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Our guiding and working principles

Our three guiding principles give us focus and clarity when it comes to designing our programmes.


We believe that women and girls are the experts when it concerns their own bodies and life. Our programmes give them a platform to express their needs, interests, and priorities. Based on this, Simavi calls into question norms that lead to discrimination, injustice and violence against women.


Human rights – such as the right to health – are inalienable rights: rights that everyone receives at birth simply because they are human. These rights apply to all people, regardless of race, gender, nationality, etc., and can never be taken away. That is why we apply our rights-based approach in all our work to strengthen the position of women and girls.

Sustainable change

Simavi believes that permanent changes are necessary. That is why we focus on changing behaviour as well as on changing systems. It is essential that women and girls themselves are aware of their rights and options. But norms and opinions in the community, among service providers and administrators, must also change if women and girls are to have the freedom to make decisions themselves. We work with service providers to improve their services and we lobby administrators to ensure that policies that are favorable to women are established and implemented.

In every programme that Simavi designs and implements, we use effective working principles that add value and ensure lasting change.

Working on Inclusion: leave no one behind

The aim in all our programmes is to reach those that are difficult to reach or excluded. We are committed to improve their access to services and to involve them in decision-making processes to ensure that their rights and needs are recognised.

Working Evidence-informed and Impact-oriented

Simavi invests in results-oriented programmes so that we can achieve the greatest possible impact on the lives of women and girls. Simavi defines impact as the permanent change in the lives of women and girls as a result of Simavi’s contribution, both in terms of our mission and from their own perspectives.

We measure our results so that we get a better understanding of how change comes about and which interventions are most effective. At the same time, we use the available evidence from literature and programme evaluations as much as possible when designing new programmes. We have established close working relationships with several research institutes that advise us in this respect.

Working on both Social and Economic Empowerment

In the communities where we work, the opportunities for women to live a healthy life are often limited by social and cultural views, discrimination, coercion, and violence. Improving the status of women both socially and economically puts them a better position to claim their right to a healthy life. Conversely, good health enables women to strengthen their social and economic position.

Working on change through Lobby and Advocacy

Lobby and advocacy are a cornerstone of Simavi’s work. Influencing policy and establihing international obligations are essential to achieving structural changes for a healthy life for everyone.

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