• Indashyikirwa: Agents of Change for GBV Prevention Indashyikirwa: Agents of Change for GBV Prevention

    Rwanda | CARE International

    This programme led by CARE International will implement a package of prevention interventions which aim to change attitudes, behaviours and social norms around gender inequality and GBV in communities across seven districts in Rwanda. The What Works Global Programme will conduct an impact evaluation to collect evidence on the effectiveness of these interventions on addressing risk factors for GBV as well as the prevalence of GBV; and operations research which will provide insights into how interventions are working and how the project can be implemented in successful ways that provide value for money.


The Indashyikirwa programme in Rwanda was funded by the UK department for International Development, with the aim of preventing and reducing intimate partner violence. It was implemented over four years (2014-2018) by CARE Rwanda International, Rwanda Men’s Resource Centre, and Rwanda Women’s Network, in rural Rwanda. One of the components of the programme included training couples as community activists (CAs), with the view to diffusing the benefits of the programme to a larger audience.

This practice belief highlights the impact of training of 840 couples as CAs, which include them feeling better equipped to respond to IPV, greater community awareness of IPV and greater community support for women’s empowerment and more gender equitable division of household labour. Recommendations consist of training more couples as CAs, adapting the community activism component to the specific country and context in which it is being applied, and ensuring proper linkage between the community activism component and other parts of the Indashyikirwa programme, e.g. engagement with opinion leaders.

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01 August 2018

The Indashyikirwa programme in Rwanda was funded by the UK department for International Development and implemented over four years (2014-2018) by CARE Rwanda International, Rwanda Men’s Resource Centre, and Rwanda Women’s Network, in Eastern, Western and Northern provinces of rural Rwanda. The programme aimed to reduce IPV, shift social norms and attitudes condoning violence, and provide more empowering responses to survivors. One of the components of the programme involved the establishment of women’s safe spaces, where women and men could disclose and discuss IPV, and be referred or accompanied to health, justice and social services.

This evidence brief reveals that the creation of safe spaces helped facilitate the disclosure of IPV, enhanced knowledge and awareness of more gender equitable norms, offered opportunities for collective solidarity and livelihoods skills training, and improved the quality of and linkages to formal services.

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01 August 2018

Indashyikirwa is a multi-collaborator programme to prevent intimate partner violence prevention (IPV), across rural Rwanda. It is being implemented by CARE Rwanda, Rwanda Women’s Network (RWN) and Rwanda Men’s Resource Centre (RWAMREC). A critical component of the programme is the creation of women’s safe spaces dedicated to offering informal support to survivors of IPV, including a pathway for referral to formal services (i.e., health, criminal justice and social services). Drawing on their experience implementing the Polyclinics of Hope since 1997, the RWN established14 safe spaces, designed to address the health, psychosocial, and socio-economic needs of gender based violence (GBV) survivors. At each women’s safe space, 22 facilitators were recruited from the communities engaged in the programme and trained to offer dedicated support to women and men that report IPV, educate women about their rights, and refer or accompany individuals who wish to report abuse or seek health or social services.

04 July 2018

Stern, E., Martins, S., Stefanik, L., Uwimpuhwe, S., & Yaker, R. (2018). Lessons learned from implementing Indashyikirwa in Rwanda-an adaptation of the SASA! approach to prevent and respond to intimate partner violence. Evaluation and program planning, 71, 58-67.

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01 March 2018

Stern, E., & Niyibizi, L. L. (2018). Shifting Perceptions of Consequences of IPV Among Beneficiaries of Indashyikirwa: An IPV Prevention Program in Rwanda. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 0886260517752156.

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01 January 2018

Stern, E., Heise, L., & McLean, L. (2018). The doing and undoing of male household decision-making and economic authority in Rwanda and its implications for gender transformative programming. Culture, health & sexuality, 20(9), 976-991.

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15 December 2017

This presentation assesses the aims and efficacy of a programme seeking to foster change in knowledge, attitudes skills and behaviour to promote non-violent relationships. This involves creating enabling environments through training and supporting opinion leaders and promoting women’s safe spaces. It assesses the lessons learned from working with couples and from the women’s safe spaces.

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12 December 2017

I felt I had power within myself that allowed me to do something with my fellow women..

Indashyikirwa Programme, Rwanda

05 December 2017

Stern, E., and Niyaratunga, R. (2017). A process review of the Indashyikirwa couples curriculum to prevent intimate partner violence and support healthy, equitable relationships in Rwanda. Journal of Social Sciences: Special Edition on Select Papers from Conference on Global Status of Women and Girls. 6, 63; doi:10.3390/socsci6020063

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01 June 2017
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