Action Research for the project Do.N.N.E against gender-based violence in Central Italy

Title Do.N.N.E – Do Not Neglect Equality

Location Amatrice, Accumoli, Arquata del Tronto, Camerino, Visso and Ussita (Central Italy)

Duration 2019-2021

Partners Psy Plus, Action Aid, Associazione Donatella Tellini, Centro Antiviolenza L’Aquila

Framework Pe.R.Co.rrere – Percorsi di Resilienza Comunitaria

Funding Fondo Beneficenza Intesa San Paolo



Between 2018 and 2019, in Amatrice, Accumoli, Arquata del Tronto, Visso, Ussita and in the surrounding areas of Central Italy, the team of the project Pe.R.Co.rrere observed a growth in symptoms such as anger, anxiety, processing difficulties trauma, pathological addictions (including gambling and alcoholism), behavioural or adaptation disorders and intra-family conflict with impact on minors.

The project Do.N.N.E – Do Not Neglect Equality aims at supporting the communities affected by the violent earthquakes, that have suffered a sudden shock both at individual level and in their socio-economic network.

The geographic, economic and social complexity of the territories affected by the earthquakes caused serious difficulties in preparing adequate responses to the needs and the emergency response was only partially able to cover the actual needs of the affected populations. Three years after the earthquake, public and private reconstruction is at a standstill and the significant delays have produced a widespread exasperation in the population, thus accelerating the already ongoing process of depopulation of internal areas.

While socio-economic weaknesses have been exacerbated by the dramatic events, social unease and some post-traumatic and psychopathological manifestations have emerged as a reaction to growing uncertainty and difficulties. These symptoms take place in a patriarchal context, in which the implicit acceptance of gender-based violence is widespread.

The project Do.N.N.E, thus, aims at supporting a change in both the person who suffers or perpetuates violence and in the entire socio-cultural system through:

  1. a) capacity building of services: by strengthening the skills of operators and supporting coordination activities between public and private social entities;
  2. b) increasing prevention and protection systems: by raising awareness, education and training, empowerment and activation of services designed to contrast risk factors (general psychopathology, pathological addictions, isolation).


General Objective

The M&E and Impact Assessment Unit developed an evaluation strategy on the one side to investigate the effectiveness, relevance, efficiency and sustainability of the activities and, on the other hand, to further examine two specific issues:

  • (i) the effects of the project on the well-being of women
  • (ii) the effects of the project on the local services


Our Contribution

To verify the progress and changes triggered by the activities of the project, the research team involved project operators, beneficiaries and other stakeholders in a participatory process based on the EHD Evaluating Human Development methodology.

In addition, to investigate the effects of the project on women’s well-being, the M&E and Impact Assessment and Inclusive Development Units involved women in an action-research activities. This participatory research process allows to shoot a “photography” of the local context, thus understanding the main changes (outcomes) triggered by the project.

The objective of the action-research activities is twofold: on the one hand, it allows to fill some gaps in the knowledge of the gender-based violence phenomenon, and on the other hand, it allows the beneficiaries to use social research tools.

As a result, this evaluation strategy allowed to deeply focus on changes and dynamics that would not have been  grasped with standard assessments and evaluations.

In addition, the opportunity to carry out a case study analysis on the project allowed the research team to deepen and understand the conditions that promote economic empowerment of women in particularly fragile areas where patriarchal culture, gender stereotypes, and acceptance of gender-based violence are prevalent. The in-depth analysis showed how women’s economic empowerment can be particularly effective in promoting a culture of anti-violence

empowerment economico donne ricerca approfondimento centro italia violenza di generePromoting the economic empowerment of women, an in-depth study

Discover more on the M&E and Impact Evaluation Unit