Tostan participates in the Community for Understanding Scale Up (CUSP), a global coalition of NGOs known for their impact in social norms change, violence prevention and women’s empowerment. Other coalition members include: the Salamander Trust; Puntos de Encuentro; Sonke Gender Justice; Raising Voices; the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University; IMAGE; Oxfam’s ‘We Can‘ Campaign; and the Center for Domestic Violence Prevention in Uganda.

CUSP is a working group, sharing experiences with scaling when social norms are involved. Tostan volunteer, Diane Gillespie, PhD, is Tostan’s representative. This year the group is writing cases to highlight the successes and challenges that can come with scaling. ‘Scaling up’ refers to the process of increasing the impact of a program or a piloted programmatic innovation. Scaling processes are dependent upon the context, and could involve expansion of the geographical reach, increasing the number of programs, adding new components to an existing program or moving into new sectors and systems.

We are proud to share CUSP’s recently published policy brief: ‘On the CUSP of Change: Effective scaling of social norms programming for gender equality.’ In this policy brief, CUSP provides practical insights and advice for program designers, funders, researchers, and policymakers as they take social norms programming to scale. Issues of scaling and innovation in the development sector were also explored by fellow coalition member Alice Welbourn of the Salamander Trust, in an article in Apolitical, entitled: ‘Donors want data and rapid scaling. It’s stifling innovation in the aid sector.

At Tostan, we advocate a different model for scaling: one which is transformational rather than transactional, and which is community-led rather than donor-driven. We believe and have proof that this model leads to changes that last. Scaling responsibly is critical to Tostan. Whilst continuing to focus on the effective community-based programming that the organisation is well known for, the team is also currently preparing in 2019 to pilot, test and set tracks toward a major scaling effort in 2020.

Please see out Evaluations and Research page for a wealth of resources related to Tostan’s programming, approach and successes, including academic articles, policy reports and research papers.

Click here to read Tostan’s CUSP case study, written by Diane Gillespie, Gannon Gillespie, and Molly Melching. The most recent information on CUSP, along with the entire case study collection, is available on the Raising Voices website.