Shujaaz Inc Joins Global Team for USAID-funded ‘Agency for All’ Project Led by UCSD

  • Sex & Health
  • 18 Mar 2022

Shujaaz Inc is excited to join a global partnership of 10 organisations on a five-year ‘Global health equity project’ called ‘Agency for All’, funded by USAID and led by the Center on Gender Equity and Health (GEH) at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine.

Alongside the other global partners, Shujaaz Inc will be leading Kenyan-focused activity, designing a multi-year norm-changing mass media campaign that will build young people’s agency, and enable them to take control of their sexual reproductive lives.     

Bridget Deacon, MD Shujaaz Inc Said, “At Shujaaz Inc, our central mission is to break down barriers so that young people can take control of the future. That’s why we’re thrilled to be joining this ambitious global programme, led by the team at UCSD, to really test and explore what it takes to create ‘agency for all’. It feels like a flagship moment to map and evidence the transformational power of putting young people in control.” 

Shujaaz Inc will be working in close collaboration with Makerere University in Uganda to track, research and evidence the impact of our media campaign, and to better understand the crucial steps that are required to put young people in control (build agency) around family planning, health and well-being. 

The global project dubbed, “Agency for All” is intended to foster social and behavioural research resulting in a better understanding of how to promote the voices of local people within their own communities and within health and development programming. It addresses multiple dimensions of health and well-being, including maternal and child health, infectious disease, HIV/AIDS, family planning, and reproductive health. The program will work with diverse populations across the globe, with a focus on Africa and South Asia.  

The initiative will concentrate on three geographical areas or hubs in East Africa, West Africa, and South Asia, collaborating with specific organizations and networks in those regions. In addition to  Shujaaz Inc (Kenya), these partners include the Centre for Catalyzing Change (India), Evidence for Sustainable Human Development Systems in Africa (Cameroon), Makerere University (Uganda), Matchboxology (South Africa), Sambodhi (India), University of Witwatersrand (South Africa), CORE Group, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Promundo-US, Save the Children and  Viamo. 

“GEH will coordinate the consortium of global, regional, and local leaders to conduct research and implement solutions, informed by local priorities and agendas,” said Rebecka Lundgren, PhD, an applied anthropologist and associate professor of infectious diseases and global public health, who will serve as project director.  

“These locally-led partnerships are critical,” said Paul Bukuluki, PhD, director of research for Agency for All and an associate professor at Makerere University. “We hope to develop context-specific mechanisms for measuring agency, and more effectively evaluate the approaches that help us improve the quality of life of women and men at the margins of society.” 

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has funded the $38 million, a five-year project led by the Center on Gender Equity and Health (GEH) at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science. The project is an international, multi-institutional effort to understand and promote agency for individuals, communities, and local organizations in low- and middle-income countries.