On Friday, March 16, UCLA is hosting three CEGA-EASST scholars from East Africa. EASST invites East African researchers to apply for a 4-month fellowship at UC Berkeley to build skills in rigorous social science research and impact evaluation-these are the fellows who won this fellowship. Each scholar will present on the following topics from 12:00-1:30PM in Public Affairs building room 4240. Lunch will be served. They will be visiting all day so let us know if you would like to meet with any of them individually. Hope you can join us. Register Here
Samuel Muhula: Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Manager at Amref Health Africa, from Kenya
“Social Dynamics and HIV Treatment Retention: Can Non-monetary Incentives and Facility-Based Psychosocial Support Improve Patients’ Retention in the Early Stages of HIV Care?”
Suboptimal human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) treatment retention has profound impacts on morbidity and mortality among HIV positive participants. Monetary incentives and psychosocial support have been shown to be effective in various aspects of HIV control and may improve retention of participants in the early stages of HIV continuum of care. This two-armed randomized control trial evaluates the effectiveness of social dynamics involving non-monetary incentives and facility-based psychosocial support for HIV treatment on retention in the first six months of antiretroviral therapy (ART). The control group will receive standard care while the intervention group will receive standard care and the treatment which includes non-monetary incentives and participants enrolled into psychosocial support groups. The study will be implemented in Kibera informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya.
Danish Us Salam: Senior Research Associate at BRAC Uganda, from Pakistan
“Play & Learn – Using Intramural Sports to tackle Health and Educational Outcomes in Sierra Leone”
Political and economic pressures on education systems to improve standardized test scores have had the unintended consequence of reducing or eliminating physical education curricula and thus students’ opportunities for physical activity. Extensive scientific evidence demonstrates that regular physical activity promotes growth and development in youth and has multiple benefits for physical, mental and cognitive health whereas the lack of it can be detrimental to optimizing child health and development. I propose an experiment to test whether introducing a sport’s curriculum in under-resourced schools can drive health and educational outcomes among primary and secondary school students. More specifically, I’m interested in the impact of supervised sports participation and school-sport performance-linked cash benefits in curbing teacher absenteeism, teacher effort and improving student health and educational status across gender, class level and socio-economic status.
Patrick Okello: Research Fellow at BRAC Uganda, from Uganda
“The Unemployment Problem and the Informal Economy: Can Evaluative Conditioning increase Labor Market Engagement?”
Youth unemployment presents a major challenge in Uganda and is estimated to be as high as 64%. Only 30% of the labor force is engaged in the formal sector as it cannot absorb the large numbers entering the labor market annually. The informal sector, however, contributes considerably to the national GDP. There is anecdotical evidence that the reluctance to engage in the informal sector is attitudinal rather than structural, partly as a result of asymmetrical information flows between the informal sector and job seekers. Therefore, job seekers delay employment in expectation of a higher reservation wage attainable from a job in the formal sector. By exposing different groups to stimuli to reshape their negative opinions about self-employment, we query whether this could be a cost-effective way to promote labor force participation rates.