10 January 2022

Social norms are the informal, primarily unwritten, rules that define acceptable, appropriate, and obligatory actions in a given group or society. Over the past decade, the influence of undesirable social norms such as those connected to gender-based violence, childbearing, and women's economic engagement has received more attention. As more programmes strive to promote norms that support healthy behaviours, there is an opportunity to expand our understanding of social norms: what they are, how to measure them, how they influence behaviour, and how to scale up promising norm-shifting interventions.

Social norms programming has expanded to South Asia. Made up of incredibly diverse countries, South Asia is quickly heading towards economic development. Significant philanthropic funding from the Global North is being invested in norm-shifting programming in the region as well. Consequently, the present moment is a crucial juncture to analyse the state and record of social norms programming. To that end, this report details some of the efforts in South Asia to improve WASH, health, nutrition, and gender through the lens of social norms programming.