The Multi-Country Study on the Drivers of Violence Affecting Children: An overview

M. Catherine Maternowska & Deborah Fry - Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies: An International Interdisciplinary Journal for Research, Policy and Care


In 2013, UNICEF’s Office of Research – Innocenti and the University of Edinburgh designed the Multi-Country Study on the Drivers of Violence Affecting Children in order to explore the question: What drives violence and what can be done about it? This paper describes the underpinning principles and frameworks of the Study conducted by national research teams comprising government, practitioners and academic researchers in Italy, Peru, Viet Nam and Zimbabwe. We review our overall methods and process, which relied heavily on a human-centred design and oriented approach. The learning that accompanied the Study ultimately shaped a new child-centred integrated framework for violence prevention. The framework assists practitioners to visualize how multiple factors may converge and intersect within a child’s social ecology to make violence more or less likely to occur. We also share learning on how change happens and how policymakers, practitioners and researchers seeking to prevent violence can have greater impact. We then highlight the papers included in this edited volume, written by national partners in each of their countries. Our aim is that the knowledge and learning generated here will further enhance national, regional and global understandings of what drives violence affecting children and what can be done about it.