Learning Collaborative Measurement Case Studies
Project summary

Organizations involved

Salamander Trust, Communicating For Action and Results (CFAR-Uganda), Stepping Stones Kenya Network


The Stepping Stones training program (1995-Present) was originally developed as a training package on gender, HIV, communication and relationship skills. It is also sometimes described as a social norm change training package as content covers such topics as: why we behave in the ways we do; how gender, generation and other issues influence this; and ways in which we can change our behaviour. Stepping Stones & Stepping Stones Plus is a wholly revised and updated edition of the original curriculum and was published in 2016. It still focuses on improving communication and relationship skills (and thereby reducing intimate partner violence) in the context of HIV between the genders and across generations. In addition, critical communication and relationship issues, including age-disparate transactional sex, are addressed through a transformative gendered, youth-friendly, mutually respectful, human rights lens through this program. Stepping Stones has been adapted globally in over 65 countries, in many different cultural contexts, post-conflict settings, and more.

Social norms of interest

Gender equity, contraception use, gender-based violence, sexuality, violence against women, age-disparate sex, household decision-making, condom use, alcohol and drug use

Project components

The Stepping Stones curriculum is designed to be delivered via peer-led group trainingswith four peer groups, based on gender and age, with intermittent plenary group sessions. The staircase-approach training content includes topics such as listening and communication, sex and love, contraception, sexual vulnerabilities based on gender power, unplanned pregnancy, violence against women, property and inheritance rights, access to household income and more.

Social norms measurement

Social norms were assessed using surveys, participatory approaches, in-depth interviews, and focus-group discussions.

Key findings to date

  • Greater mutual respect and support across the genders and generations through a women’s-rights and child/youth-rights based lens,
  • Improved sexual and reproductive health and rights (including rights: to access health goods and services, to have children, to have safer sex, to contraception, to informed choice, to positive sexuality, to ARVs; to women’s property and inheritance rights), 
  • Respect and support for people living with HIV
  • Reduction in violence against women and children
  • Reduction in age-disparate transactional sex
  • Increased condom use
  • More equitable sharing of household tasks and expenditure
  • Reduced hazardous use of alcohol and drugs
  • Improved self-esteem among young women
  • Increased community engagement



Please refer to the "READ ME" document for further information. To contact the author of this methodology or tool, please email [email protected]

The preferred citation for this tool (revised edition) is: 
Welbourn, A. with Kilonzo F, Mboya T.J. and Liban SH (2016) Stepping Stones and Stepping Stones Plus: A training package on gender, generation, HIV, communication, and relationship skills, Rugby, UK: Practical Action Publishing https://developmentbookshop.com/steppingstones-and-stepping-stones-plus



Map of social norms-focused interventions and research

Back to the map