A collaborative research project

Gender-based violence (GBV) is prevalent around the world and covers a range of events which pose significant risks for the physical, sexual and psychological health of women and children, in addition to their social and economic well-being. The ADVANCE study focuses on violence that occurs within families – domestic violence. The overall project objective is to improve antenatal care services for victims of domestic violence in Nepal and Sri Lanka in order to reduce maternal and infant morbidity and mortality. Secondary research aims include the following:

In Nepal

  • To analyse how GBV has been integrated into Nepali health policies and systems in order to inform other countries considering similar policy responses.
  • To develop culturally- and contextually-sensitive tools for identifying women experiencing domestic violence in antenatal care settings.
  • To assess the feasibility of an intervention iin antenatal care to increase the safety of pregnant women.
  • To assess the impact of the safety behaviour intervention on pregnancy outcomes.
  • To determine the prevalence of domestic violence amongst populations of pregnant women attending antenatal care clinics in hospitals in Dhulikhel and Kathmandu.
  • To explore community perceptions on domestic violence in general, including men's (partner's) views.

In Sri Lanka

  • To assess the prevalence of and risk factors for domestic violence experienced by pregnant women in: (i) Colombo district and (ii) the tea plantation sectors of Badulla district.
  • To determine the prevalence and consequences of abuse perpetrated by health care workers in antenatal care settings in Colombo district.
  • To assess the availability, acceptability and quality of antenatal services for pregnant women experiencing domestic violence in the tea planation sectors of Badulla district.

ADVANCE was initiated by partners in Nepal and Sri Lanka, and is now a research collaboration of four scientific institutions.  The coordinating institution is the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway.  The collaborating institution in Nepal is Kathmandu University (KU), including two affiliate institutes: Dhulikhel Hospital & Kathmandu Medical College and Teaching Hospital.  The collaborating institution in Sri Lanka is the University of Sri Jayewardenepura in Colombo.  The final partner institution is the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  The research team also includes advisors from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in Baltimore (USA) and Linnaeus University in Kalmar (Sweden).

Read more about our research team and projects.



ADVANCE is funded by the Research Council of Norway


Papers and Presentations

Paper: Adressing domestic violence through antenatal care in Sri Lanka's plantation estates: contributions of public health midwives. Social Science Medicine  2015 Nov;145:35-43. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.09.037. Epub 2015 Oct 5.
. Infanti, R. Lund, M. Muzrif, B.Schei, K. Wijewardena.

Paper: Agenda setting and framing of gender-based violence in Nepal: how it became a health issue.
Health Policy and Planning  2015 Sep 26. pii: czv091. [Epub ahead of print] 
. Columbini, SH Mayhew, B Hawkins, M Bista, SK Joshi, B Schei, C Watts


Poster: Prevalence of Domestic Violence during Pregnancy in Nepal. Globvac Annual conference Bergen 2016. KD Pun, P Rishal, R Koju, SK Joshi, M Lukasse, JH Bjørngaard; B Schei, E Darj.

Poster: Gender based violence and correlates in women in the underpriviliged tea plantation sectors in Sri Lanka. Globvac Annual conference Bergen 2016.  M Munaz, K Wijewardene, R Lund, B Schei, E Darj.

Oral presentation: Mind the gap: Obstetric violence in Colombo district, Sri Lanka. SVRI Forum 2015 in South Africa.  D Chamanie, K Wijewardene, R Lund, J Infanti, B Schei