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Social Norms Change - Iron Consumption Increased 315%

Tue, 10/25/2022 - 05:25
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Strategy researched

An intervention to improve descriptive, injunctive, and collective norms featuring educational modules, videos, and feedback on haemoglobin testing

Impact achieved

315% increase in self-reported iron and folic acid consumption in the intervention arm.

Country of study


Research methodology

Cluster RCT


Bulletin of the World Health Organization; 2021

Journal paper title and link

Self-reported iron and folic acid consumption in the intervention arm increased 315%

Excerpt from Abstract

"At follow-up, mean scores in self-reported iron and folic acid consumption in the control arm had decreased from 0.39 to 0.31 (21% decrease; not significant). In the intervention arm, mean scores increased from 0.39 to 1.62 (315% increase; P < 0.001). The difference between the two arms was statistically significant (P < 0.001). Each of the three norms also improved at significantly higher rates in the intervention than in the control arm (P < 0.001 for each norm). Changes in descriptive and collective norms (but not injunctive norms) were associated with changes in self-reported iron and folic acid consumption (P < 0.001 for both norms) ... Our results show that social norms can be improved and that these improvements are associated with positive behavioural changes. A social norms-based approach may help promote iron and folic acid consumption in India."

Summary at this link



An important consideration by donors and implementers is if the SBC interventions can be effectively scaled to achieve or reproduce similar results. Therefore, more detail on the degree of resource intensity would provide a better understanding of the potential of the approaches to achieve change at a population level.

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The impact data presented meets the following high standard for inclusion criteria:

  • Positive change or trend in a priority development issue;
  • Social change or behaviour change strategy or process;
  • Randomized Control Trial or Systematic Review methodology;
  • High quality peer review journal published;
  • Numeric impact data point
  • Published since 2010.