What is Positive Deviance?

Positive Deviance is based on the observation that in every community there are certain individuals or groups whose uncommon behaviors and strategies enable them to find better solutions to problems than their peers, while having access to the same resources and facing similar or worse challenges.

The Positive Deviance approach is an asset-based, problem-solving, and community-driven approach that enables the community to discover these successful behaviors and strategies and develop a plan of action to promote their adoption by all concerned.


Celebrating 25 years of Positive Deviance, join us for the International Positive Deviance Conference: Past, Present and Future. Taking place in Copenhagen from November 1st-3rd, implementers, policy-makers, leaders, facilitators from all around the world will gather to share, network, and get inspired.

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Check out this Positive Deviance Voices blog that was created by students participating in the PDV project which is aimed at improving educational outcomes for young men in The Bronx. The blog features the Positive Deviant behaviors, photos, and videos of their work.

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Multimedia Center


Click the thumbnails below to view videos about Positive Deviance. See more videos in our Multimedia Center