Shaon Lahiri, PhD, MPH

Shaon Lahiri, PhD, MPH

Philosophy, Politics & Economics Postdoctoral Researcher

University of Pennsylvania


I am a social and behavioral scientist in the field of public health. I study social processes across a number of behaviors that impact health, such as modern contraception use, intimate partner violence, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis use, and tobacco consumption. My focus area is on the measurement, conceptualization, and influence of social norms across a variety of behavioral contexts. In particular, I am interested in the dynamics of social norms change, and how such changes manifest in multiple socioecological levels across diverse sociopolitical structures and institutions.

I focus on bridging behavior change theory with a range of rigorous quantitative statistical approaches. Methodologically, I am most interested in latent variable methods for longitudinal data (traditional SEMs and latent growth models), Bayesian regression (especially using informative priors), factor analysis, and meta-analysis.

Download my CV.

  • Social Norms and Behavior
  • Reducing Health Disparities
  • Implementation & Design of Global Health Interventions
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Social & Behavioral Sciences in Public Health, 2022

    George Washington University

  • Master of Public Health (Global Health Stream), 2014

    Imperial College London

  • Certificate in Developing Health Systems, 2014

    WHO Collaborating Center at Imperial College London

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, 2012

    University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Work Experience

Philosophy, Politics & Economics Postdoctoral Researcher
Jul 2022 – Present Philadelphia, PA, USA
Graduate Teaching Assistant/Adjunct Lecturer
Sep 2018 – Apr 2022 Washington, DC, USA

Responsibilities include:

  • Developing course content such as activities, tests, quizzes, etc.
  • Leading discussions and teaching activities
  • Grading, meeting with students, teaching SPSS
Short-Term Consultant
May 2020 – Jul 2020 Washington, DC, USA

Responsibilities include:

  • Survey design and data analysis for internet survey on social norms around household behaviors and COVID-19 impacts conducted in Jordan, Tunisia, and Morocco.
  • Preparation of working paper on social norms measurement and analysis approaches.
Summer Research Assistant
May 2019 – Jul 2019 Washington, DC, USA

Responsibilities include:

  • Social & Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) Landscape review with colleagues from UNICEF, John Hopkins University, and New York University.
  • Screening and data extraction of international SBCC interventions.
Short-Term Consultant
May 2019 – Jul 2019 Washington, DC, USA

Responsibilities include:

  • Statistical analysis of social norms data from projects in Jordan, Kurdistan, and Republic of Georgia.
  • Estimation of treatment effects from intervention to reduce fertility bias in Republic of Georgia.
  • Sole-authoring working paper on social norms measurement and analysis approaches.
Research Associate
Feb 2016 – Jul 2018 New Delhi, India

Responsibilities include:

  • Program management for $3 million WASH program funded by the Gates Foundation comprising 9 formative evaluations, 4 impact evaluations, and 1 measurement study.
  • Grant writing for multiple evidence generation programs.
  • Authoring two systematic reviews.
Project Assistant
Sep 2014 – Sep 2015 Muscat, Oman

Responsibilities include:

  • Project assistance and knowledge management for development of a national strategy on social development.
  • Supporting development of partnerships with private sector on behalf of line ministries.
  • Administrative support for implementation of program activities in health, education, and social development.
Psychiatric Intern
Feb 2013 – Apr 2013 Muscat, Oman

Responsibilities include:

  • Administrative support to resident psychiatrist during individual client sessions.
  • Manuscript review for mental health projects in the Middle East.
  • Co-authoring publication on complimentary and alternative treatment for epilepsy in Oman.
Research Assistant
Sep 2010 – May 2012 Washington, DC

Responsibilities include:

  • Data entry and cleaning for longitudinal project on alcohol dependent individuals.
  • Literature reviews related to alcohol addiction trajectories.
  • Research assistance for qualitative study on the use of positive psychology in treatment manuals for alcohol dependence.




Data wrangling & management, statistical analysis (frequentist and Bayesian), data visualization, manuscript preparation


Data wrangling & management, statistical analysis, data visualization


Data wrangling & management, statistical analysis


Latent growth modeling (Bayesian and Frequentist)


Qualitative coding and analysis, basic visualization


Reference management


Systematic review screening and quality assessment


Preparation of manuscripts using Latex


Version control/Website Preparation/Creating Timelines



Evidence synthesis

Systematic review, meta-analysis, quality assessment

Statistical analysis

General linear model, mixed effects modeling, Bayesian regression, latent variable modeling, factor analysis, treatment effect estimation, sample size calculation

Survey design

Selection of appropriate measures, development of appropriate measures, split half design, psychometric assessment

Qualitative research

Case studies, use of qualitative research in impact evaluation, thematic coding, in-depth interviews


Teaching undergraduate and Master’s students (See Teaching Section) and curriculum development

Research Transparency and Reproducibility

Pre-registration, teaching concepts related to reproducibility and replication, Protocol paper and pre-analysis plan authorship, tranparent coding practices


Lahiri, S., Bingenheimer, J., & Costenbader, E. (2022). Social and Gender Norms Influencing Sexual and Reproductive Health: Conceptual Approaches, Intervention Strategies, and Evidence. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Global Public Health.

Lahiri, S., Bingenheimer, J.B., Evans, W.D., Wang, Y., Dubey, P., & Snowden, B (2021). Social Norms Change and Tobacco Use: A Protocol for a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Interventions. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health , 18(22), 12186.

Sedlander, E., Bingenheimer, J. B., Lahiri, S., Thiongo, M., Gichangi, P., Munar, W., & Rimal, R. N. (2021). Does the Belief That Contraceptive Use Causes Infertility Actually Affect Use? Findings from a Social Network Study in Kenya. Studies in Family Planning.

Lahiri, S., Snowden, B., Gu, J., Krishnan, N., Yellin, H., & Ndiaye, K. (2021). Multidisciplinary Team Processes Parallel Natural Disaster Preparedness and Response: A Qualitative Case Study. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction.

Jimenez, E., Waddington, H., Goel, N., Prost, A., Pullin, A., White, H., Lahiri, S., & Narain, A. (2018). Mixing and matching: Using qualitative methods to improve quantitative impact evaluations (IEs) and systematic reviews (SRs) of development outcomes. Journal of Development Effectiveness, 10(4), 400–421.

Lahiri, S. & Menon, R. (2018). Toilets are being constructed at a remarkable pace, but it’s not a Prem Katha [Love Story] yet for all sections of the population. Op-Ed in the Times of India .

Lahiri, S., Yegbemey, R. N., Goel, N., Mathew, L., & Puri, J. (2017). Promoting Latrine Use in Rural India. 3ie Scoping Paper 8. New Delhi: International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie).‑01/sp8‑latrine‑use‑india.pdf.

Lahiri, S., Van Ommeren, M., & Roberts, B. (2017). The influence of humanitarian crises on social functioning among civilians in low-and middle-income countries: A systematic review. Global Public Health, 12(12), 1461–1478.

Lahiri, S., & Puri, J. (2016). The Art and Science of Winning the Poo War. Business World. Available here.

Al Asmi, A., Al Maniri, A., Al-Farsi, Y.M., Burke, D.T., Al Asfoor, F.M., Al Busaidi, I., Al Breiki, M.H., Lahiri, S., Braidy, N., Essa, M.M. & Al-Adawi, S. (2013). Types and Sociodemographic Correlates of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Use among People with Epilepsy in Oman. Epilepsy & Behavior, 29(2), pp.361-366.

Works in Progress

Manuscripts under review or in preparation

Snowden, B., Lahiri, S., Dutton, R., & Morton, L. Achieving and Sustaining Change Through Capacity Building Train-the-Trainer Health Initiatives in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review. Under review at the The Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions.
This study systematically reviews the evidence for sustainable and effective training approaches for global health intervention cadres.

Lahiri, S., Bingenheimer, J., Sedlander, E., Munar, W., & Rimal, R. The Role of Social Norms on Adolescent Family Planning in Rural Kilifi County, Kenya. Under review at PLOS ONE.
Using sociocentric social network data, this study estimates the social influence of important others on individual modern contraceptive use among adolescents in rural Kenya.

Lahiri, S. , Hull, S., Scott, R., & Sinks, H. Leveraging Small Samples Using a Bayesian Approach in Communications Studies. In preparation .
This study demonstrates the utility of Bayesian regression for small samples using data from a study on determinants of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) self-efficacy among a sample of Black women attending a clinic in Washington DC.

Levtov, R., Doyle, K., Bingenheimer, J., Lahiri, S., Kazimbaya, S., Karamage, E., Sayinzoga, F., et al. Improved relationship quality, equitable gender attitudes, and reduced alcohol abuse as key mechanisms to reduce intimate partner violence in the Bandebereho couples’ intervention in Rwanda. Under review at Prevention Science .
Using data from a longitudinal field trial, this study investigates the treatment effects from an intimate partner violence prevention intervention among couples in Rwanda using stuctural equation modeling.

Lahiri, S. & Munoz-Boudet, A. M. Social Norms Measurement and Analysis: Some Approaches and Applications. In preparation for submission to World Bank Working Paper Series.
Overview of interdisciplinary social norms measurement and analytical approaches in Stata using social norms data from World Bank projects in Jordan, Morocco, and Kurdistan.

Lahiri, S. Dissertation Paper 1: A Latent Growth Modeling Analysis of Social Norms and Tobacco Use among Adult Smokers in Mainland China. In preparation.
Modeling change as a latent process, this study seeks to understand what the relationship between social norms and tobacco use change change is, over time, and what predicts the variation between individuals in this relationship. Several latent growth models are fit to answer research questions.

Lahiri, S. Dissertation Paper 2: Social Norms Change and Tobacco Use: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Interventions. In preparation.
Focusing on the underlying mechanisms of social norms change interventions, this study systematically reviews the experimental and quasi-experimental intervention literature in which social norms interventions (broadly defined) are used to change tobacco use. A random-effects meta-analysis of effect sizes will be constructed.

Grants & Awards

Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences Catalyst Grant for Advancing Transparent, Reproducible, and Ethical Research. (2021). For the project: “Research Transparency and Reproducibility: A Complementary Module for All.” This set of training materials will be made available on the Open Science Framework by May 31, 2022.

The Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology 2020 SMEP Underrepresented Student Workshop Travel Award. (2020).

Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) acceptance to Research Transparency and Reproducibility Training. (2020). Tuition Waver and Acceptance to Training.

William & Flora Hewlett Foundation grant for the West Africa Capacity building and Impact Evaluation program. (2017). Recipient: International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie). Co-author of grant. $940,000.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (grant: OPP1148651) for “Promoting Latrine Use in Rural India” program. (2016). Recipient: International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie). Co-author of grant. $3,044,397.

Imperial College London Prize for Best Dissertation among MPH Cohort. (2014).

Teaching Experience

Time periods indicate semesters

Practical Data Management and Analysis for Public Health (Master’s) . Adjunct Lecturer. Practical approaches to managing data, General Linear Model concepts, SPSS data analysis and interpretation.

  1. Fall 2021 (Online)
  2. Spring 2022 (Online)

Social & Behavioral Approaches to Health (Master’s) . Teaching Assistant. Overview and application of health behavior theories and program planning concepts.

  1. Spring 2019 (In-Person)
  2. Spring 2020 (Hybrid)
  3. Spring 2021 (Online)
  4. Fall 2021 (In-Person)
  5. Spring 2022 (In-Person)

Social & Behavioral Science Research Methods (Master’s) . Teaching assistant. General linear modeling concepts, applications in SPSS, data analysis, and basic survey design.

  1. Fall 2018 (In-Person)
  2. Fall 2019 (In-Person)
  3. Fall 2020 (Online)

Public Health Marketing (Master’s) . Teaching Assistant. Overview of public health communication and marketing approaches.

  1. Fall 2019 (In-Person)

Fundamentals of Public Health Program Evaluation (Master’s) . Teaching Assistant. Overview of experimental and quasi-experimental approaches to program evaluation in public health.

  1. Spring 2020 (Hybrid)

Writing in the Discipline of Public Health (Undergraduate) . Teaching Assistant. Broad overview of public health program concepts with emphasis on grant writing.

  1. Spring 2019 (In-Person)