Thursday, October 13, 2016

Social Norms: Back to the Basics

It seems there is renewed interest in the strategy called Social Norms.  Since we have received recent questions and since many grant funders are allowing this strategy to be implemented, I thought I would go back to writing about the basics.  We have been part of a team where we assisted over 60 schools and communities across 20 states and have learned valuable lessons.  From our experiences, we formulated a comprehensive training manual that has been useful in our trainings. 

What is Social Norms?
·       An evidence-based strategy, universally applied
·       Driven by relevant and current data
·       A way to shine the light on health
·       Strength-based approach
·       A way for students to become the “carriers of the social epidemic”
·       A positive way to engage students and community as agents of change
·       A student implemented-adult facilitated strategy
·       Re-energizing to staff and community
·       Showing positive outcomes
Our approach involves 5 comprehensive phases:
  1. Phase 1:  Planning and Training-this is where we organize and empower
  2. Phase 2:  Data Collection and Information Gathering-Assessment of target audience and target issue
  3. Phase 3: Plan Development-Vital behaviors and action steps
  4. Phase 4: Plan implementation-mobilize
  5. phase 5: Monitor, Review and Evaluate-Is anyone better off?

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