Applying Theory to Practice: CARE’s Journey Piloting Social Norms Measures for Gender Programming

December 2017

This paper focuses on describing the measurement approach and tools CARE has been piloting to develop a deeper understanding of social norms. While advancements in gender equality have been made globally in the past two decades, there are still pockets lacking progress and more intractable aspects of women’s rights that lag in progress. CARE has found that there are persistent gender inequitable behaviours that are not changing despite working on attitudes and providing information, and where good policies are in place.

CARE sought out to test whether a deeper understanding of social norms could shed new light on what is holding certain behaviours in place, and lead to more effective strategies for transforming gender norms and behaviours that seem stuck. This paper focuses on CARE’s journey to understand social norm theory from academia, and apply it in development practice.

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