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CJL Convenes Collaborative Learning Discussion on Monitoring of Social Norms Change for Anti-Corruption

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5 Oct 2021

How should the M&E officer in this scenario monitor shifts in social norms?

CJL recently hosted a collaborative learning discussion to exchange experience and insights on monitoring of social norms change for anti-corruption programs. This discussion brought together a group of anti-corruption, M&E and social norms experts from anti-corruption NGOs, bi-lateral donors and academia.

Social norms have risen significantly in profile amongst those working on accountability, integrity and corruption related issues in the past several years. With more and more organizations seeking to integrate social norm change elements into their programming, the need to develop suitable means to assess if these elements are effective or not have become all the more important. With very little guidance available on monitoring of social norms change for anti-corruption programming, this gathering facilitated an initial exchange of experiences and practice from experts in the field.

For the purpose of this discussion, CJL prepared a brief fictional scenario as the basis for the discussion on monitoring of social norms change in a specific scenario. The group was challenged with the following prompt:

“How should the M&E officer in this scenario monitor shifts in social norms?”

Facilitated by CJL’s co-directors along with a specific scenario at hand, this event opened up space for experts to reflect on some of their past experiences with M&E of social norms but also assessing the practicality and feasibility of some of the suggestions that came through for an organization with limited resources. Some of the key elements that were discussed at length were: a) consideration of programmatic theory of change while developing the monitoring framework; b) accurate identification of reference groups; c) routine monitoring of perceptions of the reference groups; d) tracking changes in expectations of rewards and punishment for following a social norm; e) monitoring initial shifts in social norms.

At CJL, we remain convinced of the value in encouraging exchanges over nascent but growing areas of anti-corruption practice. Keep an eye out for future Collaborative Learning Discussions over the next several months on related topics, and subscribe to our Blog to keep up to date on our work.

Check out CJL’s latest publication titled ‘Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed & Something Blue: A Review of Social Norms Change Monitoring & Evaluation for the Anti-Corruption’. This paper offers evaluators and in-house M&E specialists a review of existing social norms change assessment practices filtered through the lens of utility to anti-corruption programming.

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