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Our approach


Every programme Simavi designs and implements is built on four working princi­ples. These have proven to be effective approaches in adding value and creating sustainable change. Our four working principles are inclusion, evidence-informed and impact-oriented programming, social and economic empowerment and lobby and advocacy. These working principles are further explained below.

Inclusion: leave no one behind

In all our programmes we strive to reach out to hard-to-reach and excluded people. We aim to improve their access to services and engage them in wider processes of decision-making to ensure that their rights and needs are recognised and fulfilled. Our inclusion lens ensures that everybody is able to participate fully, regardless of differences in ethnic-racial background, financial status, educational level, physical or mental ability, religious or faith-based beliefs, gender, marital status, geographical location (rural/urban), sexual orientation, age or any other socioeconomic circumstances.

Evidence-informed and impact-oriented programming

Simavi invests in impact-oriented programming to maximise the impact of our programmes on the lives of women and girls. Simavi defines impact as the lasting change in the lives of women and girls resulting from Simavi’s contribution, both in relation to our mission and their own perspectives. Impact also includes changes that may be negative and unintended. We use the lens of impact to steer and inform our programmes and improve our monitoring, evaluation and programme design. To better understand how change comes about and what interventions are most effective, we use evidence to inform our programme design and deci­sion-making. We believe that the knowledge we have acquired over the years, as well as research conducted by ourselves and others, can be used to benefit future programmes. Where possible, we ensure that our programme evaluations fill gaps in existing evidence. To this end we have established close working relationships with a number of research institutions.

Social and economic empowerment

In the communities we work in, women’s chances of living a healthy life are often limited by social and cultural norms, discrimination, coercion and violence. Em­powering women, both socially and economically, improves their ability to pursue their rights to a healthy life. Conversely, good health enables women to become more socially and economically empowered. We believe that empowering women to pursue their rights to a healthy life will also improve the health of their families – including men and boys, and by extension their communities as a whole – enabling a healthy life for all.

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