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

Julian C. Jamison, Dean Karlan, Pia Raffler

NBER Working Paper No. 19107
Issued in June 2013
NBER Program(s):   HE   LS

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.

download in pdf format
   (556 K)

email paper

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19107

Published: Mixed-Method Evaluation of a Passive mHealth Sexual Information Texting Service in Uganda Julian C. Jamison, Dean Karlan, Pia Raffler Vol 9, Issue 3 Fall 2013 > Jamison

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Chong, Gonzalez-Navarro, Karlan, and Valdivia w18776 Effectiveness and Spillovers of Online Sex Education: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Colombian Public Schools
Alan, Cemalcılar, Karlan, and Zinman w20956 Unshrouding Effects on Demand for a Costly Add-on: Evidence from Bank Overdrafts in Turkey
Meredith, Robinson, Walker, and Wydick w19312 Keeping the Doctor Away: Experimental Evidence on Investment in Preventative Health Products
Gertler and Vermeersch w19046 Using Performance Incentives to Improve Medical Care Productivity and Health Outcomes
Karlan and Zinman w19106 Long-Run Price Elasticities of Demand for Credit: Evidence from a Countrywide Field Experiment in Mexico
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us