Learning Collaborative Measurement Case Studies
Project summary

Gender Roles Equality and Transformation (GREAT) Project

Published by: The Learning Collaborative to Advance Normative Change


The Gender Roles Equality and Transformation (GREAT) Project (2010-2017) is a participatory, community-based, social and normative change intervention that engaged adolescents (10-19 years old) and communities in post-conflict Northern Uganda to promote gender-equitable attitudes and behaviours to reduce gender-based violence (GBV) and improve sexual and reproductive health (SRH) among adolescents. Its goal was to develop and test the effectiveness, feasibility and scalability of strategies to encourage gender-equitable attitudes, norms and behaviours to reduce GBV and improve SRH outcomes. GREAT was implemented by Save the Children and Pathfinder. The Institute for Reproductive Health was responsible for research.

Social norms of interest

Girls’ education, household decisions between couples, child-rearing, GBV, family planning (FP) use among adolescents and in marriage, childbearing within marriage

Project components

The intervention worked separately with very young adolescents ages 10-14, unmarried adolescents ages 15-19, newly married couples and first-time parents ages 15-19, and adults ages 19 and older. The intervention included: 1) a 50-episode serial radio drama to promote dialogue; 2) a scalable toolkit (with puberty flipbooks for very young adolescent boys and girls, and a life-size Board Game, Radio discussion guide and Activity Cards); 3) the Community Action Cycle led by community leaders to promote and sustain change; and 4) Engaging Village Health Teams to improve access to and quality of youth-friendly SRH services.

Behavioural outcomes

Couple communication, puberty knowledge, gender equity in the household, gender equity in education, reduced GBV, increased FP, improved SRH

Key findings

The project found positive and significant associations between exposure to the intervention and gender equitable attitudes and family planning and gender-based violence outcomes, including increased couple communication and decision-making and family planning use, particularly among newly married and parenting adolescents. After scale-up, the project concluded that a program approach focused on community mobilization and critical reflection can effectively transform norms and influence behaviour at scale. Through a participatory, iterative process, this work has been guided by and has also contributed greater understanding of adolescent development from an ecological perspective, informed by an understanding of the social construction of gender and viewed through the lens of life course trajectories.


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