Social norms are those informal rules that govern our belief system and define how to behave in accordance with what a group of people or society has defined as good, right, necessary or acceptable. Social norms are mostly unspoken and unwritten and often seen as constraining behavior to meet the generally agreed and believed expectations. The impact of harmful social norms, such as expectations related to gender-based violence, childbearing, and women’s economic engagement, has received increasing attention over the last decade. As more programs seek to foster norms that support healthy behaviors, there is also an emerging need to make the latest knowledge and evidence on social norms widely accessible and create a space for researchers and practitioners to share and produce knowledge.
The Learning Collaborative to Advance Normative Change is an initiative for identifying, sharing and discussing norms-shifting interventions focused on improving adolescent sexual and reproductive health and well-being. Comprised of over 400 members in 4 regions across the globe, the Learning Collaborative contributes to building consensus on program, evaluation, and scale-up approaches for norms-shifting interventions. Launched in 2016 with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and support from USAID through the Passages Project, the Learning Collaborative catalysed a global network of researchers, practitioners and donors to advance social norms theory, measurement and practice.
About South Asia Learning Collaborative
The South Asia Learning Collaborative (SALC) is a consortium that aims to build a network of researchers, implementers, donors and others interested in working on social norms in Asia. Project Concern International (PCI), India and Centre for Social Behavior Change (CSBC), Ashoka University have collaborated to host the Secretariat of the pioneering collaborative. The vision of this initiative is to create a Learning Collaborative to advance normative change in South Asia and allow its members and affiliates to strengthen and build capacity to improve social development programming.
The initiative has four objectives:
This Learning Collaborative seeks to facilitate collaboration between organisations and individuals working to shift norms in the domains of Health, Nutrition, WASH, and Gender. Members of this Collaborative will work collectively to build knowledge and tools to promote and guide effective social norm theory, measurement, and practice. As a program, the Collaborative is also expected to foster opportunities to advance understanding of social norms – what are those, how to measure them, how
those norms influence behaviour and how to scale up normative interventions that show promise.