Professor Wilke Awarded McDonnell Academy Seed Grant

Congratulations to Professor Anna Wilke for being awarded a McDonnell Academy seed grant for her research titled, "How does girls' empowerment affect boys? Two field experiments on cross-gender spillover effects of public health campaigns"!

Policymakers spend millions of dollars on behavior change campaigns to address public health issues in developing countries. While research suggests such campaigns can be effective, little is known about their potential to generate spillover effects outside the campaigns’ direct audience. This research team conducts two randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to assess the impact of a multi-media social marketing program on attitudes and behaviors related to tobacco usage, HIV prevalence, gender empowerment and financial decision-making among teenagers in Kenya and Nigeria. They study the effects of this campaign on teenage girls who are directly exposed to it and on their social networks. With this seed grant support, they will assess cross-gender spillovers from this campaign, which targets girls, on teenage boys in the same school. Doing so will shed light on whether the effects of female-focused public health campaigns can diffuse across genders and how such effects are conditioned by gender norms. 

See the full list of recipients at