Policy Brief Discussion 4: Strengthening What Works

Policy Brief Discussion 4: Strengthening What Works

Strengthening What Works was a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to identify promising practices to prevent intimate partner violence (IPV) within immigrant and refugee communities and to enhance the work of community-based organizations working on the issue to increase their effectiveness.

To prevent intimate partner violence – as well as other forms of violence – we need to reinforce positive cultural norms and ensure that people do not feel the need to resort to violence and do not condone it. As we work to build a Culture of Health, we know that we must support the cultural values that encourage respect and healthy relationships.

But, as this brief makes clear, leveraging positive cultural norms for change requires a deep – and often native – cultural knowledge of the communities in which we are trying to affect change. As funders and practitioners, we need to solicit ideas that reflect this knowledge.

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Wendy Yallowitz, Program Officer

So, as we turn our attention to reducing exposure to violence and building the resilience of children, families and communities, please tell me…

  • Who do you know who is doing good work to prevent violence – specifically by trying to change cultural norms?
  • Who is doing work – even those that might be addressing an entirely different issue – that reflect an effective and sincere effort to work with and within communities to create and sustain affirmative cultural values?

Share your ideas and consider sharing our questions to extend our reach and allow us to have a more inclusive dialogue.

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Summary of Strengthening What Works Study

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a serious problem that affects communities nationwide, but mainstream interventions do not address the specific needs of immigrant and refugee communities.

In order to help prevent violence among vulnerable populations, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation invested in Strengthening What Works, a pioneering effort to evaluate eight IPV prevention programs for immigrants and refugees.

This summary highlights key insights and recommendations from that initiative.

Read RWJF's Introduction to the Fragile Families Policy Brief

Download the Executive Summary (PDF)

Download the Full Policy Report (PDF)

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