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Learning Collaborative: Social Norms Background Reader

Social norms – the often unspoken rules that govern behavior – shape the trajectories of young people’s lives. The impact on young people of harmful social norms, such as expectations related to gender-based violence, early marriage and early parenthood, is receiving increasing attention and programmatic efforts are underway to shift these norms. These efforts present an opportunity to advance collective knowledge of social norms; what they are, how to measure them, how they influence behavior, and how to scale-up normative interventions that show promise. To date, the social norm literature is fragmented, lacks theoretical clarity and validated measures, and has poorly documented the scale-up process and system changes of social norm interventions that have been taken to scale.

Developed for the Learning Collaborative’s Convening Meeting in December 2016, this reader contains three sections, providing a broad overview of social norm theory, measurement, and scale-up and costing. Each section provides information on what we know, identifies gaps in our knowledge, and poses questions that we believe should be considered to move the field forward.


passages project, LC, convening meeting. Advancing Research and Practice on Normative Change for Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Well-being, social norm theory, measurement, scale-up, scale up, scaleup, costing

Resource Snapshot

Publisher IRH, FHI 360

Year 2016

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