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South Asia Social Norms
Learning Collaborative


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 behaviour 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 behaviours, there is also an emerging need to make the latest knowledge and evidence on social norms widely accessible and create a space for the 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. Organised in three focused Learning Communities (Theory, Measurement, and Scale-Up), 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. Over 300 members from more than 100 organisations work together to synthesise and share new evidence and learning on social norms, advancing the understanding of social norms interventions and their costs, scale-up considerations and evaluation practices. The collaboration has resulted in a cumulative journal supplement on social norms in the Journal of Adolescent Health and numerous resources and tools, which have been implemented in 30+ countries and 50+ interventions. Several capacity-building workshops have also been held to advance knowledge, skills and design of social norms interventions.

About - South Asia Social Norms Learning Collaborative (SA-SNLC)

The South Asia Social Norms Learning Collaborative (SA-SNLC) is a platform of institutions and individuals who are researchers, practitioners, and enthusiasts working in the domain of social norms. The Centre for Social and Behaviour Change (CSBC), Ashoka University, and Project Concern International (PCI), India, jointly hosts the Collaborative in South Asia. Our vision is to advance normative change by filling the existing knowledge gaps and help our members and affiliates strengthen and build capacity to improve social norms programming.


This SA-SNLC seeks to facilitate collaboration between organisations and individuals working to shift norms across all domains. Members of this Collaborative work collectively to build knowledge and tools to promote and guide effective social norm theory, measurement, and practice. As an initiative, 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.

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