Mechanisms underpinning interventions to reduce sexual violence in armed conflict: A realist-informed systematic review

Sexual violence is recognised as a widespread consequence of armed conflict and other humanitarian crises. The limited evidence in literature on interventions in this field suggests a need for alternatives to traditional review methods, particularly given the challenges of undertaking research in conflict and crisis settings. This study employs a realist review of the literature on interventions with the aim of identifying the mechanisms at work across the range of types of intervention. The realist approach is an exploratory and theory-driven review method. It is well suited to complex interventions as it takes into account contextual factors to identify mechanisms that contribute to outcomes. The analysis identifies the important potential of building in mechanisms involving community engagement, awareness of responses and safe reporting provisions into the range of types of intervention for sexual violence in crises.