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Advocacy against Female Genital Cutting in Egypt

Sector: Vulnerable Groups

Date Range: 1998-Current

Location(s): Cairo, Egypt

Organization: CEDPA (Center for Development and Population Activities), COST (Coptic Organization for Services and Training), Caritas in Minya, Community Development Agency (CDA), Monshaat Nasser in Beni Suef governorate, Center for Women's Legal Assistance (CEWLA)

"Show me a decent woman who is not circumcised, then I will believe what you say," a mother told her daughter who was pleading for her younger sister not to be circumcised.

In 1998, CEDPA and its local NGO partners began a project using the PD Approach to advocate against female genital cutting (FGC, also known as female circumcision or female genital mutilation, FGM) in Egypt. The project has endured the test of time and is currently funded by UNICEF and implemented by local NGO's under the leadership of the government National Council of Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM). The project is called the 'Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation.'

The project resulted in a breaking of the 'law of silence' surrounding this taboo subject. PD has proven an exceptionally powerful tool in turning a near-universally perceived 'intractable problem' into one whose solution exists in every village waiting to be uncovered and amplified. The PD approach has been integrated into a national program.

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Project Spotlight


PD Hearth Project in Indonesia


Sector: Nutrition

Location(s): Indonesia

Organization: USAID

From 2003 – 2008, USAID funded five international NGOs, (CARE, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Mercy Corps (MC), Save the Children US (SC), and World Vision International (WVI)), to implement Positive Deviance in Indonesia as part of food security programs. Together, the five NGOs reached 9,997 children across the country. Of this number, 59.6% gained 200g between admission into the program (Day 1) and graduation from the program (Day 10). Of 4,847 participants who were weighed again at the end of the month, 45% had gained the recommended 400g. Results differed slightly (but not significantly) between implementers; however, they differed dramatically between different communities.

For the full report, click here.