Experiences and learning on methods to measure gendered social norms in program evaluation

Session Number: 1731
Track: Feminist Issues in Evaluation
Session Type: Panel
Tags: adolescents, behavior change, gender equality, social norms, Youth
Session Chair: Leigh Stefanik [Senior Gender Advisor - CARE USA]
Discussant: Bryan Charles Shaw [Senior Research Manager - Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University]
Presenter 1: Leigh Stefanik [Senior Gender Advisor - CARE USA]
Presenter 2: Elizabeth Brezovich [Senior MEL Advisor, Tipping Point, CARE USA ]
Presenter 3: Elizabeth Rowley, DrPH [Gender & Gender-Based Violence Researcher - PATH]
Time: Nov 10, 2017 (01:45 PM - 03:15 PM)
Room: Delaware A

Abstract 1 Title: Using qualitative vignettes and surveys to measure social norms: reflections from the Abdiboru project baseline in Ethiopia
Presentation Abstract 1:

Since 2014, CARE has been piloting new tools for applying social norms theory to measurement of gender and social change processes in resource constrained settings. In Ethiopia, this pilot built on and culminated from CARE’s work on social transformation and gender equality dating back to 2007. The presentation will share experience and lessons from identifying and measuring three social norms in a project baseline, featuring the use of CARE’s innovative Social Norms Analysis Plot (SNAP), a new framework developed to measure if and how norms are changing, qualitative vignettes, and new survey questions. Learning and findings will be drawn from the baseline of CARE Ethiopia’s Abdiboru project, which focuses on improving early adolescent girls’ sexual reproductive health, nutrition, and education, and delaying early marriage.


Presentation 1 Other Authors: Alem Agazi, Yemane Berhane
Abstract 2 Title: Can Story-Telling Capture Social Norms Change? Using Sensemaker® in a Mixed Method Evaluation in Nepal and Bangladesh
Presentation Abstract 2:

CARE’s Tipping Point project focuses on adolescent girl empowerment and social norms change to address the underlying causes of child marriage. With a commitment to feminist and empowering MEL approach, Tipping Point piloted the use of Sensemaker® as part of a mixed-method evaluation involving Photovoice, FGDs with participatory tools, and key informant interviews. This presentation will share how hundreds of girls, boys, fathers and mothers told and then analyzed their personal stories based upon a signification framework. This provided an innovative experience to assess social norms and norms change by using real stories about what happens to adolescent girls in the programming communities, and drawing upon respondents’ own analyses of the factors affecting the story outcomes. The tool development process, sensemaking of the data by project teams, and triangulation of results with the other methods will also be discussed.

Abstract 3 Title: Evaluating change in gender attitudes and social norms: a comparison of measures
Presentation Abstract 3:

From 2012 -2016, PATH undertook an evaluation of the Tostan Community Empowerment program in Goudiry, Senegal, using a modified interrupted time series design to measure changes in intimate partner violence (IPV), gender norms, and outcomes related to women’s empowerment. During this time, discussions about the best way to measure gender social norms have remained robust.  We present similarities and differences between survey questions that tap into individual beliefs and attitudes through the Gender Equitable Men (GEM) scale, as compared to community-level norm questions.  We discuss why the two measures may point to the same conclusions in some cases and not others, why changes over time in the same domain may differ if an attitude question vs. a norm question is used, and the relevance of using scale scores to compare changes.  Observations from these two approaches will be of interest to others evaluating change at individual and community levels.

Theme: Learning to Enhance Evaluation
Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

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. Addressing social norms may be the key piece in transforming some of these “stickier” behaviors – especially those that are kept in place by gender norms. In this session you will hear from the experiences of two organizations that have experimented with creative ways to measure gendered social norms in the evaluation of international development programs – PATH (discussing a recent evaluation of the Tostan Community Empowerment Program) and CARE. You will learn about the practical application of new methods to measure social norms and also have an opportunity to discuss and debate what is a nascent but fast growing area of inquiry within the monitoring and evaluation discourse.