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

Julian Jamison (), Dean Karlan () and Pia Raffler ()
Additional contact information
Julian Jamison: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, D.C.
Pia Raffler: Department of Political Science, Yale University

Working Papers from Economic Growth Center, Yale University

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.

Keywords: information technology for development; mhealth; ICT4D; sexual health (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D13 O12 O31 O33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 36 pages
Date: 2013-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr, nep-dev and nep-hea
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Working Paper: Mixed Method Evaluation of a Passive mHealth Sexual Information Testing Service in Uganda (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Mixed Method Evaluation of a Passive mHealth Sexual Information Texting Service in Uganda (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Mixed Method Evaluation of a Passive mHealth Sexual Information Texting Service in Uganda (2013) Downloads
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