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Visual News Associates / World Bank

Quantitative Measurement of Gendered Social Norms

This guide by ALIGN gives an overview of quantitative approaches to measuring gendered social norms. It draws from existing practices in the field, such as major household surveys, including the Demographic Health Survey, Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey and Living Standards and Measurement Survey, etc, and provides examples of how measurement of social norms is practically done. This guide covers the following topics:

  • A description of key measurable components of social norms—namely empirical expectations, normative expectations, sanctions, reference groups and individual attitudes and behaviours.
  • Using data on attitudes and behaviours to identify the presence of norms, even though they may be indicative rather than conclusive.
  • Gaining insights through data on perceptions, administrative data and Big Data.
  • The importance of using quantitative approaches to norms measurement alongside other diverse approaches to measure social norms.

As this field is still in early stages, this guide can be complemented with further experimentation that is needed to develop standards and methods, for validation, and to link measures of norms and outcomes.


Date published
  • 2019
  • Emma Samman
Published by Advancing Learning and Innovation on Gender Norms (ALIGN)