General Aims

The Kenya Diffusion and Ideational Change Project (KDICP) is now complete, it was led by Susan Watkins and Jere Behrman. The KDICP was also formally affiliated with the African Population and Health Research Center in Nairobi, Kenya.

The overall aim of the project was to examine the role of social networks in changing attitudes and behavior regarding family size, family planning, and HIV/AIDS in Kenya. The project focused on two key empirical questions: the roles of social interactions in (1) the acceptance (or rejection) of modern contraceptive methods and of smaller ideal family size; and (2) the diffusion of knowledge of AIDS symptoms and transmission mechanisms and the evaluation of acceptable strategies of protection against AIDS.

Underlying these goals was the notion that informal social interaction may be an important mechanism influencing attitudes and behavior. The premise was that informal social interaction was likely to work either directly (for example when individuals exchange and evaluate stories of their own experiences, or the experiences of people they know or they have heard about) or indirectly (by exchanging and evaluating the information disseminated by institutional sources such as family planning/health programs and the media). Thus, aside from their theoretical significance, these social interaction effects appear to be important for program design and sustainability. We think of these two projects, then, as a step toward understanding and measuring social interaction effects on behavior.

Research teams associated with the KDICP have visited the field on four occasions between 1994 and 2000. Preliminary qualitative work, including semi-structured interviewing, focus groups, and questionnaire pre-testing, was conducted during the summer of 1994. A first survey wave followed in the winter 1994-5. Second and third survey waves followed in the winter of 1996-7 and in early 2000. At the moment, there are no plans to revisit the sites.

Data Availability

All survey data collected by the Kenya Diffusion and Ideational Change Project are available for download free of charge.

Three types of survey data are available for public use. These include:

  • cross-sectional, individual-level data for men and women;
  • cross-sectional, couple data for husbands and wives;
  • longitudinal, individual-level data for men and women;
  • longitudinal, couple data for husband and wives.

Qualitative data collected by the Kenya Diffusion and Ideational Change Projects and fieldnotes are also available for download.


KDICP-1 was funded through a grant to Naomi Rutenberg and Susan Watkins from the U.S. Agency for International Development under the EVALUATION Project, Contract No. DPE-3060-C-00-1054-00; and by a dissertation grant to Steven Green from the Population Council and AVSC International. KDICP-1 was sdone in collaboration with Charles Onoka, Allan Ferguson of GTZ/Ministry of Health, and David Wilkinson of Innovative Communication Systems. KDICP-2 and KCICP-3 were funded by grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to Susan Watkins and Eliya Zulu; KIDCP-3 also received funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), grant # R01-HD37276, to Susan Watkins and Jere R. Behrman.