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Information and Learning Diffusion Through Social Networks

Kenya

Lack of information poses a severe threat to basic rights access in the developing world. Peers and networks play a crucial role in diffusing information, including about new technologies. In order to increase diffusion of new technologies and reduce information gaps, this project maps social networks to understand how they can be used. It does so with an innovative and cost-effective methodology using cell phones. Taking place in Nairobi, Kenya, the project introduces useful information to a randomly selected population via text message and maps the corresponding diffusion network. The study then tests whether individuals use their social networks to spread such information by randomizing the sample, then surveying individuals’ knowledge of health education. Results forthcoming.

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