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Fact Sheet | December 16, 2022

Improving Development Outcomes by Strengthening Couples

A SMART Approach to Couples Strengthening

In 2008, CRS implemented the SMART Couples project (Strengthening Marriages And Relationships Through Communication and Planning.) CRS’ signature couples strengthening approach is the SMART Couples program (Strengthening Marriages AND Relationships Through Communication and Planning). The program coaches cohabitating couples on better ways to communicate and adopt joint decision-making behaviors related to agriculture, WASH, nutrition, maternal and child health, natural family planning, and household economics. Results show that SMART Couples who successfully adopt new behaviors and communication techniques are better able to plan effectively and advance the well-being of their family.

Since its inception, the approach has been implemented in over 17 countries in Africa, reached more than 250,000 beneficiaries and generated promising evidence of its effectiveness in strengthening household governance and intra-household decision-making.

This brief gives an overview of the approach, evidence of its effectiveness and a listing of all available relevant documents and curricula.