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World Bank

Tipping Point Social Norms Innovations Series: Amra-o-Korchi, Bangladesh

This brief outlines CARE’s experience with implementing ‘Amra-o-Korchi’ in Bangladesh. This was one of a series of ‘Tipping Point’ programme innovations that CARE piloted to identify ways to drive social norms change and transform the root causes of child, early and forced marriage (CEFM).  

CARE launched the ‘Amra-o-Korchi’ (‘We are also doing’  in Bangla) campaign in the Sunamganj district of Bangladesh. This supported men and boys to take up tasks that are not typical for their gender via public competitions. The campaign intentionally chose this name to highlight positive practices already happening, in which different male members of a family are contributing to household and caregiving tasks usually done by girls and women.

Through the campaign, men and boys engaged in public competitions around cooking, stitching and laundry. These small competitions culminated in a large public event – pairing men and boys’ cooking skills in competition – which was co-sponsored by a local spice company. Following the competition segment of the event, organisers facilitated a public discussion on gender roles in the kitchen. This was an opportunity to dialogue openly about people’s perceptions of household work and men’s responsibilities. It also encouraged more equal involvement of family members across all genders in taking up tasks to make homes function.

Using CARE’s Social Norms Analysis Plot (SNAP) framework, this briefs looks at the reaction of community members to this campaign and whether and how it could contribute to social norm change.

Design Principles for Social Norms Programming

To guide and inform its work, Tipping Point distilled 8 design principles for engaging with social norms change, drawing from academic and gray literature on the topic. These include: 

  • Find early adopters: Often, people are already living their lives in positive ways that support girls’ choices and opportunities. Find them. 
  • Build support groups of early adopters: It can be hard to embody positive, rights-based change alone. Groups help individuals support, encourage and trouble-shoot. 
  • Use future-oriented positive messages: Help people imagine positive alternatives. Change is possible. 
  • Open space for dialogue: Get people talking to each other about new ideas. Challenge the implicit assumptions that everyone holds the same views, experiences and preferences. 
  • Facilitate public debate: Engage publicly with community members to debate on what is OK in this context. 
  • Expect by-stander action: Move from envisioning possibilities of justice to action. This involves building community and accountability, so that people show up for girls’ rights in their words and actions. 
  • Show examples of positive behaviour in public: Demonstrate that the positive shift we hope for already exists. And it is totally normal. 
  • Map allies and ask for their support: Identify the resources and networks we need to support positive change for individuals, families and communities. 
Date published
  • 2017
Published by CARE
Population
Key quote "Normative expectations are what we think others expect us to do. This is informed by the types of behaviours and individuals we see being sanctioned positively (celebrated or rewarded) versus those that are sanctioned negatively (publicly denounced, ostracised, or punished). "