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Georg-August Universität zu Göttingen (2020)

Essays on Trust, Mobile Phones, and Nutrition among Pastoralists in Northern Kenya

Parlasca Martin Christoph

Titre : Essays on Trust, Mobile Phones, and Nutrition among Pastoralists in Northern Kenya

Auteur : Parlasca Martin Christoph

Université de soutenance : Georg-August Universität zu Göttingen

Grade : Dr. rer. Pol 2020

Résumé partiel
The arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) cover close to 90 per cent of Kenya’s landmass and are home to nearly 30 per cent of its population. Historically, the ASAL have however suffered from limited political representation, weak integration into social services, and low infrastructure investments. This marginalization has caused affected communities to fall behind in economic development and overall welfare. This thesis contributes to the understanding of two important aspects in the lives of the predominantly pastoralist communities that inhabit Northern Kenya’s ASAL. The first aspects relates to social trust, which is considered a fundamental component of economic interaction and growth. The second aspect relates to nutrition, which is considered to be a fundamental component of human and economic development. In particular, this thesis aims at showing that increases in social trust and improvements of diets among pastoralist communities can be achieved through the use of mobile phones. This dissertation is composed of three papers, each highlighting a particular component of the overall analysis. The first paper of this thesis in chapter II, is titled : “A Radius of Trust ? Contrasting Insights from Experiments and Survey Data”. It provides insights into the trust culture of pastoralist communities in Turkana County, Northern Kenya. The analysis is based on primary data collected in July/August 2018. We conducted an incentivized version of the canonical trust game by Berg et al. 1995 with 402 participants. Using a between-subject design, trust was measured for three treatments : trust towards people from one’s own village, trust towards people from a neighboring village, and trust towards city dwellers from the county capital. While fellow villager and people from a neighboring village are equally trusted, experimental data show that participants place statistically significantly less trust into city dwellers from the county capital. We argue that this phenomenon can be explained with the concept of the radius of trust. The experiment is then contrasted with self-reported trust levels. Survey data differ from the experimental data in the aspect that fellow villagers seem to be more trusted than people from a neighboring village. A potential cause of this discrepancy lies in overstatements of trust towards fellow villagers in the survey due to a social-desirability bias. The second paper of this dissertation in chapter III, “Can Mobile Phones Build Social Trust ? Insights from Rural Kenya“ utilizes the same data set as the aforementioned paper. The effect of mobile phone use on trust is the focal point of this second study.

Mots clés  : rural development ; nutrition ; mobile phones ; trust ; Kenya ; pastoralism

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Page publiée le 27 décembre 2020