Strengthening SASA! Implementation through Learning and Guidance

Photo by Raising Voices

Project Information.

  • Period. 03/01/2016 – 12/31/2018
  • Funding Agency. UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women/Raising Voices
  • SUB RV-10-2015
  • Principal Investigator. Dr. Jennifer Wagman at UCSD School of Medicine
  • Title. AStrengthening SASA! Implementation through Learning and Guidance
  • Role. Staff Research Associate
  • Duties. Grant writing, project and IRB management, qualitative data collection and analysis using Nvivo software, report preparation, manuscript writing

SASA! is a community mobilization approach to prevent violence against women (VAW) and HIV, developed by Raising Voices in Uganda. SASA! works by supporting communities through a comprehensive process of social change focused on interrogating unequal power dynamics between women and men. A randomized controlled trial conducted between 2007 and 2012 demonstrated SASA!’s community-level impacts on preventing intimate partner violence (IPV) against women and reducing social acceptability of violence. With this evidence, global uptake of the methodology has grown dramatically; SASA! is currently being implemented in over 25 countries worldwide.Several critical issues have emerged as the number of organizations implementing SASA!increases.

  • What are the ways SASA! can be best adapted for different settings around the globe
  • How is fidelity to SASA! determined
  • What promising, context-specific strategies exist for quality SASA! implementation

Motivated by these questions, Raising Voices launched the three-year Learning from SASA! Adaptations Project (Adaptations Project) in 2016, supported by the UN Trust Fund. The overarching aim of the project is to strengthen global prevention programming by distilling learnings from SASA!’s adaptation in three diverse settings: the Caribbean setting of Jacmel, Haiti, a humanitarian setting in Dadaab, Kenya, and a rural setting in Kigoma, Tanzania. Through a case comparison approach, our core objectives were to explore

  • SASA! adaptation processes in diverse settings
  • context-specific implementation strategies
  • organizational structures necessary for effective SASA! programming, and
  • SASA!’s progress against expected outcomes in each site.

This study is conducted in partnershup with Raising Voices in Uganda, Beyond Borders in Haiti, the International Rescue Committee in Kenya, the Women Promotion Centre in Tanzania, and the University of California San Diego in the United States. In addition to detailed case study reports from each setting, the Adaptation Project research informed the development of three Programming for Prevention Briefs.

Doctoral Student, Community Health Sciences

My research focuses on intersections between gender inequities, related violence, and women’s risk for HIV utilizing implementation science approach.