Everybody wants to belong: a practical guide to tackling and leveraging social norms in behaviour change programming

Author: Vincent Petit, Tamar Naomi Zalk Organisation: UNICEF Year: 2019

As explained in the Girls Not Brides Theory of Change, child marriage is caused by many factors which all interplay. For example, it is usually influenced by the beliefs that communities have about child marriage.

While many behaviour change programmes focus on individual beliefs, it is also important to understand the role of social influences on these beliefs. Social norms are informal rules of behaviour in a group. They are driven by beliefs we have about how other people think, behave, and what they expect of us. They define what is acceptable or appropriate, what is “normal”.

This guide provides many tips and tools to help practitioners design effective interventions that consider the influence that these norms may have on practices like child marriage. It is divided into four main parts:

  • What social norms are and how to recognise norms that might contribute to drive a certain behaviour in a community.
  • How to design programmes that can effectively address these normative behaviours.
  • How to implement and adapt programmes when necessary, and how to scale them up.
  • What are some examples of successful programmes and where to find more resources on this topic.

TAGS: Toolkit Mobilising families and communities Social norm change Communications & media Advocacy Data M&E Programme design Strategy & planning