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| July 23, 2015

IRH awarded ‘Passages’ social norms project by USAID

We are pleased to announce that IRH has recently been awarded a new five-year project, Passages, by USAID to build the evidence base and contribute to the capacity of the global community to strengthen normative environments that support reproductive health, especially among very young adolescents, newly married youth, and first-time parents.


Why this new project helps fill the gap

Enabling young women and men to live gender-equitable lives free of violence, coerced sex, and unintended pregnancy is a critical global challenge. Early pregnancy and child marriage are a reality for millions of young women worldwide, curtailing educational and vocational opportunities, leading to poor sexual and reproductive health and contributing to the intergenerational cycle of poverty.

Young people’s ability to forge healthy sexual relationships is influenced by social norms enforced by their peers, families and communities. Social norms shape behaviors related to sexual debut, intimate partner and sexual violence and early marriage, as well as access to education and the services and information they need to protect their health. Research has shown that investing in social norm change at the community (rather than individual) level, while ensuring supportive policies and access to good quality services, can bring about significant improvements in sexual and reproductive health.

Passages will capitalize on formative life course transitions to test and scale up interventions that promote collective change and foster an enabling environment for healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies and family planning. Bridging the gap between science and effective policy, our aim is address socially complex issues like gender inequality, stigma and violence related to family planning.

In partnership with an excellent team of global health experts—FHI 360, Johns Hopkins Global Early Adolescent Study, PSI, Save the Children, Tearfund—we look forward to sharing our transformative findings, and welcome you to stay engaged with the Passages Project along the way.

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