Global Dialogue

Ideas come from far and wide. In a young field such as ours, seminal thinking is often done by disparate individuals working in different locations, without the time or opportunity to connect with others. Raising Voices is playing a growing role in bringing activists, practitioners, academics and other thought leaders face-to-face to shape the way forward. Through the following initiatives, we will make critical dialogue possible:

Community for Understanding Scale-Up


The Community for Understanding Scale Up (CUSP) is a temporary working group of nine organizations working across Latin America, Africa, the Pacific, Caribbean, and South Asia with robust experience in scaling social norm change methodologies in various contexts— the Center for Domestic Violence Prevention (CEDOVIP), Intervention with Microfinance for AIDS and Gender Equity (IMAGE), the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University, Oxfam, Puntos de Encuentro, Raising Voices, Salamander Trust, Sonke Gender Justice, and Tostan.

CUSP originated in 2016, when Raising Voices and Salamander Trust began informal conversations about challenges and opportunities in their own methodologies, SASA! and Stepping Stones respectively, being taken to scale. In response, they organized CUSP, a Community of Practice, to draw on a broader collective of experiences on social norm change interventions to prevent violence against women and girls (VAWG) and improve sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

With over 180 years of combined experience, each member of CUSP has developed a unique methodology designed to promote social norm change. Although the methodologies range from group-based initiatives, community mobilization, and mass media campaigns, they are drawn together by a commitment to key principles, aspirations and value, including:

  • Prioritizing agency of the communities with which we work
  • Reinforcing positive social norms that contribute to a community’s well-being
  • Creating space for questioning and dialogue on the social norms that contribute to inequality
  • Recognizing that transforming social norms is fundamentally about challenging the status quo

CUSP represents a unique perspective of evidence-based methodologies from organizations that have worked both autonomously and with a variety of partners to implement, adapt, and/or scale their interventions. Based on the growing demand for social norm change programming from donors, CUSP reflects critically on what it takes to adapt and scale their methodologies effectively and ethically.

Learn more about CUSP ideas:

Enhancing Social Norms Programs: An Invitation to Rethink “Scaling Up” from a Feminist Perspective, CUSP, December 2021 [forthcoming]

Feminist Scale Supports Movements, CUSP, Dec 2021 [forthcoming]

Building momentum for scaling-up prevention of gender-based violence: the importance of norm change initiatives at community level, May 2020 on the ALIGN Platform.

The politics and Possibilities of Scale, June 2019 on Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters.

Journal Article:
On the CUSP: the politics and prospects of scaling social norms change programming, Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters, May 2019

Brief: On the cusp of change: Effective scaling of social norms programming for gender equality, (2017)

Presentation for the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) Forum, September, 2017 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Presentation for the Social Behavior Change Communication Conference, April 2018, Bali, Indonesia

Presentation for the Wilton Park Conference on Building a Shared Agenda on Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls, May 2019, Steyning, United Kingdom

Presentación de Prevención de la violencia contra mujeres y niñas en América Latina y el Caribe, Junio 2019, Lima, Peru

CUSP 2018 Case Study Collection:

Social Norms at Scale: CUSP’s Collective Insights for Understanding Scale-Up

Case Study 1: Insights from GREAT

Case Study 2: Insights from IMAGE

Case Study 3: Insights from SASA!

Case Study 4: Insights from Stepping Stones

Case Study 5: Insights from Tostan

Download the entire Case Study Collection here.

Interested in learning more about CUSP or sharing your experiences about scaling up VAW prevention programming? Contact us at

Coalition of Feminists for Social Change

The Coalition of Feminists for Social Change (COFEM) is an advocacy collective of thought leaders, activists, practitioners and academics working globally to end violence against women and girls (VAWG). COFEM was formed in 2017, as an outcome of a convening co-hosted by Raising Voices in 2016 where a group of feminist colleagues from humanitarian and development settings around the globe came together to discuss shared concerns in their work for women’s equality, empowerment, and safety. COFEM’s key strength lies in the collective expertise and experience of its diverse members, all of whom have made significant contributions to advancing women’s rights and ending VAWG in humanitarian and development settings across the world.

COFEM strives to:

  • provide a forum for connection, discussion, problem solving, mutual support and activism to advance feminist, women-centered strategies for ending VAWG and promoting the rights of women and girls;
  • collectively identify and implement strategies and actions to overcome the challenges facing feminist-informed efforts to address VAWG, and make sure that women and girls remain at the center of all efforts to end VAWG.

COFEM launched a series of papers at the SVRI Forum in Brazil in 2017; Feminist perspectives on addressing VAWG:

Paper 1: What does accountability look like?
Paper 2: Reframing language of ‘gender’ and ‘GBV’ away from feminist underpinnings.
Paper 3: Finding the balance between scientific and social change goals, approaches and methods.
Paper 4: Funding priorities.
Paper 5: How do broader protection agendas affect work for women and girls?

Learn all about COFEM and how you can get involved at our new website:

Check out our new Feminist Pocketbook
Participate in the Knowledge Summit

WP Post Tabs