CUSP – Community for Understanding Scale-Up

Advocacy Research Training

CUSP – The Community for Understanding Scale Up

The Community for Understanding Scale Up (CUSP) is a group of nine organizations working across 3 regions with robust experience in scaling social norm change methodologies in various contexts— the Center for Domestic Violence Prevention (CEDOVIP), Intervention with Microfinance for AIDS and Gender Equity (IMAGE), the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University, Oxfam, Puntos de Encuentro, Raising Voices, Salamander Trust, Sonke Gender Justice, and Tostan.

CUSP originated in 2016, when Raising Voices and Salamander Trust began informal conversations about challenges and opportunities in their own methodologies, SASA! and Stepping Stones respectively, being taken to scale. In response, they 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:

Brief September 2017:

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

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

CUSP December 2018 Case Study Collection:

Article in May 2019 edition of 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

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