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Portfolio of Projects

Invest in Knowledge's team has been involved in a large number of major research projects, including in some of the leading work on the social determinants of behavior change, market research for the financial sector and the behavioral factors of HIV transmission in Sub-Saharan Africa countries. Some examples of the research projects and impact evaluations that Invest in Knowledge has conducted in partnership with national and international organizations as well as academic institutions include:

  • University of Michigan | Department of Afroamerican and African Studies. 1998 - present

    Malawian Journals Project

    Click here to listen to This American Life's radio program on the Malawian Journals Project (Originally aired 08.26.2011). From This American Life: In Malawi, in southeast Africa, not gossiping can be worse than gossiping. Sarah interviews a young Malawian woman named Hazel Namandingo, who explains that because so many people have HIV and AIDS in Malawi, they often rely on gossip to figure out who's safe to date or marry. It turns out this kind of gossip is the basis for a huge research project about AIDS in Malawi. For 10 years, a sociologist named Susan Watkins has been collecting journals filled with gossip about AIDS. Watkins hired local people to write the journals—to just listen to what people were saying in their communities about the virus, and then write it down. What Watkins learned from reading them bucked much of the conventional wisdom about how rural Africans were dealing with the epidemic. (Plus, they're really entertaining.)

    Click HERE to download 897 journals available for public use.

  • Population Council | funded by National Institutes of Health. 2010 - present

    Education and HIV Risk Among Young People in a High HIV Prevalence Country

  • University of Pennsylvania | Population Studies Center. 2008 - present

    Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health. The MLSFH is a longitudinal study that investigates individuals, couples and families in rural Malawi affected by HIV/AIDS, how they respond to the increased HIV/AIDS infection risks in terms of social interactions, sexual relations and marriage, and how they cope with the consequences of increased AIDS-related morbidity and mortality. Invest in Knowledge manages the household panel survey data collection and processing for more than 4,000 individuals in the districts of Balaka, Mchinji and Rumphi.

  • University of Pennsylvania | Population Studies Center. 2011 - present

    Mental Health and Aging in a High HIV Prevalence Sub-Saharan Context. Mental health, psychiatric disorders and cognitive function among elderly individuals are not routinely screened for in resource-constraint settings such as Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and their prevalence, severity, age trajectories and correlates are poorly documented on the population level. To overcome this limitation, this project investigates the mental health and cognitive function of elderly people in a high-risk high HIV prevalence SSA context. The project builds upon our unique longitudinal data collection from rural Malawi that presently spans more than 12 years of data living in one of world’s poorest environments.

  • Concern Worldwide | funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 2011 - 2013

    Innovations for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health: ICT to Improve Health Services for Mothers and Children. Evaluation of a SMS health service booking service and 24-hour toll-free hotline for pregnant women seeking health information and advice from a trained operator.

  • RAND Corporation | funded by the National Institutes of Health. 2011 - 2013

    Frequent Door-to-Door Couple’s HIV Testing and Counseling. This study provides repeated HIV testing and counselling sessions to sero-discordant couples in Zomba district. We will will evaluate the success of the repeated HIV testing and counselling programs by analyzing data on sero-conversions and self-reported sexual behavior in the studied population.

  • Soul City | funded by UK Department For International Development (DFID). 2011 - 2013

    External Evaluation of the Southern African Regional
    Social and Behaviour Change Communication Programme,
    as Implemented in Malawi. This project aims to reduce HIV infection and related morbidity in Southern Africa - especially among women, children and other vulnerable groups - through increasing health awareness and facilitating social and behaviour change. This is done by harnessing the power of media and strengthening community and organizational capacity with a focus on the related areas of sexual and reproductive health, HIV prevention, and treatment literacy. Download evaluation report here.

  • International Food and Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). 2011

    Followup Survey of Community Based Rural Land Development Project

  • The World Bank | Africa Development Impact Evaluation Initiative. 2011

    Impact Evaluation of Apprenticeship Training Program and Entrepreneurial Support for Vulnerable Youth in Malawi. The program provides vulnerable youth new marketable skills and follow up support for entrepreneurship in order to enhance their employability and earning potential, thus reducing high risk behavior that increases vulnerability to HIV infection. The target population is youth 15-24 years old including orphans and out-of-school youth.

  • Penn State University | Population Research Institute. 2009 - 2012

    Tsogolo la Thanzi: Young Adults' Strategies for Navigating Reproduction in an AIDS Epidemic. Tsogolo la Thanzi’s objective is to cultivate better understandings of the reproductive goals and behaviors of young adults in Balaka district and the role of the AIDS epidemic in shaping these. Invest in Knowledge is managing panel survey data collection from more than 2,000 women and their sexual partners over the course of five years

  • University of Colorado Denver | Health and Behavioral Sciences. 2009 - 2012

    Tsogolo la Thanzi: Young Adults' Strategies for Navigating Reproduction in an AIDS Epidemic

  • University of Colorado Boulder | Institute for Behavioral Genetics. 2011 - 2012

    Tsogolo la Thanzi: Young Adults' Strategies for Navigating Reproduction in an AIDS Epidemic

  • University of Pennsylvania | Population Studies Center. 2008 - 2011

    Likoma Network Study (LNS), a collaboration of Invest in Knowledge with the University of Pennsylvania and the College of Medicine of the University of Malawi. The LNS is the first complete study of sexual networks in Sub-Saharan Africa and has highlighted previously unknown structures and characteristics of networks that affect HIV spread. Invest in Knowledge led data collection and the management of relational databases for this complex study conducted in a hard-to-reach locality.

  • FinMark Trust. 2011 - 2012

    Mapping the Retail Payment Landscape in Malawi and Mozambique.

  • Government of Malawi. 2009 - 2010

    Impact Evaluation of Land Reform: Community Based Rural Land Development Project

  • The World Bank | Independent Evaluation Group. 2009 - 2010

    Using Impact Evaluation to Identify What Works to Improve Agricultural Productivity. Invest in Knowledge managed the qualitative data collection, analysis and report writing for an evaluation of Malawi’s Community Based Rural Land Development Project. Invest in Knowledge also organized and cleaned previously collected household survey data and collected additional data from households, to develop a panel dataset that could be used to analyze changes in agricultural productivity and income among more than 1,000 households.