This brief reflects findings and insights from a desk review of literature on social connection and health outcomes among boys and men. The strategies and programs described here can be integrated and adapted for global programs across technical sectors (e.g., agriculture, education, family planning [FP] and sexual and reproductive health and rights [SRHR], maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health [MNCAH], and nutrition). Notably, most literature presented in this brief reflects programs implemented in high-income countries (HICs). 

More investment and scale-up is needed in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where there are fewer established programs. This brief is an invitation to advance thinking and action at the intersection of social connection and health outcomes among boys and men, address evidence gaps in linkages between social connection and gender equality outcomes, and further disseminate and adapt strategies and programs across diverse LMIC contexts. It is imperative that global programs accompany boys and men in strengthening their relationship and social skills and building healthy, supportive friendships for improved health outcomes throughout their lives

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Suggested Citation:
Shattuck, D., Wilkins, D., Davis, K., McLarnon, C., Pulerwitz, J., Betron, M., Waiswa, P., Gottert, A., and Mwaikambo, L. on behalf of the Male Engagement Task Force (METF), USAID Interagency Gender Working Group (IGWG). (2024). Building Bridges: Promising Strategies to Improve the Health of Boys and Men by Promoting Social Connection and Support. Washington, D.C.: Interagency Gender Working Group.