A growing number of complex public health interventions combine mass media with community-based “change agents” and/or mobilisation efforts acting at multiple levels. While impact evaluations are important, there is a paucity of research into the more nuanced roles intervention and social network factors may play in achieving intervention outcomes, making it difficult to understand how different aspects of the intervention worked (or did not). This study applied aspects of diffusion of innovations theory to explore how SASA!, a community mobilisation approach for preventing HIV and violence against women which was trialled in Kampala Uganda between 2007 and 2012, diffused within intervention communities and the factors that influenced the uptake of new ideas and behaviours around intimate partner relationships and violence.