Around the Institute

Social Networks & Community Health

April 4, 2014

Understanding Social Connections

With support from CARE and Plan International, the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University set out to study the role of social networks in the dissemination of information about family planning in two villages in Mali. Using rich survey data, they generated colorful social network maps representing the strength of connections among village residents. What do these maps reveal? How information travels from one person to another and what factors influence this process (like gender and family ties). This quantitative method can inform how NGOs introduce health messages in communities—and help evaluators think about how to assess such strategies.   

So Many Things, So Little Time

We give a shout out to our friends (and DC neighbors) at Innovation Network for all the awesome things they do. In their March newsletter, the Point K Update, they list a dizzying array of activities, from the February publication of their coalition assessment paper to some recent data viz presentations. FYI, folks: Veena Pankaj and Ann Emery will be offering a webinar on April 24th on “evaluation essentials for nonprofits.” Check out a preview of their presentation here

Play Ball!

What do baseball fans and policy advocates have in common? Passionate support, even in the face of disappointment. A desire to convince others that their passion is misplaced. And now, superficial social media analysis. OK—as a New York Mets fan, APEP jefe David Devlin-Foltz is disappointed to see that not even Queens County, NY, home of his beloved but bedraggled Mets, contains a plurality of Mets fans. But he prefers to consider Facebook “likes” a poor measure of fan support. And Mets fandom an excellent measure of character.