Engaging Men Learning Collaborative

About the Engaging Men Learning Collaborative

In 2017, Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence convened the Engaging Men Learning Collaborative, a group comprised of 14 government and human service agencies. The purpose of the collaborative was to collectively develop non-programmatic approaches to engaging men in violence prevention and gender equality in settings where men work, play, learn, live, and worship. Phase One of the project (2017-2020) culminated in the development of Changing Contexts: A Framework for Engaging Male-Oriented Settings in Gender Equality and Violence Prevention – Practitioners’ Guide. For an executive summary of the Changing Contexts framework, please click here.

About the Changing Contexts Framework

Insights from Behavioural Economics and other related disciplines have radically altered our ideas about human decision-making and highlighted the extent to which behaviour is influenced by physical and sociocultural environments. The Changing Contexts framework seeks to draw on these insights to more effectively engage men in reducing gender-based violence and inequality in their own networks and settings (e.g., the workplaces, peer groups, sports teams, faith communities, etc. in which they are embedded and have influence).

Programs and policies are not enough: we need to cultivate a more comprehensive set of tools if we hope to really move the needle on gender-based violence and inequality. This Practitioners’ Guide represents our early efforts to expand the behaviour change toolbox by helping Human Services professionals to support men (and others) to:

  • Disrupt, mitigate, and/or address gender-discriminatory and/or violence-supportive dynamics in their networks and settings, and
  • Flood those settings with signals that cue more prosocial, gender-equitable behaviours.

We hope the ideas in this Practitioners’ Guide help to enhance current efforts and ultimately move us all closer to a gender-equitable, violence-free future.

Where to from here

Changing Contexts is a work in progress. It represents our learning to this point – but we’re not done! We hope to further test and refine the approach in the coming years, and we invite you to do the same, so that we can draw on a broader base of implementation and evaluation to further solidify the approach.

Over the next five years, we hope to secure funding to:

  • Test the approach in a variety of contexts
  • Further extend and revise the principles and practices documented in this framework
  • Develop knowledge translation and sector-wide training opportunities, so that we are able to build capacity for this type of approach
  • Produce ‘Version 2.0’ of the framework, integrating the new learnings that accrue as we continue to develop and test the model.

You can help in the further development of this approach and encourage you to implement the principles and practices outlined in this framework and share your experiences with us. We look forward to hearing from you!