The Passages Project works to achieve sustained improvements in family planning and reproductive health by conducting research for addressing a broad range of social norms (the informal rules that govern behavior in groups and societies). Led by the Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) at Georgetown University and funded by the United States Agency for International Development, PRB has partnered with the project to support knowledge translation and strategic communication that distills key evidence and capabilities for community-based normative change for the global health and development sector.
Young people’s ability to forge healthy relationships is influenced by social norms enforced by their peers, families, and communities. Social norms shape behaviors related to sexual debut, intimate partner and sexual violence, and early marriage, as well as access to education and the services and information young people need to protect their health. Research has shown that investing in normative change at the community (rather than individual) level, while ensuring supportive policies and access to good quality services, can bring about significant improvements in sexual and reproductive health. The Passages Project supports this critical work by leading the way as it:
- Conducts research to improve information and resources on the implementation, evaluation, and scale-up of norms-shifting approaches.
- Provides technical assistance to help global development practitioners implement, evaluate, and scale norms-shifting approaches into their programs.
- Advances global knowledge to demonstrate the importance of norms-shifting approaches for creating positive change for adolescent and youth reproductive health, violence prevention, and gender equality programs.