Adoption of Innovation

Spreading of Innovation


Development initiatives do not always succeed in implementing new programs aiming at improving health services (e.g. such as sanitation (pictured)) or agriculture. In collaboration with Dr S. Lamba and Prof. Tom Snijders, we confront evolutionary theoretical frameworks to data for understanding how such innovations may or may not spread in small-scale populations without adequate services. We uses a variety of data to better understand how people respond to the introduction of new cultural traits. While education and “changing culture” are usually considered to be the key for promoting the spread of health services in the public health literature and newspapers alike, practical concerns (e.g. the lack of access to piped water) are generally overlooked. This research is funded by The British Academy and the John Fell Fund – Analyses are ongoing.


Related publications in cultural evolution


Billiard, S., Alvergne, A. (2018) Stochasticity in cultural evolution: a revolution yet to happen. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences. 40 (1):9 PDF

Alvergne, A., Stevens, R., Gurmu, E. (2017) Side effects and the need for secrecy: characterising discontinuation of modern contraception and its causes in Ethiopia using mixed methods. BMC Contraception and Reproductive Medicine. PDF

Alvergne, A., Gurmu, E., Gibson, M., Mace, R. (2011) Social transmission and the spread of modern contraception in rural Ethiopia. PLoS ONE, 6(7) PDF