Empty country road with one person at far distance

Network science improving health in Honduras

Posted on September 28, 2017

People are connected, and so their health is connected. Our embeddedness in social networks can therefore be used to influence behavior at a population scale. With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Institute on Aging, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Templeton Foundation, and the TATA group, and in partnership with the Ministry of Health in Honduras and the Inter-American Development Bank, we conducted a large-scale field trial of network targeting, involving 24,000 people in 176 villages. We evaluated methods that can accelerate the spread of health behaviors across social connections, showing that this was feasible in a landmark RCT published in 2024. In these videos (one short and one long), we discuss our driving motivations, our research design, and our goals for the project, at its outset.