Consultancy in Ecuador: Evaluation of a program on violence against women

In November 2023 we began a qualitative research consultancy for the Interdisciplinary Center for Gender Studies (IZFG) of the University of Bern – UNIBE (Switzerland). The purpose of the study is to evaluate a violence against women program that is implemented in rural contexts in Ecuador. This program is designed and implemented by the Swissaid foundation. The research is a qualitative longitudinal evaluation and in its first phase, it focused on data collection through interviews and focus groups in rural communities in the provinces of Chimborazo and Tungurahua, located in south-central and central Ecuador, respectively.

Gender-based violence is a current problem and, worldwide and in different contexts, it has negatively impacted individuality, the community and respect for human rights (United Nations Organization, 2023).

Ecuador is recorded as the fourth country with the highest figures (MundoSur, 2023) and, according to the National Survey on family relations and gender violence against women (National Institute of Statistics and Censuses, 2019), the figures are high in violence psychologically and in indigenous communities and rural areas in general. In this country, several of the detailed and disaggregated data to learn more about cases of gender-based violence are unknown (MundoSur, 2023).

Organizations such as SwissAid Ecuador are interested in fighting against gender violence in different rural areas of the country and, as part of the evaluation of their programs, together with the University of Bern (Switzerland) and IMEK Marketing & Development Research Center as a consultant , developed spaces to learn about the current situation of the communities with which they will work in the coming years to improve, adapt and create programs based on their needs; because working hand in hand with communities and the knowledge and tools that different disciplines can provide us is important to design effective and transformative proposals at different levels (López Sánchez et al., 2023).

We thank the communities that welcomed us for their kindness and openness. Thanks to them, the Swissaid Ecuador foundation program will be able to develop evidence-based strategies that have greater potential to generate a positive impact on their lives.

Next steps

While the transcriptions, translations, and data coding and analysis processes are carried out, the preliminary findings will be presented to the Swissaid Ecuador and Switzerland teams at the beginning of February.

After this, the UNIBE team will continue the analysis of the data and together with our organization will prepare the final results report.

To learn more about partner organizations, visit:

Interdisciplinary Centre for Gender Studies (ICFG)

Swissaid Ecuador



Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC). (2019). Encuesta Nacional sobre relaciones familiares y violencia de género contra las mujeres.

López-Sánchez, M. C., Aya Pastrana, N., D’Angelo, E., Pérez, G., & Ponce-Lucero, V. (2023). Las violencias de género en América Latina: perspectivas regionales diversas. Resumen, No. 1., Colombia: IMEK & LAMSO.

MUNDOSUR. (2023). Femi(ni)cidios bajo la lupa en América Latina y el Caribe: Una mirada al contexto regional desde la legislación, los datos y las organizaciones – Segundo Informe 2023. Eugenia D’Angelo, Paula Spagnoletti.

Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU). (2023). La violencia de género es una de las violaciones más generalizadas de los derechos humanos en el mundo.

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Stephanie Aya Pastrana, MSc
Adherent Member


Stephanie is an architect from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali with a master’s degree in Urban Strategies and Design from the University of Edinburgh. She has professional experience in the design and development of architectural projects of different scales, also developing research projects related to the quality of public spaces in Cali (Colombia) and sustainable construction. She currently works as a consultant and full-time professor at the Faculty of Creation and Habitat of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali.