The Men Care Campaign
A global fatherhood campaign to promote men’s involvement as fathers and caregivers, with the twin goals of increasing gender equality between parents and reducing violence in families.
Type of intervention
Classroom setting, public education
Target groups, level of prevention and subgroups
- Additional Resource | Classroom setting, public education | English, Russian, Hindi, Spanish
The father's groups are targeted at expectant or new fathers (and mothers). The community mobilisation element is focused on healthcare professionals and local government staff, especially social services staff. The policy advocacy element is focused on government departments.
MenCare is a global fatherhood campaign which is coordinated by Instituto Promundo, Sonke Gender Justice Network and the Men Engage Alliance. Different non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are involved in different parts of the world.
Mode and context of delivery
MenCare is a global fatherhood campaign to promote men's involvement as fathers and caregivers, with the twin goals of increasing gender equality between parents and reducing violence in families. The Campaign provides support materials, messages, policy recommendations and research to encourage local NGOs, governments and UN partners to implement campaign activities in their area. ‘Program P’ is a manual for engaging men in fatherhood and the prevention of all forms of violence against women and children, which can be downloaded from the website www.men-care.org. It includes guidance for healthcare professionals as well as detailed guidance on running workshops for new and expectant fathers (and mothers). Direct interventions with men, for example through the ‘Program P’ father's groups, take place in a context of advocacy for improvements in the policy environment.
Level/nature of staff expertise required
No specific professional expertise or background is required in order to run the ‘Program P’ workshops, however facilitation skills are vital.
Intensity/extent of engagement with target group(s)
‘Program P’, which is one element of The MenCare Campaign, consists of 11 theme based sessions of two hours for groups of between 5-15 participants. Research indicates the most effective 'dose' is when ‘Program P’ is delivered over 10-16 weeks, although 2-6 sessions have been shown to change attitudes.
Description of intervention
MenCare is a global fatherhood campaign to promote men's involvement as fathers and caregivers, with the twin goals of increasing gender equality between parents and reducing violence in families. Promoting fatherhood is seen as integral to the prevention of violence against women and children, including through the inter-generational transmission of violence, which is known to be a factor is child sexual abuse. The Campaign provides support materials, messages, videos, policy recommendations and research to encourage local NGOs, governments and UN partners to implement campaign activities in their area.
One element of the broad and wide-reaching campaign is ‘Program P’, which is described in a manual that can be downloaded free of charge from www.men-care.org. The ‘Program P’ manual has three main sections:
- Guidance for health professionals on engaging men as fathers and caregivers
- Detailed instructions for running fatherhood workshops
- Community mobilisation
The main focus is the workshops, although The MenCare Campaign has a clear philosophy of change which places these activities within wider community activism and policy change.
The fatherhood workshops can be run for expectant and new fathers on their own or in mixed groups (pros and cons of each approach are outlined). 11 themes are covered and the ones most directly relevant to preventing sexual abuse are session eight on ‘non-violence’ and session nine on ‘needs and rights of children’. Each session is intended to last around two hours.
MenCare programmes are being adapted and run around the world. For locations see www.men-care.org.
Currently there are no published evaluations of the programmes available, although detailed guidance is provided in the ‘Program P’ manual on evaluating outcomes. Barker et al. 2007 (see references below) have reviewed evidence from different programme interventions and provide evidence on the number of sessions required to make an impact on attitudes.
Barker, G. (Ed.). (2003). Men’s Participation as Fathers in the Latin American and Caribbean Region: A Critical Literature Review with Policy Considerations. Washington, DC: The World Bank.
Barker, G., Ricardo, C. and Nascimento, M. (2007). Engaging Men and Boys in Changing Gender- based Inequity in Health: Evidence from Programme Interventions. Geneva: World Health Organization.
Promundo, CulturaSalud, and REDMAS (2013). Program P – A Manual for Engaging Men in Father-Hood, Caregiving, Maternal and Child Health. Promundo: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Washington, D.C. USA. Also available for download from www.men-care.org