Learning Collaborative Measurement Project Summaries
Project summary
17 February 2021


Author: Rebecca Justus
Published by: Social Norms Learning Collaborative

Organizations involved

University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); Center for Research on Environment Health & Population Activities (CREHPA)


For the SUMADHUR (“harmonious” in English) project, longitudinal survey data was collected every six months from 200 newly married women in rural Nepal for 18 months to understand the relationship between women's status, nutrition, and maternal and reproductive health. This data collection occurred from 2018 through 2019. Qualitative data was also collected from newly married women, husbands and mothers-in-laws about norms around household eating patterns, the role of newly married women, and household dynamics. The goal of the study was to inform a household-level intervention, which will be piloted post-study.

Social norms of interest

Gender norms; norms around household eating patterns; norms around delaying the first birth/contraception

Behaviors of interest

Women's access to nutrition; care-seeking in pregnancy; newly married women's status

Project components

Qualitative data collection; longitudinal survey; intervention development and testing

Social norms measurement

Initial in-depth interviews (IDI) were conducted with intact triads of newly married women, their husbands, and mothers-in-law. Two hundred newly married women were observed every six months over the course of 18 months, with data collected using surveys. An intervention was developed which will be piloted post-study and for which baseline and endline surveys and IDIs will be conducted.

Key findings to date

  • Newly married women, their husbands, and their mothers-in-law were interested in delaying the first birth;
  • Newly married women ate last and ate less high-quality food as compared to what they ate in their natal home;
  • Violence increased throughout the early days of marriage.

Attribution statement

Diamond-Smith, N., Shieh, J., Puri, M., and Weiser, S. (2020). Food insecurity and low access to high-quality food for preconception women in Nepal: The importance of household relationships. Public Health Nutrition, 23(15), 2737-2745. 

Diamond-Smith, N., Plaza, N., Puri, M., Dahal, M., Weiser, S. D., and Harper, C. C. (2020). Perceived Conflicting Desires to Delay the First Birth: A Household-Level Exploration in Nepal. International perspectives on sexual and reproductive health, 46, 125–133.

Diamond-Smith, N., Puri, M., Weiser, S., and Neuhaus, J. (2020) The Impact of Changes In Women's Status on Eating Patterns Among Newly Married Women In Nepal, Current Developments in Nutrition, Volume 4, Issue Supplement_2: 973.

Diamond-Smith, N., Dahal, M., Puri, M. and Weiser, S. (2020) Semi-arranged marriages and dowry ambivalence: Tensions in the changing landscape of marriage formation in South Asia, Culture, Health & Sexuality, 22:9, 971-986.


Back to the "Map of social norms-focused interventions and research"