Student Projects

The Freeman Research Group mentors numerous graduate students through the Rollins School of Public Health Global Field Experience. Below are previous student projects conducted in collaboration with the group and our partners.

 
 
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Infant and Young Child Feeding in Tanzania with CRS

Sarah Sawyer / Catholic Relief Services / Tanzania / 2017

Sarah Sawyer worked with Catholic Relief Services in Mbeya, Tanzania to conductive formative research to inform the development of a validated approach to improve infant and young child nutrition as part of the Accelerated Stunting Reduction Project. The formative assessment included 24 focus group discussions, 26 key informant interviews, and 12 structured household observations to understand maternal and child nutrition knowledge and practices, as well as WASH practices. She also conducted a 40-day trial of an innovative feeding toolkit, focusing on the acceptability and feasibility for implementation in the Mbeya region. A total of 118 pregnant women and mothers with children under 2 years participated in the trial, and in-depth interviews were conducted at baseline, midline, and endline.

 
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quantify the capabilities, opportunities, and motivations that influence maternal behaviors

Breanna Wodnik / Catholic Relief Services / Kenya / 2016-2017

Breanna Wodnik worked with Catholic Relief Services over the summer of 2017 on the THRIVE II project in rural counties near Kisumu, Kenya. Using a theory-based approach, she developed a survey to quantify the capabilities, opportunities, and motivations that influence maternal behaviors in a pre-intervention baseline evaluation.  The results have contributed to the development of the behavior-change intervention, which aims to address maternal WASH and nutrition behaviors that contribute to the outcome of stunting in children. She is using the data for her thesis in developing a scale to measure attitudes towards hygienic food preparation and good handwashing practices.

 
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Evaluating the implementation of a Nutrition and WASH intervention with CRS

Molly Linabarger / Catholic Relief Services / Kenya / 2016-2017

Molly Linabarger worked with Catholic Relief Services and Uzima University to evaluate the implementation of an integrated early childhood development (ECD), positive parenting, nutrition and BabyWASH intervention in Homa Bay and Migori counties, Kenya. THRIVE II uses the care group model whereby care group volunteers are trained to deliver messages to and conduct home visits with their neighbors to deliver and reinforce behavior change messages.  In order to evaluate the fidelity of this project, Moly trained a team of research assistants and together they conducted 32 in-depth interviews of key project staff and beneficiaries and 17 semi-structured observations of trainings. She is now analyzing the data as part of her thesis work on the fidelity of trainer of trainer (care group) models.

 
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NUTRITION AND WASH IN ETHIOPIA WITH CRS

Jennifer Head / Catholic Relief Services / Ethiopia / 2015-2016

Jennifer Head worked with Catholic Relief Services to explore the link between water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and undernutrition among women and children within Oromia, Ethiopia.  This project is nested within CRS's 5-year Development Food Assistance Program (DFAP), which aims to increase the food security of families through implementation of interventions of one of two types: 1) health and nutrition only or 2) integrated WASH, health and nutrition.  This summer, Jennifer helped develop and implement a household survey to compare anthropometric measurements and disease history of women and children under 5 years according to intervention type.  She is now performing data analysis as part of her thesis work to quantify differences in outcome among DFAP beneficiaries by intervention type and to identify associations between specific environmental exposures and nutritional and disease outcomes.

 
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EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF GENDER EQUITY ON WASH OUTCOMES WITH CARE GHANA

Sabah Ghulamali / CARE / Ghana / 2015-2016

Sabah Ghulamali was hired by CARE (through the West Africa Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene program) to complete an endline evaluation of their gender and WASH intervention in Upper West, Ghana. After training a team of enumerators, she conducted over 250 household surveys, 15 community surveys, and 16 focus group discussions to assess the relationship between gender equity and WASH sustainability. Sabah’s results will contribute to CARE’s future programming.

 
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UNDERSTANDING THE NEEDS OF GIRLS IN SCHOOL IN NAIROBI, KENYA

Candace Girod / Sanergy / Kenya / 2015-2016

Candace Girod worked with Sanergy in two informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya. Using focus group discussions, key informant interviews, anonymous question classroom sessions, and surveys, Candace conducted research to understand how Sanergy’s current hardware and software programming meets the needs of girls who are menstruating in school and what improvements can be made to better serve girls’ needs. Based on this information, she created and piloted a teacher training module on menstrual hygiene for Sanergy’s WASH teacher training, wrote a resource guide for girls and teachers based on questions she collected, and made recommendations for changes in Sanergy’s toilet design. 

 
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SUSTAINED USE OF ARBORLOO LATRINES IN THE EAST AND WEST HARARGHE ZONES OF THE OROMIA REGION

Erin Swearing / Catholic Relief Services / Ethiopia / 2014-2015

Erin Swearing focused her summer practicum on the sustainability of the arborloo latrine in the Oromia region of Ethiopia by assessing barriers and drivers to sustained use. She conducted a qualitative research study utilizing focus group discussions and in-depth interviews. Her work contributed to Catholic Relief Services' WASH efforts in Ethiopia.

 
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HYGIENE CLUB SYSTEMATIZATION FELLOW

Kelsey McDavid / Save the Children / Bolivia / 2014-2015

Kelsey McDavid spent summer 2014 in Bolivia working with Save the Children. She worked on systematizing hygiene clubs and health committees implemented in public primary schools around La Paz. Her contributions are part of Save the Children International's organization-wide efforts to systematize all programs by October 2014.

 
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COMMUNITY LED TOTAL SANITATION

Sara Hoffman / Catholic Relief Services / Uganda / 2014-2015

Sara Hoffman evaluated the effectiveness of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) in achieving and sustaining household Open Defecation Free (ODF) Status in the Bukwo District in Eastern Uganda. Her research utilized in-depth interview research methods. Her project contributes to Catholic Relief Services' (CRS) evaluation of its Integrated Water Resources Management project in Uganda and future CRS programming using CLTS.

 
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SUSTAINABILITY OF WATER AND SANITATION INTERVENTIONS IN RURAL COMMUNITIES OF NORTHERN MOZAMBIQUE

Claire Still / CARE / Mozambique / 2014-2015

In the summer of 2014, Claire Still worked with CARE to conduct research on the link between sustainability of water and sanitation interventions and governance in rural communities of Northern Mozambique.   Claire utilized both qualitative and quantitative methods, through the use of 11 focus group discussions and 66 surveys.   This research is nested within CARE Mozambique's governance and sustainability work since CARE HAUPA's interventions concluded in 2011.

 
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ASSESSING SOCIAL CAPITAL AND WATER POINT SUSTAINABILITY IN ETHIOPIA

Margaret Person / Catholic Relief Services / Ethiopia / 2014-2015

Margaret Person conducted a study assessing social capital and sustainability in rural Ethiopia. Her study measured social capital using household surveys and water point functionality and governance using observations and key informant interviews. Her project was conducted in partnership with Catholic Relief Services - Ethiopia's Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene team.

 
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GROWING UP IN TAJIKISTAN: A QUALITATIVE ASSESSMENT OF STUDENTS' PERCEPTIONS, EXPERIENCES AND KNOWLEDGE OF PUBERTY TO INFORM THE DESIGN OF CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE PUBERTY BOOKS

Gloria Sclar / Save the Children / Tajikistan / 2014-2015

Gloria Sclar worked with Save the Children’s School Health and Nutrition (SHN) team in Tajikistan to conduct interactive focus groups with adolescent schoolgirls and boys in order to understand their experiences with puberty. Puberty education provides students with the critical skills they need to confidently face the changes that take place during this transition from child to adulthood. Yet in many countries, like Tajikistan, puberty is a taboo topic that is rarely addressed at home or in school. The findings from the focus groups were used to design gender-specific puberty books that fit the Tajikistan context. The SHN team hopes to use these books in their own programming and to one day integrate them into the national school curriculum.

 
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GENDER EMPOWERMENT AND WASH

Zimo Banta / CARE / Ghana / 2014-2015

Zimo Banta conducted the midterm evaluation of the gender empowerment component of the West Africa Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WA-WASH) program for CARE in Ghana. Using a mixed methods research design, she assessed whether including a gender empowerment approach in WASH programming improves gender equity and water point governance and functionality. Her findings will inform future CARE WASH programming.

 
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RESEARCH ON THE SUSTAINED USE, UTILIZATION, AND DIFFUSION OF THE ARBORLOO IN RURAL ETHIOPIA; CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES AND EMORY UNIVERSITY COLLABORATION

Dionna Fry / Catholic Relief Services / Ethiopia / 2013-2014

Dionna Fry conducted research with the the arborloo research project that aims to assess the sustained use, sanitation utilization, pit utilization, diffusion, and health behaviors associated with the arborloo in Catholic Relief Services' (CRS) arborloo intervention areas of Oromia region, Ethiopia. The arborloo is a shallow, narrow composting pit latrine, which is filled within 1 year and moved to a new location to allow the old pit's waste to decompose. As part of this research project, the team collected household surveys, GPS data, and in-depth interviews. The current research project is nested within a broader collaboration between Emory University (PI: Matthew Freeman, Assistant Professor of Environmental Health) and the partners of the Millennium Water Program in Ethiopia (MWA-E), of which CRS is a member. See Dionna's poster for the Rollins Outstanding Practicum Fair here.

 
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EXPLORING THE POTENTIAL OF CHILDREN AS CHANGE AGENTS IN THE CONTEXT OF WASH IN ZAMBIA

Sara Bresse / SPLASH Project / Zambia / 2013-2014

Sara Bresee conducted research exploring the potential for WASH behavior change communication through school children in rural Eastern Zambia. She utilized qualitative methods and participatory learning activities to understand communication channels in regards to WASH between parents and their children. This work was conducted in the context of the SPLASH project. See Sara's poster for the Rollins Outstanding Practicum Fair here.

 

WASH SUSTAINABILITY AND STAKEHOLDER RESPONSIBILITY IN ETHIOPIA

Grace Tang / Catholic Relief Services / Ethiopia / 2013-2014

In summer 2013, Grace Tang worked with Catholic Relief Services of Ethiopia to conduct research on indicators of sustainability and how perceived and actual responsibilities of stakeholders affect water schemes across the Oromia region. Over 3 months, Grace created open-ended surveys, collected data in the Great Rift Valley and Ethiopian Highlands, and started analysis of the stakeholders responses compared to the national WASH Implementation Framework. 

 

EVALUATION INTERNSHIP WITH UNICEF MALAWI

Phyllis Frimpong / UNICEF / Malawi / 2013-2014

Phyllis Frimpong worked with UNICEF during the summer of 2013. She designed an evaluation tool and appraised school hygiene promotion campaigns in 3 districts.  She also worked with the Dowa district health officer on data collection of diarrheal disease prevalence for children under five in 4 local government clinics. She assessed district data management challenges for 6 local  districts and proposed lines of action for improvement. Lastly, she worked with a consultant on a pilot study to assess the use of hand washing facilities in one district.

 

RESEARCH ON HYDRATION STATUS AND COGNITIVE PERFORMANCE

Kaleb Price / SPLASH Project / Zambia / 2013-2014

In partnership with SPLASH Zambia, Kaleb Price piloted methods for the assessment of hydration status and measures of cognitive performance. Results from this pilot study were used for a larger trial in Eastern Province, Zambia to evaluate the effect dehydration has on children's cognitive performance. See Kaleb's winning poster here.

 

ASSESSING GOVERNANCE INDICATORS OF WATER POINT SUSTAINABILITY IN NORTHERN MOZAMBIQUE

John Kaufman & Andrea Martinsen / CARE / Mozambique / 2013-2014

The summer of 2013, John Kaufman and Andrea Martinsen gathered field data for an evaluation of a water and sanitation project for CARE in rural northern Mozambique. The evaluation focuses on the sustainability of water points managed and maintained by community WASH committees. They developed two survey tools, one focused on community governance, finance, and maintenance of water points, the other on women's experiences with WASH interventions. In total they interviewed 143 WASH committees in 103 communities.

 

CHOLERA RESEARCH PROJECT IN NEW YORK CITY WITH UNICEF

Annum Khan Shaikh / UNICEF / New York / 2013-2014

Annum Khan Shaikh's summer practicum was spent working in UNICEF's country office in New York City. Theproject was in response to the cholera outbreak last year in Sierra Leone when information from the past cholera outbreaks in that same region could not be tracked. The recommendation was made to create a framework that outlines the critical decisions and decision-making data required by each stakeholder in the first steps of a cholera outbreak emergency response. This framework would then guide possible future creation of a centralized database that would house these critical pieces of information for all past and future cholera outbreaks. The research focused on interviewing various interlocutors from different levels of UNICEF and external stakeholders involved in a cholera outbreak response. See Annum's poster for the Rollins Outstanding Practicum Fair here.

 

HOUSEHOLD-LEVEL DETERMINANTS OF USING AN IMPROVED WATER SOURCE FOR DRINKING AND COOKING IN RURAL ETHIOPIA

Jacqueline Chan / Millennium Water Program / Ethiopia / 2012-2013

Jacqueline Chan focused her thesis on household-level and waterpoint-level determinants of exclusively using an improved water source for drinking and cooking. Her research utilized mixed research methods. Her project contributes to the Equity of Access to Water Supply Study within the Millennium Water Program: Support for Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Project.

 

ASSESSING DIFFERENCES IN CHOLERA RISK BETWEEN MIGRANT HAITIANS AND DOMINICANS LIVING IN THE DUARTE PROVINCE, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. 

Andrea Lund / Dominican Republic / 2012-2013

Andrea Lund‘s thesis focuses on how risk profiles for cholera involving water and sanitation practices and cholera knowledge may differ across migrant Haitian and Dominican demographics in a rice-producing region of the Dominican Republic.

 

UNDERSTANDING HOW KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDES, AND BELIEFS OF MENSTRUATION INFLUENCES THE BEHAVIOR OF ADOLESCENT BOYS IN GICUMBI DISTRICT, RWANDA

Gauthami Penakalapati / UNICEF / Rwanda / 2012-2013

Following with her summer research in Rwanda, Gauthami Penakalapati‘s thesis focused on how the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs surrounding menstruation influences the behavior of adolescent boys. Her research utilized qualitative research methods and the project contributes to the Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools Project.