The REPLACE Approach: Supporting Communities to End FGM

Source
European Commission
Date of Publication
2015

The REPLACE project in the EU recognizes that FGM is a social norm and that each community has different belief systems and enforcement mechanisms supporting its continuation. Therefore, there was a need to draw on both individualistic and community focussed theories of behavior change to fully capture the complexity of the practice of FGM in an approach to end it.

The REPLACE Approach achieves this by:

  • Engaging with affected communities and ensuring they are active participants in the development and implementation of an intervention in order to gain their trust and commitment to the project and to identify key people in the community to work with, such as community leaders and peer group champions
  • Understanding the nuances of the social norms that perpetuate FGM amongst FGM affected communities living in the EU and the enforcement mechanisms used by the community to ensure individuals continue the practice. This is achieved using community-based participatory action research methods 
  • Drawing on community readiness theory to assess where the whole community sits in relation to addressing FGM. This helps to identify intervention actions that can be targeted at the community level by community members to achieve change.
  • Working with communities and in particular with community peer group champions to develop interventions aimed at moving the community towards ending FGM in line with the community’s readiness to end FGM assessment.  
  • Monitoring and evaluation, both quantitative and qualitative, to capture community as well as individual responses