CUSP – Community for Understanding Scaling Processes

Advocacy Research Training

CUSP – The Community for Understanding Scaling Processes

The Community for Understanding Scaling Processes (formerly known as the Community for Understanding Scale-Up (CUSP) is a group of eight organizations working across 3 regions with robust experience in scaling social norm change methodologies in various contexts— the Center for Domestic Violence Prevention (CEDOVIP), CFAR-Uganda, Intervention with Microfinance for AIDS and Gender Equity (IMAGE), the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University, Center on Gender Equity and Health (GEH) – UC San Diego, Oxfam GB, Raising Voices, Salamander Trust and Tostan.

For our various reports and 2 webinars, please scroll down.

Our history: CUSP originated in 2016, when Raising Voices and Salamander Trust began informal conversations about challenges and opportunities in our own methodologies, SASA! and Stepping Stones respectively, being taken to scale. In response, we organized CUSP, a Community of Practice, to draw on a broader collective of experiences on social norms change interventions to prevent violence against women and girls (VAWG) and improve sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

With over 120 years of combined experience, each member of CUSP has developed a unique methodology designed to promote social norms change. Although the methodologies range from group-based initiatives, community mobilization, and mass media campaigns, they are drawn together by a commitment to key principles, aspirations and value, including:

  • Prioritizing agency of the communities with which we work
  • Reinforcing positive social norms that contribute to a community’s well-being
  • Creating space for questioning and dialogue on the social norms that contribute to inequality
  • Recognizing that transforming social norms is fundamentally about challenging the status quo

CUSP represents a unique perspective of evidence-based methodologies from organizations that have worked both autonomously and with a variety of partners to implement, adapt, and/or scale their interventions. Based on the growing demand for social norms change programming from donors, CUSP reflects critically on what it takes to adapt and scale their methodologies effectively and ethically.

Learn more about CUSP ideas:

March 2022: Webinar, Blog and infographic about our thought piece.

Here is a link to our  CUSP webinar held on 30 March 2022.

We now have a blog written by CUSP colleague Rebecka Lundgren, which summarises our longer thought piece described below.

In addition, we also have an infographic brief about feminist scale, created by Anjalee Kohli and Lori Michau. This can be accessed here.


December 2021: “Enhancing Social Norms Programs: An invitation to rethink “scaling up” from a feminist perspective”

On International Human Rights Day, we are delighted to launch our new thoughtpiece. We hope that this article will be of interest to, and spark debate amongst, anyone seeking to reduce violence against women and girls and to advance their sexual and reproductive health and rights, increasing the safety, security and well-being of women and girls in all their diversity, across the lifespan and around the world. To access the document, click here.

May 2020 ALIGN Platform:

Our latest CUSP blog is now up on the ALIGN Platform here. Entitled Building momentum for scaling-up prevention of gender-based violence: the importance of norm change initiatives at community level”, it reflects on the findings of the recently finished DFID-funded What Works programme to end violence against women; and discusses what else is needed to achieve ethical, effective and sustainable gendered social norms change. 

October 2019 SVRI in Cape Town:

CUSP presentation at plenary session at the SVRI Forum in Cape Town, S Africa.

June 2019 Conference in Lima:

Presentación de Prevención de la violencia contra mujeres y niñas en América Latina y el Caribe, Junio 2019, Lima, Peru

June 2019 Blog for SRHM Journal:

Blog written by CUSP members called “The politics and Possibilities of Scale” for the SRHM Journal, to complement the article for this Journal described below.

May 2019 at Wilton Park Conference:

Presentation for the Wilton Park Conference on Building a Shared Agenda on Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls, May 2019, Steyning, United Kingdom

May 2019 Webinar hosted by the UN Trust Fund for Women:

On 22nd May 2019, the UN Trust Fund for Women hosted an online presentation and discussion with the Community for Understanding Scale Up on social norms change initiatives for the prevention of violence against women and lessons for effective, ethical programming and scale-up for donors and implementing partners. For those of you who were unable to attend we are pleased to share the recorded webinar  (90 minutes) of the event and lively discussion.

The UN Trust Fund for women states “we would be very grateful if you could provide feedback on the session via a short survey. This enables us to improve future events and provides space for you to add any questions specifically for CUSP members or for the UN Trust Fund”.

May 2019 Article in Journal of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights:

Leah Goldmann, Rebecka Lundgren, Alice Welbourn, Diane Gillespie, Ellen Bajenja, Lufuno Muvhango & Lori Michau (2019) On the CUSP: the politics and prospects of scaling social norms change programming, Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters, 27:2, DOI: 10.1080/26410397.2019.1599654

 December 2018 CUSP Case Study Collection:

 April 2018 SBCC Conference, Bali:

Presentation for the Social Behavior Change Communication Conference, April 2018, Bali, Indonesia

September 2017 Policy Brief, SVRI in Rio:

On the cusp of change: Effective scaling of social norms programming for gender equality, (2017)

Presentation for the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) Forum, September, 2017 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Interested in learning more about CUSP or sharing your experiences about scaling up VAW prevention programming? You can contact us through this form.