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The FGM/C Research Initiative is hosted by Orchid Project. It builds on the legacy of 28 Too Many by commissioning and curating global research on the practice of female genital mutilation and cutting.
Closing Knowledge Gaps
Those working to end FGM/C need access to good-quality research and evidence of the practice's scale, distribution and underlying drivers. Policy-makers, donors and grassroots actors also require contextual analysis and evidence of what works to guide their investments and policy designs. The following knowledge gaps shape our strategy:
The data gap: where data and evidence have not been gathered;
The access gap: where available knowledge is hidden in inaccessible data repositories;
The translational gap: where practitioners and policy-makers find translating the available evidence into action challenging;
The utility gap: synthesising evidence into resources and tools for robust interventions by programmers, implementers and communities.
Orchid Project was registered in 2011 with a single mission: to catalyse the end of FGM/C. Orchid Projects strategy 2023-2028 will see a focus on three key objectives (1) To undertake research, generate evidence and curate knowledge to better equip those working to end FGM/C (2) To facilitate capacity strengthening of partners through learning and knowledge sharing, to improve programme designs and impacts for the movement to end FGM/C (3) To influence global and regional policies, actions and funding towards ending FGM/C.
In terms of research, Orchid Project aims to play a catalytic role in building a knowledge base by undertaking and curating research and evidence and making it accessible to all. As a result of their merger with 28 Too Many, which produced Africa- focused research for the past decade, they possess the expertise to generate and curate knowledge, as well as the connections to amplify this knowledge across the sector, from grassroots, community-based organisations and activists to global institutions, governments and academia.
Established in 2012, ACCAF aims to strengthen the capacity for and coordination of research, implementation of evidence-based best practices and strategies for the abandonment of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in Africa and beyond within one generation. The Centre is hosted at the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi. ACCAF adopts a multi-disciplinary approach to evidence generation and capacity building through training, championing efforts and addressing gaps in the abandonment of FGM/C with the goal for sustaining women’s health and dignity.
The Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW) was established in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1993 and over the last 30 years, ARROW has been working to advance the sexual and reproductive rights of women and young people in all their diversity in partnership with women’s rights organisations, youth-led and youth-serving organisations, and NGOs working on gender equality and sexual and reproductive rights. In 2019, ARROW collaborated with Orchid Project to co-develop the Asia Network to End FGM/C. The Network now has about 80 members, including activists, civil society organisations, survivors, researchers, medical professionals, journalists, religious leaders and allies across 13 countries in the Asia region. We are committed to working together to promote the abandonment of all forms of FGM/C in Asia.
Dr Mhairi Gibson
Mhairi Gibson is a Professor in Anthropology at the University of Bristol. Her work applies ideas and methods from scientific anthropology to understand women's health issues, with a focus on the social dynamics and transmission of FGM/C norms and behaviour. This research involves combining anthropology, with novel statistical methods and theory from gender studies, economics, and biology. Much of her research is based on fieldwork in rural community in South-Central Ethiopia. Having established this as her primary field-site during her PhD studies, it has since facilitated further work by other postgraduate students and local researchers. This work has led to the development of unique and detailed longitudinal picture of the women's health of this community over at least 70 years.