Journal article

Lessons learned from implementing Indashyikirwa in Rwanda- an adaptation of the SASA! approach to prevent and respond to intimate partner violence

Author: Erin Stern, Sonia Martins, Leigh Stefanik, Sidonie Uwimpuhwed, Robyn Yaker
Published by: Evaluation and Program Planning
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ABSTRACT

This paper reviews adaptation processes of the Indashyikirwa program in Rwanda, a four-year program to prevent intimate partner violence, implemented by CARE Rwanda, Rwanda Men’s Resource Center (RWAMREC) and Rwanda Women’s Network (RWN). Indashyikirwa is a blended approach of evidence-based programming, primarily drawing on SASA! developed by Raising Voices in Uganda, as well as program innovations. Indashyikirwa consists of four major components; 1) a five-month curriculum with couples to support equitable, non-violent relationships, 2) supporting a sub-set of trained couples to engage in community activism for an additional two years, 3) establishment of women’s safe spaces for dedicated support and referral of IPV survivors, 4) training and engaging opinion leaders to support an enabling environment for IPV prevention and response. This paper is based on implementation experience and qualitative evaluation research conducted at various time points with trained couples, women’s safe space attendees and facilitators, opinion leaders and programme staff, as well as observations of program activities. The SASA! fidelity brief, which highlights key principles for adaptation of the program, guided the framing of the findings. Lessons learned around adaptation of such programs are offered.