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LINEA: Learning Initiative on Norms, Exploitation and Abuse

LINEA

Learning Initiative on Norms, Exploitation and Abuse. Exploring the potential of communities and social norms to prevent violence against and exploitation of children and adolescents.

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About the project

LINEA is an international, multi-pronged project testing how social norm theory can be used to reduce the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents (SECA) in regions across the world.

Join the LINEA Network here to get the latest news about LINEA's research and upcoming webinars, as well as updates from LINEA Network members working on social norms and preventing sexual exploitation of children and adolescents. 

Who we are

Click here to find out who works on the LINEA project.

Publications

With the second phase of LINEA now in full swing, expect to see more resources and publications posted here soon.

Webinars

Since 2015, LINEA has hosted more than 35 webinars, featuring the most cutting edge research and practice on preventing sexual exploitation of children and adolescents using a social norms approach. You can see all the previous LINEA Webinar recordings on our YouTube Channel.

We also jointly hosted a webinar series with the Care and Protection of Children (CPC) Learning Network at Columbia University, and the recordings are available here

About
About LINEA
About LINEA
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The Learning Initiative on Norms, Exploitation and Abuse (LINEA) is an international and multi-pronged project exploring how social norm theory can be used to prevent the sexual abuse and exploitation of children and adolescents globally. Centring adolescent girls, LINEA aims to provide an alternative to research and programmes, which have traditionally focussed on providing girls with skills and information. Instead, LINEA aims to better understand and address the interdependence of human behaviour and the structural realities that shape the individual experience of adolescent girls. LINEA was established in 2014 and is nested within Gender Violence and Health Centre (GHVC) at LSHTM.

There are three key streams of LINEA’s work which are as follows:

Contributing to conceptual clarity and theory

LINEA is working towards gaining deeper conceptual clarity around the issues of sexual exploitation and abuse of young people. This includes two desk reviews, the first of which reviews how child sexual exploitation has been defined and conceptualised over time by researchers, practitioners and international bodies. The second considers existing evidence about how social norms and other structural factors may contribute to the sexual exploitation of children. LINEA is also collaborating with partners to develop and refine a conceptual model of child sexual exploitation and its drivers.

Producing evidence for using social norm theory to prevent sexual exploitation of children and adolescents

LINEA has conducted research with adolescent and adult community members in Tanzania and Uganda to examine the norms, expectations and contexts that shape and perpetuate the practice of transactional sex. Through individual interviews and focus group discussions, we are seeking to better understand how transactional sex is understood and conceptualised, and when and if transactional sex is considered “exploitative.”

This research is being used to inform the development of an exciting new multi-component social norms focussed intervention. Using a curriculum and media based approach; the intervention aims to prevent sexual exploitation of children in Tanzania due to transactional sex between older men and adolescent girls.

LINEA has also been conducting research in partnership with Promundo, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Again, the aim is to uncover the norms both fostering and preventing transactional sex relationships in three of Rio’s favela communities. This research is the first of its kind in Brazil, not only due to the subject matter, but also in that it will generate a new scale on Sexual Exploitation Norms (SEN) to measure social norms associated with sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.

Creating a community of practice: The LINEA Network

LINEA hosts a network of partners in research, programming, policy, advocacy and funding who are using a social norms approach to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse of young people. It is a vibrant and open forum for groups and individuals engaging with, or interested in learning about, norms and structural factors driving vulnerability. The LINEA Network hosts regular webinars, providing a platform for the most cutting edge research and initiatives. The Network also organises biennial meetings where selected participants can share their insights and share them within the community of practice.

Join the LINEA Network here to get the latest news about LINEA's research and upcoming webinars, as well as updates from LINEA Network members working on social norms and preventing sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.

To watch previous LINEA webinars visit the LINEA YouTube Channel

You can find more information about LINEA in this introductory webinar:

Who we are
Who we are LINEA profiles
Who we are

Ana
Buller

Associate Professor
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (LSHTM)

Ana Maria is LINEA Principal Investigator and project lead. She is also the Director of the Gender Violence and Health Centre.

Marjorie
Pichon

Research Fellow

Marjorie supports various components of LINEA including formative research, coordinating the LINEA sub-studies, and leading on communications for the LINEA Network. Get in touch to learn more!

Nambusi
Kyegombe

Assistant Professor
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR IN UGANDA (LSHTM)

Nambusi was the Principal Investigator for LINEA’s formative research on transactional sex in Uganda. She is a member of the Gender Violence and Health Centre at LSHTM.

Joyce Wamoyi

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR IN TANZANIA (NIMR, TANZANIA)

Joyce was the Principal Investigator for the formative research on transactional sex in Tanzania. She works at the National Institute for Medical Research in Mwanza, Tanzania.

Publications
Publications LINEA
Capitalising on aspirations of adolescent girls and young women to reduce their sexual health risks: Implications for HIV prevention
Joyce Wamoyi, Mitzy Gafos, Lottie Howard-Merrill, Janet Seeley, Rebecca Meiksin, Nambusi Kyegombe, Lori Heise, Ana Maria Buller
2021
Global Public Health
Adolescent girls’ perceived readiness for sex in Central Uganda - liminal transitions and implications for sexual and reproductive health interventions
Nambusi Kyegombe, Ana Maria Buller, Rebecca Meiksin, Joyce Wamoyi, Richard Muhumuza, Lori Heise
2021
Journal Culture, Health & Sexuality
‘I trap her with a CD, then tomorrow find her with a big old man who bought her a smart phone’. Constructions of masculinities and transactional sex: a qualitative study from North-Western Tanzania
Lottie Howard-Merrill, Joyce Wamoyi, Daniel Nyato, Nambusi Kyegombe, Lori Heise, Ana Maria Buller
2020
Journal Culture, Health & Sexuality
Systematic review of social norms, attitudes, and factual beliefs linked to the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents
Ana Maria Buller, Marjorie Pichon, Alys McAlpine, Beniamino Cislaghi, Lori Heise, Rebecca Meiksin
2020
Child Abuse & Neglect
Community perspectives on the extent to which transactional sex is viewed as sexual exploitation in Central Uganda
Nambusi Kyegombe, Rebecca Meiksin, Sylvia Namakula, Jessica Mulindwa, Richard Muhumuza, Joyce Wamoyi, Lori Heise, Ana Maria Buller
2020
BMC International Health and Human Rights
Sexual health of adolescent girls and young women in Central Uganda: exploring perceived coercive aspects of transactional sex
Nambusi Kyegombe, Rebecca Meiksin, Joyce Wamoyi, Lori Heise, Kirsten Stoebenau, Ana Maria Buller
2020
Sexual and reproductive health matters, DOI: 10.1080/26410397.2019.1700770
Community perceptions of transactional sex with children and adolescent girls, a qualitative study in favelas of Rio de Janeiro
Caroline Ferraz Ignacio, Danielle Araújo, Edmund Ruge, Linda Cerdeira, Liz Cosmelli, Victoria Page, Beniamino Cislaghi, Giovanna Lauro, Ana Maria Buller
2019
Global Public Health, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17441692.2019.1685559
Is transactional sex exploitative? A social norms perspective, with implications for interventions with adolescent girls and young women in Tanzania
Joyce Wamoyi, Lori Heise, Rebecca Meiksin, Nambusi Kyegombe, Daniel Nyato, Ana Maria Buller
2019
PloS one, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0214366
“Eat and you will be eaten”: a qualitative study exploring costs and benefits of age-disparate sexual relationships in Tanzania and Uganda: implications for girls’ sexual and reproductive health interventions
Joyce Wamoyi, Ana Maria Buller, Daniel Nyato, Nambusi Kyegombe, Rebecca Meiksin and Lori Heise
2018
Reproductive Health, DOI: 10.1186/s12978-018-0650-0
Aligning human rights and social norms for adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights
Dr Ana Maria Buller and Marie-Celine Schulte
2018
Reproductive Health Matters, DOI: 10.1080/09688080.2018.1542914
Briefs
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LINEA Meetings
LINEA Meetings
LINEA Meetings
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The LINEA meeting is an an opportunity to share practice and knowledge related to social norms and the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, and to network and identify opportunities for collaboration. LINEA meeting participants are made up of experts and new contributors to the field, including academics, practitioners and funders.

1st LINEA Meeting (2015)

The inaugural LINEA meeting was held the 30th of March  – 1st April, 2015 in Windsor, UK. Read the full meeting report here

2nd LINEA Meeting (2017)

The second LINEA meeting was entitled: ‘From Research to Social Change: Exploring Possibilities for Preventing Sexual Exploitation of Children Using a Social Norms Perspective’. The meeting was held on the 16th – 18th October, 2017 in Windsor, UK. Read the full meeting report here

3rd LINEA Meeting (2020)

The Third LINEA biennial meeting entitled: ‘Preventing the Sexual Exploitation of Young People Using Social Norms: Consolidating Practice and Knowledge, Looking Towards the Future’. The meeting was held virtually on the 12th – 14th October, 2020.

Materials from the Third LINEA biennial meeting are available below:

See below for links to the presentations and videos of panels where available.

Day 1 - Monday, 12th October

Welcome, opening remarks and ice breaker

(Ana Maria Buller, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

Panel 1: Consolidating practice and knowledge, looking towards the future

Moderator: Cari Jo Clark, Emory University

Consolidating practice and knowledge: Gender norms, history and change

(Caroline Harper, Overseas Development Institute)

Social norms, health lifestyles, technology use, and COVID-19

(Stefanie Mollborn, University of Colorado Boulder)

Out of the Shadows: Benchmarking country responses to child sexual abuse and exploitation – Identifying gaps and the road forward

(Katherine Stewart, The Economist Intelligence Unit)

Changing social norms to prevent violence against women and girls: What works and where do we go from here?

(Emily Esplen, Department for International Development)

LINEA Intervention design and feasibility testing

Overview of the development of the LINEA multi-component intervention to prevent age-disparate transactional sex in  Tanzania

(Ana Maria Buller, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

 

Developing the LINEA Curricula and Their Unique Features

(Lori Rolleri, Lori Rolleri Consulting & Piotr Pawlak, Independent Consultant)

LINEA Iterative Radio Drama Development

(John Riber, Media for Development International & Lottie Howard-Merrill, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

LINEA and Amani Girls Home: Co-creation

(Ana Maria Buller, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine & Revocatus Sono, Amani Girls Home & Veronicah Gimunta, Amani Girls Home)

Day 2 - Tuesday, 13th October

Panel 2: Innovative uses of mass media for social norms change

Moderator: Lottie Howard-Merrill, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Co-producing a podcast to change norms around IPV with Somali refugees in Ethiopia

(Vandana Sharma, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)

Evaluating DREAMS’s MTV Shuga through screening episodes in the community

(Natsayi Chimbindi, Africa Health Research Institute & Thembelihle Zuma, Africa Health Research Institute)

Tech4Families: Findings from family based listening groups for a radio drama changing norms around women’s use of technology in Nigeria

(Gemma Ferguson, Equal Access)

Translating reflective, transformative trainings for couples on gender norms into community radio programming, and plans for evaluation

(Novatus Urassa, UZIKWASA)

Panel 3: Developing quantitative tools to measure social norms

Moderator: Bryan Shaw, Georgetown University

Cognitive interviews with adolescents in England to develop survey items measuring social norms relating to sexual behaviour, dating and relationship violence and gender

(Rebecca Meiksin, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

Measuring social norms and attitudes about age-disparate transactional sex

(Nancy Perrin, Johns Hopkins University)

Development and Measurement Properties of the Intimate Partner Violence Help-Seeking Norms Scale

(Cari Jo Clark, Emory University)

Quantitative proxies for social norms: Interrogating clustering, reference groups, and validity

(Ilana Seff, Columbia University)

Panel 4: Peer influence and women and girls' sexual and reproductive health decision making

Moderator: Ana Maria Buller, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Peer acceptance, belonging and self-actualisation among young women – a participatory qualitative enquiry

(Meghna Ranganathan, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

Adolescent girls' aspirations and sexual decision-making in Tanzania

(Joyce Wamoyi, National Institute for Medical Research)

Social network analysis, contraceptive choices, and social influence among nomadic women in Kenya

(Leah Kenny, London School of Economics and Political Science)

Social normative and social network factors associated with adolescent birth: a cross-sectional study of 176 villages in rural Honduras

(Holly Shakya, UC San Diego)

Panel 5: Social norms measurement for practice and policy

Moderator: Gemma Ferguson, Equal Access

Learning from a review of practices in measuring social and gender norms change for Plan International

(Claire Hughes, Freelance consultant)

Social norms measurement: Learning collaborative landscaping activity & social norms measurement resource guide

(Bryan Shaw, Georgetown University)

Connecting girls’ agency and social norms’ change: Implications for Practice

(Sadhvi Kalra, CARE USA)

Day 3 - Wednesday, 14th October

Pecha Kucha presentations: Remote data collection methods during the COVID-19 pandemic

A real-time analysis of online viewer engagement with a COVID-19 TV Drama

(Venetia Baker, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

Measuring the impact of COVID-19 on social norms and child, early and forced marriage: Lessons learned for an RCT evaluation of the Tipping Point Initiative

(Sadhvi Kalra, CARE USA)

Remote data collection for GBV and other gendered dynamics of Covid-19 among youth in Nairobi, Kenya: Methods, ethics, and preliminary results

(Michele Decker, Johns Hopkins University)

Real time monitoring of COVID-19 impacts among adolescents and young people, their families, and communities in the Southern Highlands regions in Tanzania

(Tia Palermo, University at Buffalo & Lusajo Kajula, UNICEF)

Exploring the links and impact of COVID-19 and lockdown to gender-based violence, mental health and livelihoods amongst selected population groups in South Africa

(Pinky Mahlangu, South African Medical Research Council)

Life in lockdown: the new reality for Kenyan youth, in their own words, images and sounds

(Sarah Mulwa, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

Panel 6: Successes and challenges of interventions that tackle social norms and/or transactional sex

Moderator: Lori Heise, Johns Hopkins University

Prevention of intimate partner violence and diffusion of gender norms change at the community level in Nepal

(Cari Jo Clark, Emory University & Gemma Ferguson, Equal Access)

Understanding the impact of PEPFAR’s DREAMS partnership on transactional sex

(Isolde Birdthistle, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

Ujana Salama: A cash plus model for safe transitions to a healthy and productive adulthood: Findings on transactional sex

(Tia Palermo, University at Buffalo & Lusajo Kajula, UNICEF)

Learning from the Stepping Stones and Creating Futures Evaluation: Exploring the impact on intimate partner violence and transactional sex

(Andrew Gibbs, South African Medical Research Council)

Panel 7: Social norms and masculinities

Moderator: Ana Maria Buller,  London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Developing experimental vignettes to identify gender norms associated with transactional sex for adolescent girls and young women in Central Uganda

(Kirsten Stoebenau, University of Maryland)

Constructions of masculinities and transactional sex: a qualitative study from North-Western Tanzania

(Lottie Howard-Merrill, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

Changing masculinities: insights on sexual harassment from an evidence review

(Rachel Marcus, Overseas Development Institute)

Mixed methods formative research to develop a social norms scale in the context of transactional sex in favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

(Caroline Ignacio, Instituto Promundo)

 

The Learning Initiative on Norms, Exploitation and Abuse (LINEA) is led from the Gender Violence and Health Centre (GVHC) at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

To join the network, register here.

To watch LINEA webinars, visit the LINEA YouTube Channel.