Policy & Advocacy

Current Projects

Managing Tough Times: Women Living in Economic Uncertainty

Contact Rosi Andrade (rosia@email.arizona.edu)

Managing Tough Times: Women Living in Economic Uncertainty is a collaboration between the Pima County/Tucson’s Women Commission and UA-SIROW. The study team held focus groups with low-income women and interviewed service agency personnel knowledgeable about women who struggle financially. Many challenges were voiced including finding employment, food insecurities, unstable housing, safe and affordable childcare, violence, and transportation issues. These and other challenges are discussed in the findings report “How Women Manage in Tough Economic Times: Coping with Hardship in Southern Arizona” along recommendations for addressing these issues at both the policy and practice levels. Ongoing advocacy is currently underway with elected officials and others to highlight the findings and promote action to address the issues illuminated in the report

To view the 2014 report (How Women Manage in Tough Economic Times: Coping with Hardship in Southern Arizona), click HERE.

Pima County Domestic Violence Multi-Disciplinary Collaboration

Contact: Claudia Powell, M.S.
Collaborators: EMERGE! Center for Domestic Violence

Through the Office on Violence against Women, the Pima County Attorney’s Office has secured a grant to implement a centralized, well-trained vertical prosecution unit for Domestic Violence to manage both misdemeanors and felonies. The unit will consist of five attorneys, five legal support staff, two detectives and two victim witness advocates. They will work in teams to collaboratively handle all domestic violence cases from arrest through post-sentencing supervision. SIROW's role on this project is to facilitate the groundwork (including multi-disciplinary team meetings) for a county wide safety audit that addresses the victim safety from the 911 call to parole hearings. Through this project, a Lethality Board will be formed to review domestic violence cases that have resulted in the death of the victim.

Campaign for Women in Immigration Detention Facilities in Arizona  (Click here for link to Border Research)
Contact:  Nina Rabin, JD

Completed Projects

Gender and Women's Studies: Women's Health and Sexualities, San Antonio TX 
Contact: Sally Stevens (sstevens@email.arizona.edu)

An Education and Training Conference” to be held in San Antonio, Texas, January 27-28, 2012. The main purpose of this education and training conference is to advance our understanding of women’s health and sexualities and to inform education, advocacy, service, and policy on and about women living in the southwest United States (US) and the US/Mexico border region.


Elfrida Area Needs Assessment
Contact: Rosi Andrade, PhD (rosia@email.arizona.edu)

Community Connections in the Sulpher Springs Valley is a project of the Elfrida Citizens Alliance (Jeanne Shaw) in partnership with SIROW (Sally Stevens and Rosi Andrade) to develop and facilitate a comprehensive needs assessment that would provide tools for stakeholders and community advocates to raise awareness of the problems and conditions of economic distress faced by residents of Sulpher Springs Valley.



Women, Commerce and Community in the Old Pueblo

Contact: Rosi Andrade (rosiandrade@email.arizona.edu)

The purpose of this project was to gather data that would be useful to a variety of public history initiatives that will result from the Rio Nuevo project being implemented by the City of Tucson and associated projects.  There is concern that the existing archives of information on women’s lives and contributions to Tucson’s community and commercial development do not provide adequate information for interpretive planning.  In an effort to insure that women’s achievements and contributions are not overlooked in this new development initiative, the Southwestern Foundation has funded SIROW to document and disseminate information on women’s roles in commerce and community development in downtown Tucson.  Much of this information was collected through taped interviews with women entrepreneurs, descendants of these women, and community members.  Dissemination activities included a traveling exhibit with copies of the exhibit, including interview transcripts, photographs, and research findings archived at the UA library as well as SIROW offices.  This project was funded by the Southwestern Foundation of Southern Arizona.



Infant Adoption and Awareness Training Program: Arizona and Nevada

Contact: Sally Stevens (sstevens@email.arizona.edu)

The Infant Adoption Awareness Training Program (IAATP) was a collaboration with Arizona's Children Association (AzCA), other statewide adoption providers, public and private non-profit health care providers, and the National Curriculum Training Institute.  IAATP project staff developed curriculum and implemented a statewide training plan to help achieve the legislative goals of Title XII: Adoption Awareness of the Children's Health Act of 2000.  In 2004, this project expanded to the state of Nevada.  IAATP included an evaluation, which is aligned to measure process and outcome objectives related to project goals including: 1) enhancing the awareness, knowledge, and skills of designated staff of eligible health centers in order to facilitate the delivery of adoption information and referrals on an equal basis with all other courses of action included in non-directive counseling, and 2) ensure the ability of women with unplanned pregnancies to make informed decisions regarding their pregnancies and receive appropriate referrals from their health care provider to assist in making those decisions.  Training sessions have been well attended, and very positively evaluated in terms of the content of the training sessions and usefulness of the content.  Additionally, the participants gained considerable knowledge as measured by pre and post-tests.  Funding was provided by the National Institutes of Health through a subcontract from AzCA.



Partners in Change Project

Contact: Sally Stevens (sstevens@email.arizona.edu)

The objective of the Partners in Change Project: Women Take Action Against Poverty was to 1) create space (via workshops) for women (in poverty) to express their individual experiences of living in poverty, 2) build capacity of participants as both self-advocates and community change agents and 3) work with women to develop recommendations on poverty reduction that will be presented to policy-makers and the general public.  The first workshops took place in Tucson with transitional housing and shelter residents at Primavera Foundation.  At the culmination of the training, the participants presented information and personal stories on living in poverty to members of the Tucson City Council.  We continue to look for further funding that will allow us to increase the number and geographic scope of the workshops.  This project was funded by the UA Foundation’s Independent Research Fund



Partners in Change Project – Women in Poverty

Contact: Corey Knox (cknox@email.arizona.edu)

SIROW, in partnership with the Primavera Foundation, was awarded a grant to create the Partners in Change-Women in Poverty Project.  The goal of the project was to provide women who are affected by policies and conditions that create poverty with support, tools and opportunity to participate in decision-making and public policy discussions that affect their own economic status.  Secondarily, but no less important, this project had the goal of providing our community and its leaders with new insights into poverty from the “experts”—women who are experiencing poverty on a daily basis.  This project developed and designed a five session curriculum, and conducted two workshops with a total 27 women who were homeless or living in transitional housing.  At the conclusion of the two training sessions, the women gave presentations at two city council ward offices.  The presentations, which were created by the participants, combined statistics, poetry, music, personal testimony, and concrete policy change suggestions, and were enthusiastically received by policy makers.  Project participants continue to be involved in community advocacy events and activities.  This project was funded by the UA Foundation’s Independent Research Fund.


Transborder Consortium Health Project

Contact: Sally Stevens (sstevens@email.arizona.edu)

The Transborder Consortium conducted an analysis of in-depth interviews with health experts from both sides of the Mexico-US border.  The analysis was centered on community health needs, challenges, and viable policy recommendations for gender-informed, regionally-appropriate policy recommendations regarding women’s health in the transborder region, revolving particularly around Arizona, U.S. and Sonora, Mexico.  Recommendations were shared in diverse ways with various audiences concerned with gender and health policy-- from academic researchers to health practitioners to policy makers at local, regional and national levels.  Preliminary findings around varying perceptions about the border region, and the ways those perceptions impact upon assessing needs and proposing changes in health policy, were presented to the Annual Information For Action Border Health Conference held in Tucson, October 27-28, 2005.  Later work further analyzed the interviews and laid the groundwork for a critical deconstruction of ideologies and their impacts on health and health care systems.  The Transborder Consortium presented a human rights framework as the best way to facilitate women’s health and reduce the inefficiencies of negotiating disparate systems and cross-cutting jurisdictions.  The Transborder Consortium was funded by the Ford Foundation.



Transborder Health Consortium: “Women’s Health on the Border” Website

Contact: Sally Stevens (sstevens@email.arizona.edu)

The Transborder Health Consortium has continued to maintain and add content and resources to its website, “Women’s Health on the Border”.  Through ongoing SIROW support, this bilingual website contains information on women’s health issues specific to women in the border region as well as links to local and regional health providers and informational health resources.  Specific health issues identified by health care workers in the region have been highlighted in a section of periodic issues entitled “¿Qué Me Cuentas. . . ? (What Can You Tell Me About. . . . . ?)”.  Two issues have been developed with a focus on cancer prevention and menopause, and environmental health for women.  The research on these issues was conducted with focus groups of older women in Arizona and Sonora, extensive literature reviews and consultation with medical and lay professionals and residents of the border region.  The information on the website relates to the direct experiences, cultural beliefs and practices, and health care access of women living in the border region.  The information on the website is easily printable for dissemination by health providers and outreach workers.



Development of a Cooperative Drug and Alcohol Treatment System for Youth: Strengthening Communities- Step Forward Project I

Contact: Sally Stevens (sstevens@email.arizona.edu)

Step Forward I’s goals were to establish an infrastructure for substance abuse services which provide a coordinated continuum of care to effectively intervene with substance abusing youth and their families throughout Pima County, Arizona.  The evaluation had two main components: a process and outcome evaluation.  Youth were assessed at baseline on a number of variables (e.g. criminality, substance use, mental health) and were followed after treatment every three months out to one year.  In addition, Step Forward I examined policy implications with regard to a system of care for adolescent substance abuse treatment.  Step Forward I was funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration - Center of Substance Abuse Treatment through a subcontract with CODAC Behavioral Health Services.



Mental Health Support for Guardians and Inter-generational Adoptive Families
Contact: Claudia Powell (claudiap@email.arizona.edu)
Project Final Report <pdf>



National AIDS Awareness Day:  Special Population Women and Girls

Contact: Sally Stevens (sstevens@email.arizona.edu)

SIROW was contracted to organize and host an event that increased AIDS awareness among women and girls.  This event took place at the EON Youth Center.  This project was funded by the Department of Health and Human Services – Office on Women’s Health.




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