Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting Research Capacity Strengthening Project

The Council is improving the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of efforts to eliminate female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) by strengthening monitoring and evaluation systems, indicators and processes used to measure progress in reducing the practice and increasing the use of rigorous evidence.

The Issue

Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is a harmful practice that involves cutting, removing, and sometimes sewing up external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. While considered a social norm in many cultures, FGM/C is a violation of the rights of girls and women and has no health benefits. It is estimated that more than 200 million girls and women have undergone FGM/C around the world, and approximately 3.6 million girls are cut each year.

Despite a rich history of community-level experiences and lessons learned toward the abandonment of FGM/C, weak monitoring and evaluation of interventions, limited management information systems, and fragmented documentation of feasible and effective policies and interventions limits the ability of research and effective programs to be more broadly translated into action.

Norway’s strategic support to Population Council is focused on two pilot countries: Somalia and Ethiopia. 

The Progress

The Population Council has designed and is responding in three key areas: 

  1. Strengthening capacity of national programs in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Somaliland that measure, document, and report on implementation and performance of interventions to eliminate FGM/C.
  2. Identifying and developing valid global indicators to document and report on FGM/C activities.
  3. Responding to the needs of partners and stakeholders to generate and use research evidence towards the abandonment of FGM/C. 

The Impact

By the end of the three-year period, the program will provide evidence that can improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of policies, programs, and investments for the elimination of FGM/C. Key efforts are focus on improving:

  1. Effective monitoring and evaluation/management information systems for FGM/C used by program managers.
  2. Adaption and use of standard indicators of FGM/C program performance by a number of national pograms and global stakeholders.
  3. Capacity strengthening for Norad's partners and stakeholders in evidence-informed decision-making on FGM/C.

Research Publications (2)