Change Starts at Home Project
- Published by: The Learning Collaborative to Advance Normative Change
Equal Access International, Emory University
Change Starts at Home (2015-2018) is a multicomponent social and behavior change communication (SBCC) strategy that uses media (radio and SMS) and community mobilization to prevent intimate partner violence against women and girls in Nepal. Centered around an innovative radio and weekly listener group meetings, the intervention is addressing social norms, attitudes, and behaviors that perpetuate women and girls’ low status in Nepal. The impact of the project is being rigorously evaluated using a randomized control trial to examine potential pathways of change and over the three years, Equal Access hopes to identify intervention activities that are effective, replicable, and scalable so that a change in the status of women and girls can be sustained over time.
Social norms of interest
Related to: intimate partner violence (IPV), community response to violence
Behaviors of interest
The intervention engages actors across multiple domains of influence, such as family members and community leaders, in addition to the primary target audience of married reproductive age women and their husbands. As a SBCC strategy, the intervention approaches IPV prevention through three key approaches: advocacy, social mobilization, and behavior change communication. The behavior change communication component is a 9-month, weekly radio drama with listener engagement through interactive voice response and SMS, to which both the intervention and control conditions are exposed. The intervention communities are further engaged in radio Listening and Discussion Groups (LDGs), through which the male and female participants meet to critically reflect on the content of the radio episode through a curriculum-based process of guided discussion, in-group, and home-based activities. LDGs serve as venues for life skills building and act as a platform through which community outreach activities are planned and executed, alongside local leaders who receive training and support to act as advocates in the community for more equitable social norms.
Social norms measurement
Social norms were assessed using in-depth interview (IDI), focus group discussions (FGD), and baseline/endline survey with validated scales to assess social norms around IPV. Gender-Equitable Men Scale items were adapted for the survey.
Key findings to date
Of evaluation study participants, 25% were exposed to IPV. In multivariate analyses, low caste, wife employment, income stress, poor marital communication, quarrelling, husband drunkenness, exposure to IPV as a child, in-law violence, and gender inequitable normative expectations were associated with IPV. Gender inequitable norms in the community and the intergenerational transmission of attitudes and behaviors supportive of IPV are important to address in intervention measures.