Long-term follow up study to measure socio-economic and livelihood outcomes

Rahim Daya
May 23, 2023

Long-term follow up study to measure socio-economic and livelihood outcomes

We are delighted to be working with the Agency Fund who are funding a long-term follow up study that will allow us to test whether Shamiri improves a wide array of socio-economic and livelihood outcomes.

We founded Shamiri to build a future where young people, anywhere, can actualize their life potential. Since 2018, we have been doing this by providing young people access to affordable and appropriate mental health and wellness services.

Through tracking down three cohorts of past participants who received the Shamiri intervention from 2018 to 2021, we will be able to compare whether they have had improved outcomes compared to youths in an active control group.

Mental health issues in Kenya

Mental health problems prevent young people from actualizing their life’s potential. Around the world, these problems contribute to an estimated 45% of the global burden of disease in youths under 24 years old. In Kenya, where 50% of the population is aged 19 or younger, nearly 1 in 2 youths report elevated symptoms of depression and anxiety. These problems are associated with negative socio-economic and livelihood outcomes. This is not surprising given the bidirectional relationship between mental health and poverty where mental health problems lead to poverty and where poverty is a risk factor for mental health problems.

Unfortunately, help is often unavailable and inaccessible for young people struggling with mental health due to systemic and structural barriers.

Our solution

We’ve developed an effective mental health solution called Anansi. Anansi combines two elements:

  1. an evidence-based mental health intervention and,
  2. a tiered caregiving model that connects lay-providers, trained clinical supervisors, and clinical psychologists and psychiatrists.

Rigorous testing in gold-standard RCTs shows that the Anansi solution significantly reduces mental health problems and improves social relationships and academic performance.

Long-term impact

As we prepare to scale up to reach 1 million youths in 2027, it is important that we generate evidence on what the socio-economic and livelihood outcomes are of those that have received Anansi. These outcomes include but are not limited to income, educational attainment, savings, consumption, smartphone accessibility, and financial inclusion. Should we find Anansi has a significant positive impact on these outcomes, then this could inform further replication in similar contexts outside of our current footprint.

About Agency Fund

The Agency Fund seeks to fund innovations that expand people's agency over their own lives. This expansion of agency’s can lead to remarkable impacts on educational, health, and poverty outcomes - even among people who face steep disadvantages and appear to have hardly any opportunities at their disposal. The Agency Fund funds approaches that build on data & technology, and on existing networks & platforms, to offer customized support at massive scale.. Their long-term vision is a vibrant ecosystem of players continuously testing agency-oriented approaches, reaching hundreds of millions of people, and sharing insights across thematic and geographic silos.

About Shamiri Institute

Shamiri Institute was founded to develop and implement scalable solutions that allow young people to thrive and actualize their life potential. At Shamiri, we combine rigorous social science research with deep contextual knowledge of the educational and mental healthcare systems of the communities that we work in to develop and deploy at scale effective and holistic interventions that allow young people, and communities, to thrive.

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