Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is widely recognised as a violation of human rights and a challenge to public health. Further, VAWG is an under-examined, but crucial component of the overall crisis in South Sudan. VAWG has economic and social costs that have not been adequately recognised either in South Sudan or internationally. These costs not only impact individual women and their families but also ripple through society and the economy at large. The impacts of VAWG on economic development has not been adequately investigated, analysed or quantified in South Sudan.
In recognition of the dearth of knowledge of these impacts and costs, particularly in fragile and developing contexts, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) funded this research to investigate the social and economic costs of VAWG in Ghana, Pakistan and South Sudan (2014–2019), as part of its wider What Works to Prevent Violence research and innovation programme. A consortium, led by the National University of Ireland, Galway, with Ipsos MORI and in collaboration with Dr. Khalifa Elmusharaf from the University of Limerick, conducted the research to estimate the economic losses caused by VAWG as well as the non-economic costs of violence on the economic growth, development and social stability of South Sudan. A National Advisory Board, composed of stakeholders and policy-makers in South Sudan, provided important inputs to the research, ensuring the relevance of the findings to the context.