20 Essential Resources on Social Norms and Family Planning

This collection of resources is for family planning program planners, designers, and implementers who want to understand and measure social norms and social norms shifting interventions and incorporate them into their work.

Social norms are the unwritten rules of behavior shared by members of a group. They can be protective or related to how social groups organize themselves, and can also be as complex and harmful as those norms that allow for violence against women. Social norms related to family planning behaviors—including those that discourage couples from discussing family planning, pressure young couples to prove their fertility soon after marriage, or frown on contraceptive use altogether—have a clear impact on health and well-being. Norms-shifting interventions have the potential to transform harmful norms into norms that support positive family planning outcomes.

This collection is made possible is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Knowledge SUCCESS Project. Knowledge SUCCESS is supported by USAID’s Bureau for Global Health, Office of Population and Reproductive Health and led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) in partnership with Amref Health Africa, The Busara Center for Behavioral Economics (Busara), and FHI 360.