Another Piece of the Puzzle: Locating Values and Social Norms within Context

In this post, Cori Simmons talks about values: one aspect of cultural context that is often overlooked, but is important for understanding social norms and behavior change. Being clear about what values are and how they relate to other factors that drive behavior is important for understanding cultural context and, therefore, designing more appropriate, effective anti-corruption programs.

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What You Must Know to Differentiate Norms from What’s Normal

Getting past the ‘all things that are normal are norms’ is critical to accurately diagnosing the social norms that do drive a corrupt pattern of behavior (e.g. bribery, sextortion), which in turn is necessary to devise effective strategies. This post offers up four ‘lessons’ to remember when differentiating between what is normal and social norm driven behavior.

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Three Reasons Why Actors Working in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States Must Stop Ignoring Social Norms

By Diana Chigas and Cheyanne Scharbatke-Church. Those of us who work to stop abuse of power – in the form of corruption, criminal activity, violence, state capture, etc. – are increasingly recognizing that social norms are key to achieving sustainable behavior change. We assert that in fragile and conflict-affected states (FCAS) social norms — the mutual expectations about what is typical and appropriate for members of a group — are even more important. Given their critical role in driving behavioral choices, programming that ignores social norms can have serious negative consequences.

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Anti-Corruption Programs — Know Your Crowd!

Social norms exist within a group. They represent mutual expectations, not just common beliefs, within the group about what is the right way to behave in a particular situation. And it is the approval, disapproval or other social sanction from the members of the group that helps ensure compliance with the norm. Therefore, understanding the group — who is in and who is out — matters for programming.

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How Might Gender Roles Affect Whether You Engage in, or Hold Back from, Corruption?

In this post Kiely Barnard-Webster explains two key takeaways for practitioners from our recent field visit to the DRC: (1) If an anti-corruption program threatens a gender group’s privileged status, this must be taken into account in the program design or it will undermine effectiveness. (2) If anti-corruption strategies don’t account for the different ways in which gender groups engage in corruption these strategies may not work.

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