The Indashyikirwa programme in Rwanda was funded by the UK department for International Development, with the aim of preventing and reducing intimate partner violence. The programme was 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. One of the components of the programme included the training and engagement of opinion leaders to help create an enabling environment for social change.
This practice brief highlights lessons learned from – and assesses the value of – engaging opinion leaders as part of a comprehensive intimate partner violence prevention programme. In order for effective engagement to take place, there is a need to carefully map which key opinion leaders can and should be targeted, and maintain regular dialogue and communication. It is also important to engage them not just as opinion leaders, but also as people in relationships themselves.