GREAT: Improving Life and Health in Post-Conflict Uganda

After more than 20 years of civil strife that crippled services, caused internal displacement and eroded traditional social and family structures, the people of northern Uganda were ready for changes that would improve their families and communities in the face of considerable sexual and reproductive health challenges and widespread gender-based violence and bring about long-term well-being.

Photo credit: Sophie Savage/Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University

Photo credit: Sophie Savage/Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University

In 2011, in partnership with these communities, the Institute of Reproductive Health at Georgetown University, Save the Children and Pathfinder International, developed The Gender Roles, Equality and Transformation (GREAT) Project, aimed at promoting gender-equitable attitudes and behaviors among Ugandan adolescents (ages 10-19) and their communities. The goal was to reduce gender-based violence and improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes in these post-conflict communities in northern Uganda.

GREAT is a set of participatory activities to engage adolescents and adults in discussion and reflection about how to help girls and boys grow into healthy adults who live in communities free of violence and gender inequality.

GREAT activities encourage equality between women and men and include:

  • Community Action Cycle: simple steps to bring communities together to take action to improve adolescent well-being,
  • Radio Drama: a serial drama with stories and songs about young people and their families living in Northern Uganda,
  • Village Health Team (VHT) Service Linkages: orientation to help VHTs offer adolescent-friendly services,
  • Toolkit for community groups and school-based clubs: engaging stories and lively activities and game.

Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) was central to the success of this project – from providing the foundations of theory and frameworks to helping develop resources and materials that would work in the field and make a difference in the lives of women and girls all over Uganda.

The Health COMpass is pleased to present a Spotlight on the GREAT project. Check it out to learn more about the project’s development, design, implementation, and evaluation.

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