Mary Adgie

By William & Mary

$1,650
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About

From Invisible Children to Legal Citizens

Due to a costly and lengthy birth registration process, only 16% of children under the age of five were registered in Tanzania in 2010. To fix this, Tanzania has partnered with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other organizations to implement a new mobile birth registration system. Now, registration agents at health facilities can register children and give birth certificates immediately and free of charge. They will then send the registrations to a centralized system via SMS messages. My honors thesis will study the efficacy of this system and the impact of mobile technology through qualitative, quantitative, and experimental evidence. I will attempt to partner with UNICEF to access its data on the initiative and identify general trends of uptake of the system. I will also conduct interviews of the partners’ employees to better understand the initiative and what type of families participate most. Last, I plan to conduct an experiment to determine if mobile phone ownership will increase women’s likelihood and ability to register their children. I will do this through the existing research structure of REPOA, a Tanzanian research organization, by sending SMS messages that describe the importance and process of birth registration to REPOA’s participants. 

All William & Mary Honors Fellowships fundraising supports the Charles Center Honors Fellowships Fund. Direct support for individual undergraduate research projects is distributed by the Roy R. Charles Center for Academic Excellence. To learn more about Honors Fellowships, please visit our About page. If you have questions, please visit our FAQ page.

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