Manual on Social Norms and Change (2022)

Number of pages: 406

Publication date: 22 Jul 2022

Publisher: UNFPA, UNICEF

The Manual on Social Norms and Change is a revision of the initial version developed and published by UNFPA and UNICEF in 2016. It aims to contribute to create conceptual clarity and present programmatic interventions needed to address and facilitate a social norms change with focus on the elimination of female genital mutilation.

The manual provides practical examples and theoretical concepts for understanding processes related to attitudinal and collective behavioural change and contains the following five key modules to be covered in a five-day workshop: Dynamic of Social Norms: Female Genital Mutilation, From Gender Inequality to Shared Positive Social Norms, Effective Legislative Reforms in Situations Calling for Social Change, Seven Common Patterns and Transformative Elements for Change and Putting It All Together.

Dynamics of a Social Norm:
Female Genital Mutilation

The focus is to explain the different concepts as relates to social norms. These include social norms, different types of collective behaviors and the reasons that drive them, independent and interdependent behaviors, social expectations, people that influence our actions and others.


From Gender Inequality to Shared Positive Social Norms

This video describes how the gender norms influence the roles assigned to men and women in society and also limits opportunities for women. It underlines the fact that gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and fair world.


Legislation as a Tool for Behavioral and Social Change

This video points out the fact that in every society there are norms defining how its members should behave and these are the rules that hold human groups together. It mainly discusses the three different types of norms that regulate our behavior in the social world: social, moral, and legal norms. 


Collective Consensus and Harmful Norms Shift: Transformative Elements for Change

This video highlights how every social context has its own specific set of norms and expectations about the acceptable way to behave and discusses the common principles leading to processes of social change in any situation.

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