include health, social welfare and criminal justice); and (b) Assess barriers to delivery of formal services to adolescent survivors of violence. We conducted an exploratory qualitative study that included in-depth interviews with adolescent survivors and their caregivers, service providers and leaders in health and social welfare. We also conducted focus group discussions with community leaders.

Team members: Millicent Kiruki, Anne Ngunjiri, Robinson Karuga  Link to researcher profiles

Research partners: UNDP

Funder: Swiss Development Cooperation

Links to publications: Work in progress

Understanding and mitigating real-time differential gendered effects of the COVID-19 outbreak: A qualitative study amongst female subpopulations within Nairobi and Migori Counties in KenyaSummary

COVID-19 has caused a negative impact on the functioning and psychophysical health of communities, widening the gender inequity gap. Timely sharing of research findings related to disease perception, social practices that might be linked to health-seeking behaviors, barriers to care, socio-economic wellbeing and their intersectionality with gender is vital in development of gender responsive strategies.

The study sought to (a) Document and analyze gender dynamics of the outbreak response and recovery in order to understand the impact of COVID-19 on individuals and communities; (b) Document and analyze gender mainstreaming in policy making in response to COVID-19.

The study adopted an exploratory qualitative research design. Interviews were held with community health volunteers; women in the community (pregnant women/new mothers, adolescent girls, domestic workers, females in mining sector and female owners of small and medium size enterprise); and policy makers. Participants described their perceptions and experiences during COVID-19 pandemic, providing illustrative examples how they are/were affected according to their socio-economic wellbeing and access to information and services. Qualitative framework content analysis was applied to provide context specific findings. Data saturation was achieved by analyzing narrative reports of study population using the inductive thematic saturation method.

The findings showed that COVID and its preventive measures caused adverse consequences on the lives and livelihoods of women in the community. The socio-economic secondary impact was gendered – women and girls were affected more than males. Policies developed were gender neutral thus did not account for the gendered impact. The study recommended that effort by policy makers need be put in development of gender responsive plans. Implementation of these plans needs to be monitored, ensuring there is continuity of health services such as post violence services and social protection programs at community level.


Team members: Anne Ngunjiri, Dr Lilian Otiso, Robinson Karuga Link to researcher profiles

Research partners: Simon Fraser University

Funder: BMGF

Links to publications:


1.    Mueller, V., K. Grépin, A. Rabbani, B. Navia, A. S. W. Ngunjiri, and N. Wu (2022). “Food Insecurity and COVID-19 Risk in Low- and Middle-Income Countries.” Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy. 2022; 44(1), 92-109.

Technical Briefs, Reports:

1.    Anne SW Ngunjiri, Lilian Otiso and Robinson Karuga (2022) COVID-19 pandemic and the health and socioemotional well-being of adolescent girls and young women in Nairobi and Migori Counties, Kenya, Gender and COVID-19 Project;

2.    Alice Mũrage, Heang-Lee Tan, Lilian Otiso, Anne Ngunjiri, Kate Hawkins, Erica Rosser, and Rosemary Morgan (2022) What are the Gendered Impacts of COVID-19 in Kenya? Gender and COVID-19 Project; 3) COVID-19 Project.Rosser EN, Morgan R, Tan H, Hawkins K, Ngunjiri A, Oyekunle A, Schall B, Nacif Pimenta D, Tamaki E, Rocha M and Wenham C (2021) “How to Create a Gender-Responsive Pandemic Plan: Addressing the Secondary Effects of COVID-19.” Gender and COVID-19 Project

Abstracts (Oral and Poster Presentations):

Mueller, V., K. Grépin, A. Rabbani, A. Ngunjiri, A. Oyekunle, and C. Wenham (2022). “Domestic Burden Amid COVID-19 and Women’s Mental Health in Middle-Income Africa.” Paper presented at the Population Association of America Conference in Atlanta. April 8th 2022.

Accelerating access to Gender-Based Violence Information and Services Leveraging on Technology Enhanced Chatbot (AGILE-Self Care Model


Women and girls are disproportionately affected by Gender-Based Violence (GBV) owing to the increasing vulnerabilities related to gender inequality, societal norms, discrimination, and humanitarian challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, most GBV survivors are hesitant to reveal their experiences of violence or seek support from (in)formal service providers. They experience inadequate access to health and social care and psychological support due to a lack of information on where to seek help, fear of perpetrators, or socioeconomic barriers. Survivors who seek services receive suboptimal care as facilities and service providers do not tailor services to their needs/priorities to offer client-centered care.

Technology-enhanced healthcare delivery systems are needed to ensure continued access to sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR), SRH and GBV information, and referral for services. In this study, we will design and pilot the technology-enhanced AGILE Chatbot that aims to accelerate access to GBV information and services for survivors of GBV. The AGILE chatbot, hosted by LVCT Health, will be piloted and implemented among adolescents, women, and LGBTQI who seek GBV and SRH information and services. After a successful iterative design and pilot process, the AGILE chatbot will be scaled up to allow access by the general public. The target population will be marginalized groups, adolescents and young people who face risk of experiencing GBV or are surivors and need post violence and support services.

Team members: Anne Ngunjiri, Robinson Karuga