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Title The Effects of Media Messages on Social Attitudes in Uganda Phase II
Post date 10/16/2016
C1 Background and Explanation of Rationale

The objective of this study is to estimate the impact of short video vignettes on the attitudes of viewers and those in their local community. Specifically, the project evaluates the impact of dramatized messages on attitudes towards three issues: stigma against women who have had abortions, domestic violence against women, and teacher absenteeism. Three short videos for each issue were produced and screened in rural Uganda, where these issues are prominent social concerns. The video vignettes were inserted in commercial breaks during films that were presented free of charge during a six-week film festival between July 30 and September 4, 2016. Our experimental sample contains 112 village clusters that were assigned to seven different treatment arms: 3 pairs of messages, 3 single-message treatments, and one pure control. Outcomes will be measured on the individual level through a household survey of 40 adults and approximately 20 teenagers in each village cluster. Additionally, we interview members of the Village Health Teams (VHTs).

C2 What are the hypotheses to be tested?

The overarching hypothesis is that viewers will become sensitized to the norms dramatized in the video vignettes and diffuse them throughout the community. Since all of our videos focus on norms related to the need to take action to help a victim or solve a problem, we strongly expect to see effects on conative attitudes, i.e. on the respondents’ stated proclivity to choose actions that are in line with the norms modeled in our videos. Our analysis will focus on four important subgroups: The first group may be called Compliers – those who would attend a film festival regardless of the video messages embedded in its commercial breaks. A second subgroup comprises Indirect Compliers: those who did not attend the film(s) themselves but report that family or friends attended. The third group consists of Apprised Never-Takers who report that they knew about the film(s) but did not attend any screenings and also do not report that friends and family attended. Finally, the Never-Takers are those who, according to their endline survey reports, neither attended or knew about the screenings nor have direct family or friendship ties to those who attended. We hypothesize that treatment effects become steadily weaker as we move from Compliers to Indirect Compliers to Apprised Never-Takers to Never-Takers. Finally, we also test for intra-household spillovers from teenagers to parents and vice versa. Please see the attached pre-analysis plan for more details.

C3 How will these hypotheses be tested? *

Outcomes will be measured using a large number of individual survey questions concerning abortion, domestic violence, and teacher absenteeism to be administered to villagers and VHTs during our endline survey. Outcomes pertaining to one of the three topics will be modeled as a function of a treatment indicator for whether the village cluster was assigned to messages on this topic. Models will also include block indicators, a resample indicator, the average number of people attending the six screenings in a given trading center and other covariates on the right-hand side. We will use lasso regression to select the covariates most predictive of the outcome in each specification. For most analyses with binary and for all analyses with continuous dependent variables, we estimate treatment effects using least squares regression with clustered standard errors. For some analyses with ordinal dependent variables, we will use an ordered probit model to estimate effects. Please see the attached pre-analysis plan for more details.

C4 Country Uganda
C5 Scale (# of Units) 40*112 = 4480 adult respondents, 20*112 = 2240 teenage respondents, 5 * 112 = 560 VHTs
C6 Was a power analysis conducted prior to data collection? Yes
C7 Has this research received Insitutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee approval? Yes
C8 IRB Number IRB-AAAP6500
C9 Date of IRB Approval 09/28/2016
C10 Will the intervention be implemented by the researcher or a third party? Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)
C11 Did any of the research team receive remuneration from the implementing agency for taking part in this research? No
C12 If relevant, is there an advance agreement with the implementation group that all results can be published? Yes
C13 JEL Classification(s) not provided by authors