Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2272746
 


 



Mixed Method Evaluation of a Passive mHealth Sexual Information Texting Service in Uganda


Julian Jamison


Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - Research Department

Dean S. Karlan


Yale University; Innovations for Poverty Action; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Pia Raffler


Yale University - Department of Political Science

May 1, 2013

Yale University Economic Growth Center Discussion Paper No. 1025
Yale Economics Department Working Paper No. 116

Abstract:     
We evaluate the impact of a health information intervention implemented through mobile phones, using a clustered randomized control trial augmented by qualitative interviews. The intervention aimed to improve sexual health knowledge and shift individuals towards safer sexual behavior by providing reliable information about sexual health. The novel technology designed by Google and Grameen Technology Center provided automated searches of an advice database on topics requested by users via SMS. It was offered by MTN Uganda at no cost to users. Quantitative survey results allow us to reject the hypothesis that improving access to information would increase knowledge and shift behavior to less risky sexual activities. In fact, we find that the service led to an increase in promiscuity, and no shift in perception of norms. Qualitative focus groups discussions support the findings of the quantitative survey results. We conclude by discussing a potential mechanism explaining the counterintuitive findings.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 36

Keywords: information technology for development, mhealth, ICT4D, sexual health

JEL Classification: D13, O12, O31, O33

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Date posted: June 1, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Jamison, Julian and Karlan, Dean S. and Raffler, Pia, Mixed Method Evaluation of a Passive mHealth Sexual Information Texting Service in Uganda (May 1, 2013). Yale University Economic Growth Center Discussion Paper No. 1025; Yale Economics Department Working Paper No. 116. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2272746

Contact Information

Julian Jamison
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - Research Department ( email )
United States
Dean S. Karlan (Contact Author)
Yale University ( email )
Box 208269
New Haven, CT 06520-8269
United States
Innovations for Poverty Action ( email )
New Haven, CT
United States
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab ( email )
E60-246
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Pia Raffler
Yale University - Department of Political Science ( email )
115 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06520-8269
United States
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