Passages Project introduced at a technical consultation in Washington, DC

22 March 2016
Sephy Valuks and Michelle Moore

STRIVE co-research director Dr Lori Heise attended the first technical consultation on Norms Interventions from Theory to Practice, from 29 February to 2 March 2016.

With a $30 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) at Georgetown University Medical Centre will lead a team of global health organisations in a new project. The Passages Project will use social norms approaches to achieve sustained improvements in family planning and reproductive health.

The Passages Project will build evidence and capacity to strengthen normative environments that support reproductive health, especially among very young adolescents, newly married youth and first-time parents. Passages capitalises on these formative life course transitions to test and scale up interventions that promote collective change and foster an enabling environment for healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies and family planning.

At the three-day consultation, Dr Heise was among the external experts guiding Passages staff to advance: 

  • the field of social norm change in research and programme evaluation contexts
  • good practice in developing and implementing effective social norms interventions that can be scaled
  • the selection of two promising norms interventions for scale-up technical support by Passages in 2016–17

STRIVE looks forward to collaborating with the Passages Project to work on norms related to gender and sexual and reproductive health, particularly around measuring norms. 

The Passages approach – focusing on social norms and targeting individuals at transitional life moments – offers a unique opportunity to address significant development challenges. 

Victoria Jennings, Director of the Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH), Georgetown University

Read Why this new project helps fill a gap.

Image credit: Sophie Savage, Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University