Doctoral project: Social network analysis


Social network analysis: To reach the most vulnerable in HIV prevention

The INSTRUCT trial in Botswana aimed to prevent HIV but reaching the young women that are at risk was challenging. We carried out a survey and held discussion groups to understand who marginalized young women turn to for support. The goal was to understand how to reach these young women with information about government support programs that could help them find employment or return to education. Based on survey responses we created network maps that showed how young women were connected to each other, and we described the types of people in their support networks. We found that young women in rural areas were better connected to each others than those in urban areas. We also found that these young women usually went to other women, to others with a similar level of education, and to other women with children if they themselves had children. In discussion groups, participants made many suggestions including creating committees of young women. They emphasized the need to create new connections between communities and government service providers, to strengthen existing communities connections to ensure local spread of information, and to diversify dissemination strategies to acknowledge the diversity of marginalized young women in these communities.

Status: Completed

Student: David Loutfi

Degree: PhD McGill

Partner: CIET Trust Botswana