Social norms are a hot topic in development. While it seems intuitive that social norms can play a key role in influencing people’s behavior (in both negative and positive ways), the jury is still out on the best way for programs to address norms. We do know that in order to provide evidence on the power of norms change to improve behavior, we need effective ways to measure and monitor norms.
In 2017, as part of the USAID-funded Passages Project, we set out to systematically assess what empirical evidence exists around the relationship between social norms and use of modern family planning methods. You can read the results of our literature review in a new report published in Studies in Family Planning. In this blog post, we detail the methodology of our review and then provide recommendations for bringing greater consistency and comparability to social norm measures.