I specialize in communication for social and behavioral change and in the development and testing of digital behavioral interventions. I am particularly interested in game-based interventions for mobile health (mHealth) platforms such as smartphones. I work both domestically and internationally on health issues including HIV, diabetes, and COVID-19, and use a range of qualitative and participatory approaches in intervention development and message framing, including community-based participatory research and human-centered design.
Narrative and narrative-based approaches occupy a central and distinctive place in my work. Colleagues and I have developed a smartphone game, Tumaini ("Hope for the Future" in Swahili), based in interactive narrative to help prevent HIV among young African adolescents. We are currently evaluating the game in an efficacy trial in Kisumu, Western Kenya, with colleagues at the Kenya Medical Research Institute. A game for adolescents living with HIV and a gamified diabetes app are also in development.
My team's HIV-related games draw on our research on social representations of HIV in close to 2,000 narratives written by young Africans as part of the Global Dialogues HIV communication process. A participatory process anchored at the community level, Global Dialogues involves the production of short fiction films by leading directors based on winning ideas submitted by young people to scriptwriting competitions (www.globaldialogues.org). Over forty short fiction films are currently available (www.youtube.com/globaldialogues). Available in 30 languages, they are used extensively as educational resources at community level and have been viewed 120 million times on YouTube. To date, the Global Dialogues process has generated an archive of over 100,000 narratives on HIV and related themes written by a quarter of a million young people. With my research team, I analyze these narratives to better understand factors influencing both cross-national differences in young Africans’ social representations of HIV/AIDS and changes in these representations over time, and thereby to inform optimal framing of health messaging and the enhancement and cultural adaptation of evidence-based programming.
Areas of Interest
- Community Based Research
- Global Health
- Health Communication
- HIV/AIDS Prevention
- Sexual Health/Behavior
- PhD , University of London
- MA , University of London
- BA (Hons) , University of Oxford
- GH 570: Comm. Based Particip.Act.Rsch.
- GH 514: Social/Behavior Change Commun.
Affiliations & Activities
Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Humanistic Inquiry
- Taren L. McGray, Ken Ondeng’e, Gaëlle Sabben, Emma Clevenger, Richard Lando, Calvin Mbeda, Valarie Opollo, and Kate Winskell, 2023, ‘You are not alone’-The role of social relationships in engagement in care for adolescents living with perinatally acquired HIV in Western Kenya, Social Science and Medicine - Qualitative Research in Health, 100331,
- Joi Hester, Zohrya Zabala, Kate Winskell, Francisco J. Pasquel, 2022, Digital health apps for people with diabetes, Diabetes Digital Health and Telehealth. Telehealth - Second Edition., Editors: Klonoff D, Kerr D, and Weitzman E. Elsevier, Amsterdam, ,
- Victor Mudhune, Gaëlle Sabben, Ken Ondenge, Calvin Mbeda, Marissa Morales, Robert H Lyles, Judith Arego, Richard Ndivo, Robert A Bednarczyk, Kelli Komro, Kate Winskell, 2022, The Efficacy of a Smartphone Game to Prevent HIV Among Young Africans: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial in the Context of COVID-19, JMIR Research Protocols, 11,
- Robyn Singleton, Chris Obong'o, Benjamin Mbakwem, Gaëlle Sabben, Kate Winskell, 2021, Conceptualizing consent: Cross-national and temporal representations of sexual consent in young Africans’ creative narratives on HIV, Journal of Sex Research, 58, 1161-1172
- Kate Winskell, 2021, Social Representations Theory and Young Africans' Creative Narratives about HIV/AIDS, 1997-2014, Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, 51, 164-182
- Kate Winskell, Gaëlle Sabben, Victor Akelo, Ken Ondeng’e, Isdora Odero, Victor Mudhune, 2020, A smartphone game to prevent HIV among young Kenyans: local perceptions of mechanisms of effect, Health Education Research, 35, 153-164
- Kate Winskell, Robyn Singleton, Gaëlle Sabben, Georges Tiendrébéogo, Chris Obong’o, Fatim Louise Dia, Siphiwe Nkambule-Vilakati, Benjamin Mbakwem, Rob Stephenson, 2020, Social representations of the prevention of heterosexual transmission of HIV among young Africans from five countries, 1997-2014., PLOS One, 15,
- Kate Winskell, Gaëlle Sabben, Robyn Singleton, Robert A. Bednarczyk, Georges Tiendrébéogo, Siphiwe Nkambule-Vilakati, Fatim Louise Dia, Benjamin Mbakwem, Rob Stephenson, 2020, Temporal and cross-national comparisons of young Africans’ HIV-related narratives from five countries, 1997–2014., Social Science and Medicine – Population Health, 11,
- Gaëlle Sabben, Victor Mudhune, Ken Ondeng'e, Isdora Odero, Richard Ndivo, Victor Akelo, Kate Winskell, 2019, A Smartphone Game to Prevent HIV among Young Africans (Tumaini): Assessing Intervention and Study Acceptability among Adolescents and their Parents, JMIR Mhealth Uhealth, 7,
- Kate Winskell, Gaëlle Sabben, Chris Obong'o, 2019, Interactive Narrative in a Mobile Health Behavioral Intervention (Tumaini): Theoretical Grounding and Structure of a Smartphone Game to Prevent HIV among Young Africans, JMIR Serious Games, 7,
- Kate Winskell, Gaëlle Sabben, Ken Ondeng’e, Isdorah Odero, Victor Akelo, Victor Mudhune, 2018, A Smartphone Game to Prevent HIV among Young Kenyans: Household Dynamics , Health Education Journal, 78,
- Kate Winskell, Gaëlle Sabben, Victor Akelo, Ken Ondeng’e, Christopher Obong’o, Rob Stephenson, David Warhol, Victor Mudhune, 2018, A Smartphone Game-Based Intervention (Tumaini) to Prevent HIV Among Young Africans: Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial, JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 6,
- Kate Winskell, Landy Kus, Gaëlle Sabben, Georges Tiendrébéogo, Benjamin Mbakwem, Robyn Singleton, 2018, Social Representations of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV and its Prevention in Narratives by Young Africans from Five Countries, 1997- 2014: Implications for Communication, Social Science & Medicine, 211,
- Robyn Singleton, Kate Winskell, Siphiwe Nkambule-Vilakat, Gaëlle Sabben, 2018, Young Africans’ Social Representations of Sexual Violence in their HIV-Related Creative Narratives, 2005-2014: Rape Myths and Alternative Counter-Narratives, Social Science and Medicine , 198,
- Kate Winskell and Gaëlle Sabben, 2016, Sexual Stigma and Symbolic Violence Experienced, Enacted, and Counteracted in Young Africans’ Writing about Same-Sex Attraction, Social Science & Medicine, 161,
- Kate Winskell and Daniel Enger, 2014, Storytelling for Social Change, The Handbook of Development Communication and Social Change, Chapter 12,