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My work broadly investigates the drivers of population health improvements in developing countries. I study how economic, political, and natural environments affect population health. I use a mix of experimental, econometric, qualitative, modeling, and demographic tools to produce insights and strategies for improving health. A sample of current projects address the following questions:•What role does US foreign aid play in reducing mortality and improving equity in developing countries? •What forms of engagement in health improvements - social marketing, public health interventions, or community empowerment, for example - work, and which do not? •What effect do malaria control programs have on child mortality? •What combination of prevention strategies are most cost-effective for Africa’s HIV epidemic?•What is the evidence that foreign aid for health is good diplomacy? •Which populations are most vulnerable to the effects of climate conditions on the availability of food?
My research interests involve understanding the relationship between policies and health outcomes in developing countries. I explore how decisions about foreign assistance for health are made, and how those decisions affect health and health delivery systems in recipient countries. I further explore issues of resource allocation in low and middle-income countries through disease modeling and cost-effectiveness analyses.
COVID-19 Messaging for Vaccination
This study will distribute videos of health professionals encouraging Covid-19 vaccination to
a large sample of Facebook users, and will test the most effective ways to maximize diffusion
of this vaccine-related content to increase vaccination rates. The study sample will be U.S.
states where vaccination rates remained low in fall 2021. The experimental design is an RCT
with 4 groups, randomized at the county level: 1) a control group which receives no
intervention, 2) a treatment group in which Facebook users receive ads which include videos
of health professionals telling them to get vaccinated, 3) a treatment group in which
Facebook users receive ads which include videos of health professionals encouraging them to
help their friends to get vaccinated, and 4) a treatment group in which Facebook users
receive ads which include videos of health professionals encouraging them to get their most
influential friends to help their friends get vaccinated. In treatments 3 and 4, participants
will have the option to sign up to be a "vaccine ambassador," in which case they will get
notifications when the study team posts new vaccine-related content, and will receive
reminders about encouraging their friends to be vaccinated. The vaccine ambassadors will also
be entered into a lottery to win prizes. The study team is building a website to host the
videos of health professionals which answer common questions about Covid-19 vaccination. The
investigators will measure engagement with the vaccine-related content as well as assess
effects on vaccination rates at the county level.
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