Stepping Stones and Creating Futures

Project Title

Stepping Stones and Creating Futures

The Organisation

Project Empower and the Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD) of the University of KwaZulu-Natal

Geographic Location

Informal settlements across the eThekwini (greater Durban) area, South Africa.

Summary of Intervention / Research

Stepping Stones and Creating Futures aims to decrease the rate of intimate partner violence in urban informal settlements in South Africa. Three hour sessions are held twice a week over a two and a half month period with participants aged 18 – 24 years. The sessions are peer-led, interactive and participatory, and participants reflect on gender norms, conflict in relationships and developing livelihoods strategies.

Promising results from a formative pilot with 232 young people in 2012, which reported that after one year participants had higher earnings, more gender equitable attitudes and women reported less experience of intimate partner violence, have led to this randomised control trial (RCT) to be conducted by HEARD, enrolling 1,360 participants.

Alongside a quantitative evaluation the RCT includes an integrated cost effectiveness analysis of the intervention and a qualitative process evaluation to explore processes of change and barriers to change.

Major Timeframes

The project will run over 3 years and end-line results are expected in the last quarter of 2018

Related resources from the Evidence Hub

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Key contacts

Laura Washington, Director, Project Empower




Dr. Andrew Gibbs, Principal Investigator, SAMRC/HEARD