The Importance of Using Validated Measurement Tools in Research - ISPCAN/SVRI


ISPCAN Resources

Focus of this Training:

In partnership with SVRI, this ISPCAN webinar seeks to discuss the importance of using validated measurement tools in research.  We will introduce the ISPCAN ICAST tool for violence against children (VAC) research and provide examples from current researchers of where and how it has been used in VAC research in LMICs. Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI): SVRI is a global research network on violence against women and children facilitating evidence and knowledge creation for improved policies, prevention and response programmes. We are working to transform the way research on VAW and VAC is conceived, undertaken, funded, disseminated, and put into action for concrete, measurable and sustainable change. SVRI is a field building organisation – we promote partnerships and provide vital spaces where global actors that work to directly impact the prevention of violence against women and children can connect to share experiences; promote research; and work together to influence changes in policies and practice.

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Webinar Date:

August 23, 2023




Presentation Slides - The Importance of Using Validated Measurement Tools in Research ISPCAN-SVRI Webinar
Child Maltreatment Data Collection - Planning your Study Module 1 & 2
Child Maltreatment Data Collection - Planning your Study Module 3 & 4
ICAST for Mobile Devices
Dare to Care: Wellness, self and collective care for those working in the VAW and VAC fields
Measuring Violence Against Children: From Concept to Action
Pathways to Research Impact course
ISPCAN Child Abuse Screening Tool Children's Version (ICAST-C): Instrument development and multi-national pilot testing
Lakshmi Neelakantan - Adolescents’ Perceptions of the ISPCAN's Child Abuse Screening Tool (ICAST-C): A Study in Romania, South Africa, and the Philippines

Learning Objectives:

Why use standardized tools in research
How to identify the right tools
The importance of Adaptation / Contextualization
Examples of how the ICAST has been adapted and used in LMICs
How/why it has been useful to use ICAST in these contexts
Free online course: Measuring Violence Against Children: From Concept to Action

Presented By:

Franziska Meinck, PhD (UK/South Africa)
University of Edinburgh SOUTH AFRICA / UK - ISPCAN Board of Directors
Franziska is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh, Honorary Associate Professor in the School of Public Health at University of the Witwatersrand and Extraordinary Professor at North-West University, South Africa. Her research is funded by an ERC Starting Grant and a GCRF Hub Grant investigating intergenerational violence transmission, its predictors, mechanisms and prevention in South Africa. Her research also focuses on prevalence, risk and protective factors of child maltreatment in vulnerable populations in Southern Africa, health outcomes of violence exposure in childhood, childhood violence prevention and on the development and testing of global child abuse measures. She has done extensive psychometric work with the ICAST and is currently working on a short form of the ICAST for use in large health surveys.
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Lakshmi Neelakantan , PhD
Research Fellow Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
Lakshmi is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Mental Health, School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne and the ALIVE National Centre for Mental Health Research Translation (Prevention Across the Life Course Research Program). Her research focuses on the prevention of violence against children; evaluation, implementation, and sustainability of mental health interventions for young people; prevention of violence against children; and effective ways of translating research evidence into policy and practice. Before moving to Australia, Lakshmi completed her PhD and post-doctoral research at the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Oxford. Lakshmi uses a range of methods to answer her research questions of interest, including evidence reviews, psychometric development and testing of measures, implementation science, quantitative analysis of large-scale survey data, monitoring and evaluation of interventions, and qualitative and participatory approaches. Prior to training as a researcher, Lakshmi practiced international trade and economic law, representing clients before the World Trade Organization and national and regional legal authorities. Lakshmi holds a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, an MSc in Evidence-based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation from the University of Oxford where she was ranked joint first in her cohort, and dual bachelor’s degrees in law and liberal arts from National Law University Jodhpur.
Aby Casas M.D. Sc.D.
National Pediatrics Institute in México City ISPCAN Board of Directors Chair Elect
Aby Casas is a Pediatrician and Researcher at the National Pediatrics Institute in México City. She has worked as a clinical expert on Child Abuse and Neglect at Comprehensive Care Clinic for Abused Children (CAINM, by its acronyms in Spanish). She is co-founder and head of the Center for Advanced Studies on Violence – Prevention (CEAVI-P, by its acronyms in Spanish), her current secondment. Her research focuses on violence against children (identification, measurement, and prevention), Adverse Childhood Experiences, and Children’s Human Rights. As a result of her research and for educational purposes, she has published several articles, book chapters, and books (mainly in Spanish but also in English) and has given lectures and training. She has worked to sensitize, train and make awareness among health personnel on violence against children. What has collaborated as a consultant and advisor with different institutions in México like the Ministry of Health, the Comprehensive System for the Protection of children, and UNICEF Mexico.
Andreas Jud, PhD (Germany)
Professor, Ulm University Clinic of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. ISPCAN Distinguished Advisory Council 
After completing his postdoctoral fellowship at the CRCF, Dr Andreas Jud joined the School of Social Work at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland.  He is a principle investigator in several research projects on service provision to maltreated children and decision-making in child protection. A recent achievement is his international toolkit on mapping legal, health and social services responses to child maltreatment published by the World Health Organization. 
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Elizabeth “Liz” Dartnall
SVRI Executive Director
Liz is a public health specialist with over 20 years’ research and policy-making experience on health systems, mental health, and violence against women and violence against children. Having worked in several countries, in both government and research positions, Liz has a deep understanding of the policy process and use of research to inform policy and practice. In South Africa she worked for the Department of Health at both provincial and national levels in epidemiology and health information systems. In Australia Liz worked in mental health for the Western Australian state government. Liz has managed the Sexual Violence Research Initiative since 2006. In 2019, Liz, with the support of multiple partners and the SVRI team, launched the SVRI as an independent NGO. Liz is committed to redressing the deep inequity in the investment in research on violence against women and violence and children between the high income and low and middle income countries (LIMCs) and supporting researchers and practitioners in LMICs to undertake priority driven, impactful, feminist, and ethical research.
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Joan Njagi
Child Sexual Violence Researcher - SVRI
Joan has more than 15 years’ work experience researching, designing, implementing, and managing projects on child rights and protection, education, gender and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). She is currently a PhD candidate at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University, Rotterdam. Joan has coordinated and supervised several research projects using quantitative and quantitative research methods including participatory research methods and published peer reviewed articles on sexuality education, adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights, menstrual health, LGBTIQ rights and discourses surrounding children and the internet.

Contributing Partners:

Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI)