Karra Conducts Jaunpur Social Networks Study

Karra and the JSNS research team at the community health center in Dobhi, Jaunpur (UP) for a workshop with the ASHA/ANM workers and other local health professionals for a learning and dissemination workshop. Credit: S Anukriti.

Mahesh Karra, Assistant Professor of Global Development Policy at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, has been working alongside Boston University students in India on a project entitled “Networks and Global Health: Experimental Evidence of Women’s Social Networks, Reproductive Health, and Well-Being in Developing Countries.”

The project, also known as the Jaunpur Social Networks Study (JSNS), has seen the research team involved in several research dissemination activities including a July 2, 2019 workshop at the Delhi School of Economics.

At the workshop, the study team, led by Karra, Catalina Herrera-Almanza (Northeastern University), S Anukriti (Boston College), and Praveen Pathak (Delhi School of Economics), presented a works-in-progress seminar to faculty and researchers at the Delhi School of Economics.

The team presented their fieldwork progress and results from our baseline survey, which was conducted from July to September 2018, and received feedback on endline field operations and strategy, which is scheduled to begin on July 20, 2019. They also discussed opportunities for capacity building, institutional collaboration, and large-scale dissemination of study findings.

The entire JSNS team, which consisted of the four principal investigators above and a team of six student researchers from BU and three student researchers from the Delhi School of Economics, also conducted a meeting at the community health center in Dobhi, Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh for a learning and dissemination workshop with more than 100 ASHA/ANM health workers and other local health professionals.

On July 8, 2019 the study team conducted a seminar to faculty and graduate students at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi where they presented fieldwork progress and results from the baseline survey and discussed student involvement in research.

From July 8 to July 18, 2019 the BU, BC, Northeastern, and Delhi School of Economics JSNS team will be conducting a field training with a team of 15 enumerators in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. Following the field training, the enumerator team will re-visit 671 households that were interviewed last year to better understand how women’s health care-seeking behavior and outcomes might have changed over the last year.

Karra’s academic and research interests are broadly in development economics, health economics, quantitative methods, and applied demography. His research utilizes experimental and non-experimental methods to investigate the relationships between population, health, and economic development in low- and middle-income countries.