Raising Voices

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Adapting for the Secondary School Environment

To address violence in secondary schools, Raising Voices underwent a rigorous adaptation process that ensured the underlying principles in the Good School Toolkit remained unchanged, while also addressing the unique context found in secondary schools.

By 2015, the Good School Toolkit was being used in more than 750 primary schools in Uganda. While this success was worth celebrating, we also saw the overwhelming need for a similar intervention for secondary schools. So, we embarked on a multi-year adaptation process.

We started by developing a better understanding of secondary schools’ priorities and opportunities around preventing violence against children. We conducted an exploratory study in four Ugandan secondary schools to understand the patterns and prevalence of violence. Our findings informed the adaptation process, ensuring that Good School Toolkit – Secondary addressed specific needs with new sessions and content. The adaptation is now being implemented in more than 100 secondary schools, and we’re collaborating with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to evaluate impact.

Maintaining the Toolkit Essentials While Elevating Our Approach

While the adaptation sought to enhance how students use their power to create change, the secondary school iteration maintained the core principles of the Good School Toolkit. Like the original version designed for primary schools, the secondary school version requires long-term engagement​​ rather than a one-off approach, leadership from teachers and students, and support from school administration and the surrounding community.

Classroom of secondary school children

Secondary school students are entering adulthood and, therefore, experience and use their power differently than they did in primary school. These students need to feel agency in their life and are taking on significant responsibility. From our exploratory study, we learned that secondary schools in Uganda report a high prevalence of peer violence, including sexual harassment and intimate partner violence, with pronounced gender inequalities.


We made several key changes in Good School Toolkit – Secondary to address these realities:

  • We introduced new sessions and conversations, including on the concept of power, mental health, peer violence, violence from intimate partners, student leadership and skills for making smart choices. Good School Toolkit – Secondary also expanded on existing topics—for example, adding in-depth discussions on sexual harassment, tackling sensitive issues related to gender in schools and discussing human rights.
  • We adapted how we implement the Toolkit. Good School Toolkit – Secondary recognizes that secondary school students often have more agency and influence in what is happening around them. As a result, the Toolkit for secondary schools elevates students’ role in creating sustainable change. School administrators’ roles are also more explicit; at least two school administrators are part of the Good School Committee in this version of the Toolkit, and they take on more active roles in all Toolkit activities.
Who’s Using This Version?

Good School Toolkit – Secondary is currently being implemented in more than 100 secondary schools across Uganda, with progressive plans to scale up through the Ministry of Education and Sports and other like-minded partners in and outside Uganda. Interested in joining us? Please reach out!