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World Bank

Social Norms and AYSRH: Building a Bridge from Theory to Programme Design

This document provides guidance to support programmers to implement norms-shifting approaches, specifically to improve adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health. It unpacks theory and concepts central to social norms change, and as well as provide practical examples from some programmes. Overall, it provides guidance on:

  • What are social norms, why they matter, and what are the key elements of social norms.
  • How other drivers, including social constructs such as political systems, economies, and power structures affect behaviour.
  • Eight identified features of social norms, and examples that show how some programmes have used the features.
  • A few behaviour change theories that are useful to the design of social norms-shifting programmes.
  • How to develop a theory of change for a norms-shifting intervention.
  • Possible implementation challenges and guidance on designing programmes to prevent those challenges.
Date published
  • 2019
Published by Learning Collaborative to Advance Normative Change/Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University
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