SASA! Adaptations Project

The SASA! methodology is a community mobilization approach developed by Raising Voices for preventing violence against women and HIV infection. SASA! is designed to address a core driver of violence against women and HIV: the imbalance of power between women and men, girls and boys. SASA! works by walking communities through a step-by-step process of change, engaging a critical mass of people across all levels of society to bring about social norm change. A collaborative study between Raising Voices, the Center for Domestic Violence Prevention, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Makerere University was conducted to investigate the impact of the SASA! approach in communities in Kampala, Uganda. Findings indicate exposure to SASA! was associated with reductions in physical and sexual intimate partner violence (IPV), and significantly lower social acceptance of IPV and significantly greater acceptance that a woman can refuse sex among women. SASA! is now being replicated in more than 20 countries.

The Adaptations Project seeks to learn from four organizations using SASA! in rural Tanzania, refugee camps in Kenya, a Caribbean community in Haiti and among refugee populations in Iraq. This is a mixed methods study that aims to conduct comparative case research to strengthen the evidence base of SASA!’s impact and provide guidance for how to most effectively adapt the methodology, maximizing efficiency and cost-effectiveness of interventions like SASA! by building on an existing, proven model and further discerning key elements within the wider methodology critical to its effectiveness. The three core objectives are to appraise: 1) the SASA! adaptation process; (2) context-specific implementation strategies; (3) the organizational structures and processes necessary for quality programming; and (4) to assess progress against phase-specific outcomes in each of the three locations. Findings from this project will be used to developed user-friendly tools that support quality adaptation, integration and implementation of the SASA! intervention in diverse contexts. This is a critical need as global interest and funding for primary prevention of violence against women and HIV increases, and more and more programming and research organizations begin to implement the SASA! approach as a key prevention tool.

Funding source: United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women

Related Publications

  1. Abramsky T, Devries K, Kiss L, Nakuti J, Kyegombe N, Starmann E, Cundill B, Francisco L, Kaye D, Musuya T, Michau L, Watts C. Findings from the SASA! Study: a cluster randomized controlled trial to assess the impact of a community mobilization intervention to prevent violence against women and reduce HIV risk in Kampala, Uganda. BMC Med. 2014 Jul 31;12:122. doi: 10.1186/s12916-014-0122-5.
  2. Abramsky T, Devries K, Kiss L, Francisco L, Nakuti J, Musuya T, Kyegombe N, Starmann E, Kaye D, Michau L, Watts C. A community mobilisation intervention to prevent violence against women and reduce HIV/AIDS risk in Kampala, Uganda (the SASA! Study): study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial. Trials. 2012 Jun 29;13:96. doi: 10.1186/1745-6215-13-96.


Primary Investigator
Jennifer Wagman, MHS, PhD

Luwam Kidane

Where We Work
  • Africa
Related Work
  • Gender-based Violence & HIV