Indian Health Information Networks: A Health Diffusion Field Experiment in Uttar Pradesh, India
This study examines changes in network structures approximately one year after a set of social accountability (SA) interventions were introduced in 120 villages across two districts by the State Government of Uttar Pradesh, India. The SA interventions aim to empower community members and facilitate community monitoring of public health care providers. This is done through 1) information provision and 2) facilitation of community meetings that focus on health, sanitation and nutrition at the village level.
As part of the main SA evaluation—which studies effects on key child health and nutrition outcomes—social network data was collected in each of the 80 intervention villages, prior to intervention implementation and then collected in the same villages post-intervention. An important potential consequence of the SA interventions is the effect they may have on individual networks as new social connections are created during intervention implementation. Furthermore, underlying health behavior might influence the formation of these connections and the network formation could, in turn, influence health outcomes.
The study covers analysis of the two waves of social network data to investigate how pre-existing network structures influence the health behavior and sharing of health-related information during the intervention period. The study also explores the relation between changes in network structures and improvements in health outcomes, and tests the hypothesis that villages with larger changes in network structures are more likely to experience improvements in health outcomes as a result of these interventions.