Raising Voices

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The Good School Toolkit is a school-wide intervention led by teachers, students and school-affiliated community members. Together, these teams work to influence the operational culture of the entire school through four entry points: teacher-student relationships, peer-to-peer relationships, student- and teacher-to-school relationships, and parent- and community-to-school governance relationships.

Raising Voices developed the Good School Toolkit for primary schools over four years through an iterative and consultative process involving six Ugandan primary schools.

The Toolkit is currently in its third edition, with an adaptation completed for use in secondary schools and another underway—Good School Toolkit Agilefor an abbreviated introduction to core concepts.

Through engaging school-level activities, leadership workshops, and user-friendly tools and materials, the Toolkit aims to change a school’s operational culture. The ultimate goal? To prevent violence against children by enhancing their experience of school.

Preventing Violence in Schools Across Uganda

A rigorous evaluation through a randomized controlled trial—the Good School Study—showed that the Toolkit reduced children’s risk of experiencing physical violence by school staff by 42 percent over 18 months of implementation. Bolstered by this evidence, the Toolkit is currently being rolled out at scale in Uganda in 23 districts, with Raising Voices supporting more than 1,000 primary schools.

The Government of Uganda has distributed Toolkit materials to more than 5,000 schools nationwide. Raising Voices supports these scale-up efforts through relationships with local governments within districts where the Toolkit is being distributed, as well as through dialogues with schools, governments and international partners interested in using or adapting the Toolkit.

The Toolkit Preventing Violence in Uganda

Districts in Uganda with Good School Toolkit


How It Works

What is a “good school”? We believe it’s one with good teachers who increase student confidence and success, a learning environment that is safe and respectful, and a transparent, accountable administration. Our stepwise approach involves the entire ecosystem, including the parents and community members surrounding the school.

Six Core Steps

Every version of the Good School Toolkit involves six distinct steps that engage the entire school, with additional content created for Good School Toolkit Secondary.

  • Step 1: Your Team & Network: Schools identify key protagonists at school and create Good School Committees to build school-wide support for the process.
  • Step 2: Preparing for Change: Baseline measurements gather information on each school’s starting point, and school leaders cultivate interest among parents, the community and local education officials.
  • Step 3: Good Teachers & Teaching: A school-wide reflection on teacher-student relationships provides a renewed sense of teacher roles, increased professional support, and new approaches for positive student engagement.
  • Step 4: Positive Discipline: Schools reflect on how violence manifests and establish a new school culture by exploring positive disciplinary methods to create students who believe in themselves.
  • Step 5: Good Learning Environment: Schools reflect on what a good learning environment looks like and work with all stakeholders to foster a psychological sense of safety and inclusion.
  • Step 6: Good Administration & the Future: The work of the preceding steps is celebrated and consolidated through reflection and transfer of leadership to the school administration.

Cartoon Booklets

The Toolkit also includes a collection of illustrated stories that introduce what it means to create a good school. Note that Booklet’s 5, 6 and 7 introduce more nuanced content that we developed for secondary schools only:

Good School Posters

The Toolkit’s Evolution

Raising Voices is committed to learning from implementation and strengthening all three versions of the Good School Toolkit.

Featured Series
Good School Toolkit - Primary

We started developing the Good School Toolkit in 2007 and published the first edition in 2011, focusing on primary schools. Since then, the Good School Toolkit has helped over 1,000 primary schools in Uganda embark on a journey to prevent violence against children. Both Raising Voices and outside researchers have rigorously evaluated the Toolkit, with more than 20 peer-reviewed articles published in academic journals. This implementation and evaluation have also led to the Toolkit’s expansion.

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Good School Toolkit - Secondary

The need for a healthy learning environment doesn’t end when students finish primary school. Based on our success with the Toolkit in primary schools and the demand for materials targeting adolescents, we published a rigorous adaptation of the Toolkit for secondary schools in 2020. Good School Toolkit - Secondary dives deeper into the issues that are more salient in later adolescence. It is already being used in 100 Ugandan secondary schools.

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Featured Series
Two students writing in notebooks
Good School Toolkit Agile

We are adapting the Toolkit for implementation at scale. The first iteration of Good School Toolkit Agile is currently being studied to refine and finalize it for wider distribution.

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All About the Toolkit

Is the Toolkit a curriculum?
How much does it cost to use?
Can it be used in both primary and secondary schools?
Does Raising Voices provide technical assistance?
Will Raising Voices train my organization?
Will Raising Voices fund our implementation?
Can I just pick and choose a few Toolkit activities?
What impact will using the Toolkit have?
Does the Toolkit have government approval?

The Good School Toolkit isn’t a curriculum; it’s a process for creating violence-free schools. It breaks down what needs to happen into six steps that can be implemented by teachers, students and other stakeholders at schools. The Toolkit describes ideas, provides tools, suggests activities and helps you assess how you are progressing.

You can use it in your own way, at your own pace. If you need help using these ideas in your program or at your school, reach out to us!

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The Good School Toolkit is available for free use by any school or organization for nonprofit purposes. We believe this is important to build the field of violence prevention and to support positive social change.

However, if you are part of an international organization or if you are planning to use the Toolkit in a large-scale program, we ask for your commitment to ensuring child safeguarding and ethical use before materials are downloaded and used. Please reach out!

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The Good School Toolkit was originally developed for primary schools. We have since adapted it for secondary schools. We are also developing a version for implementation at scale, and others have adapted the Toolkit for implementation in diverse settings, such as for refugee settlements.

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Yes! Raising Voices partners with organizations in Uganda and beyond. This includes providing ongoing technical assistance in which organizations interested in using the Toolkit go through the training together and receive remote and on-site technical support over the length of the program.

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Raising Voices does not conduct one-off training for individual organizations, as we have found this to be ineffective, costly and unsustainable. If you are interested in participating in a Toolkit training alongside other partners, please contact us. Online training courses will soon be available to the public as well.

We are also happy to have an initial discussion after you have reviewed the Toolkit materials to help determine if the process is right for your organization, as well as provide technical assistance during implementation.

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Raising Voices is not a funding agency. We are unable to provide funds for Toolkit implementation.

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The Good School Toolkit can be used as a library of ideas on how to work on preventing violence against children at school. Do bear in mind that in our experience, several things are needed for sustainable change to emerge: You have to engage the whole school, and the process has to be long enough for people to learn and grow into the new way of running their school. Your intervention should also address the school’s operational culture.

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As with any change process, the impact will vary based on how you implement the intervention, the school’s motivation for and openness to preventing violence against children, the structural and political support from education policymakers and other contextual factors. However, the Good School Toolkit has been rigorously evaluated to assess its impact in schools.

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Uganda’s National Curriculum Development Centre has approved the Toolkit’s use in the country’s academic institutions. The approval process involved a rigorous review of the Toolkit’s methodology and materials, and the experience could help guide future national-level approval as the Toolkit’s use expands globally.

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