Promoting positive masculinity for SRHR in urban informal settlements of Rwanda, Nigeria & DRC

Project Duration

2019 - 2023

Project Funder

International Center for Research Development (IDRC)

Project Countries

Congo (the Democratic Republic of the) ,Nigeria ,Rwanda

ICRW Project Director

Chimaraoke Izugbara


Currently, over half of the residents in sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA) largest cities—and a growing proportion of Africans overall—live in congested informal settlements, also called slums. Residents of Africa’s urban informal settlements are at elevated risks for poor sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) outcomes, including HIV/AIDS, unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortion, and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Men- and boys-focused interventions offer critical scope for challenging gender norms and masculine ideals that impede SRHR and sustain gender inequality in poor urban SSA communities.

With Funding from IDRC, ICRW in collaboration with the University of Nigeria, The Population and Health Research Institute and the Rwanda Men’s Resource Center will carry out a study—the first major effort in SSA—to investigate the implementation and delivery of male-targeted SRHR programs and gender equality initiatives in low-income, urban African contexts. Using this new entry point, ICRW will lead this consortium of partners in generating and disseminating evidence on the implementation, effectiveness and challenges of male-targeted SRHR and positive masculinity initiatives in urban settlements in Nigeria, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

What did we set out to do?

  • Assess gender attitudes, norms and practices as well as SRHR behaviors of men and boys participating in male-targeted SRHR programs;
  • support existing male-targeted SRHR and gender norms change initiatives to use evidence for program improvement;
  • strengthen the capacity of project team members and others; and
  • foster strategic alliances and partnerships with critical stakeholders, including policymakers and implementers, to ensure more effective delivery of male-targeted SRHR programs.

What methods are we using?

Data will be collected from multiple-perspectives, such as  program implementers, SRHR and gender advocates and activists, men and boys, women and girls, civil society and government officials, to understand the context, content, influence , and implementation of positive masculinities and SRHR programs. The approach will be iterative, emphasize triangulation across different datasets, and constantly engage stakeholders along the way.

The multi-method data collection strategy will involve mapping of organizations implementing positive masculinities and SRHR programs in informal settlements of Kigali, Kinshasa and Enugu; session/program ethnography; qualitative interviews; quantitative surveys; and document reviews.