Analysis & Publications

Policy Reports

AidData's Policy Analysis Unit produces applied research to help governments, development partners and civil society organizations solve real world problems.

AidData Policy Report

Ties That Bind: Quantifying China's public diplomacy and its "good neighbor" effect

2018-06-27

Samantha Custer, Brooke Russell, Matthew DiLorenzo, Mengfan Cheng, Siddhartha Ghose, Jacob Sims, Jennifer Turner, Harsh Desai

Ties That Bind offers new and comprehensive detail on the nature and impact of Chinese public diplomacy in the region most important to its strategic interests: East Asia and the Pacific (EAP). This first-of-its-kind report quantifies multiple aspects of China's public diplomacy—financial, cultural, exchange, and elite-to-elite diplomacy—across 25 countries to assess how it is received by foreign publics and leaders and determine whether it is meeting Beijing’s objectives.

AidData Policy Report

Ties That Bind: Quantifying China's public diplomacy and its "good neighbor" effect

2018-06-27

Samantha Custer, Brooke Russell, Matthew DiLorenzo, Mengfan Cheng, Siddhartha Ghose, Jacob Sims, Jennifer Turner, Harsh Desai

Ties That Bind offers new and comprehensive detail on the nature and impact of Chinese public diplomacy in the region most important to its strategic interests: East Asia and the Pacific (EAP). This first-of-its-kind report quantifies multiple aspects of China's public diplomacy—financial, cultural, exchange, and elite-to-elite diplomacy—across 25 countries to assess how it is received by foreign publics and leaders and determine whether it is meeting Beijing’s objectives.

AidData Policy Report

Ties That Bind: Quantifying China's public diplomacy and its "good neighbor" effect

2018-06-27

Samantha Custer, Brooke Russell, Matthew DiLorenzo, Mengfan Cheng, Siddhartha Ghose, Jacob Sims, Jennifer Turner, Harsh Desai

Ties That Bind offers new and comprehensive detail on the nature and impact of Chinese public diplomacy in the region most important to its strategic interests: East Asia and the Pacific (EAP). This first-of-its-kind report quantifies multiple aspects of China's public diplomacy—financial, cultural, exchange, and elite-to-elite diplomacy—across 25 countries to assess how it is received by foreign publics and leaders and determine whether it is meeting Beijing’s objectives.

Ties That Bind offers new and comprehensive detail on the nature and impact of Chinese public diplomacy in the region most important to its strategic interests: East Asia and the Pacific (EAP). 

There is a growing consensus that Beijing has dramatically increased the volume and sophistication of its public diplomacy efforts under President Xi Jinping. Yet there has historically been a lack of quantifiable data to assess the scope and downstream consequences of these activities. 

To this end, AidData, in collaboration with the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), has assembled new data on Chinese public diplomacy programs in East Asia and the Pacific from 2000 through 2016. This first-of-its-kind report quantifies multiple aspects of China's public diplomacy—financial, cultural, exchange, and elite-to-elite diplomacy—across 25 countries to assess how it is received by foreign publics and leaders and determine whether it is meeting Beijing’s objectives.

In addition to extensive quantitative data, the reports draws from on-the-ground insights from over 70 government officials, civil society and private sector leaders, academics, journalists, and foreign diplomats in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Fiji, and interviews with public diplomacy scholars and practitioners.

This study was conducted with generous support from the United States Department of State and in partnership with the Asia Society Policy Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The report's findings and conclusions are those of its authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of funder and partner organizations.

AidData Policy Report

Listening to Leaders 2018: Is development cooperation tuned-in or tone-deaf?

2018-05-31

Samantha Custer, Matthew DiLorenzo, Takaaki Masaki, Tanya Sethi, Ani Harutyunyan

Better intelligence on the most pressing development priorities of leaders, citizens, and donors in 126 developing countries; how leaders assess donor performance; and the conditions that support or hinder progress.

AidData Policy Report

Listening to Leaders 2018: Is development cooperation tuned-in or tone-deaf?

2018-05-31

Samantha Custer, Matthew DiLorenzo, Takaaki Masaki, Tanya Sethi, Ani Harutyunyan

Better intelligence on the most pressing development priorities of leaders, citizens, and donors in 126 developing countries; how leaders assess donor performance; and the conditions that support or hinder progress.

AidData Policy Report

Listening to Leaders 2018: Is development cooperation tuned-in or tone-deaf?

2018-05-31

Samantha Custer, Matthew DiLorenzo, Takaaki Masaki, Tanya Sethi, Ani Harutyunyan

Better intelligence on the most pressing development priorities of leaders, citizens, and donors in 126 developing countries; how leaders assess donor performance; and the conditions that support or hinder progress.

Do leaders, citizens and donors agree on the most important development challenges that need to be solved in the countries where they work? Whose support and what conditions make progress more or less likely? Which international donors do leaders consider to be their preferred development partners?

To answer these questions, the Listening to Leaders 2018 report draws upon the unique experiences and perspectives of government officials, civil society leaders, private sector representatives, and development partners working on the ground in developing countries. Nearly 3,500 leaders working in 22 sectors of development policy in 126 low- and middle-income countries shared their insights via AidData's 2017 Listening to Leaders Survey. Respondents identified their most pressing development priorities (as corresponding to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals), assessed the difficulty of implementing sector-specific reforms, and evaluated the performance of bilateral and multilateral donors.

Chapter 1 compares what citizens want their leaders to emphasize, what leaders identify as the top challenges to tackle, and what international donors appear to prioritize from their aid spending to triangulate areas of agreement and divergence. Chapter 2 examines how leaders perceive their progress on development policy initiatives, the degree of support (or opposition) they receive, and how their experiences differ by area of expertise, organizational affiliation, and the support of different domestic constituencies. Chapter 3 evaluates the performance of individual donors and cohorts of similar donors over time, with ranked measures of influence and helpfulness as reported by the leaders with whom these donors work. Chapter 4 assesses the drivers of donor performance, and how development cooperation can evolve to support leaders and locally-led action.

This report was made possible through generous financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development; and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The findings and conclusions of this report are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of these funders and partners.

AidData Policy Report

Toward data-driven education systems: Insights into using information to measure results and manage change

2018-02-20

Samantha Custer, Elizabeth M. King, Tamar Manuelyan Atinc, Lindsay Read, Tanya Sethi

In this joint report with the Brookings Institution, we analyze two new surveys on education leaders' use of data for decision-making.

AidData Policy Report

Toward data-driven education systems: Insights into using information to measure results and manage change

2018-02-20

Samantha Custer, Elizabeth M. King, Tamar Manuelyan Atinc, Lindsay Read, Tanya Sethi

In this joint report with the Brookings Institution, we analyze two new surveys on education leaders' use of data for decision-making.

AidData Policy Report

Toward data-driven education systems: Insights into using information to measure results and manage change

2018-02-20

Samantha Custer, Elizabeth M. King, Tamar Manuelyan Atinc, Lindsay Read, Tanya Sethi

In this joint report with the Brookings Institution, we analyze two new surveys on education leaders' use of data for decision-making.

Governments, organizations, and companies are generating copious amounts of data and analysis to support education decision-making around the world. While continued investments in data creation and management are necessary, the ultimate value of information is not in its production, but its use. Herein lies one of the biggest challenges of translating information into actionable insights: those that produce education data are often far removed from those that make crucial decisions about education policies, programs, and investments. With limited insight on what decision-makers use and need, the likelihood of disconnect between supply and demand is high.

Yet, there has been surprisingly little systematic research on the types of information education decision-makers in developing countries value most—and why. Much of the available evidence on the use of education data in developing countries relies upon individual case studies. These qualitative snapshots offer deep insights on use patterns and challenges in a single context, but make it difficult to draw broader conclusions.

In this report, we offer a unique contribution to this body of knowledge by analyzing the results of two surveys of more than 300 education policymakers in low- and middle-income countries that asked about their use of data in decision-making. Survey participants include senior- and mid-level government officials, in-country staff of development partner organizations, and domestic civil society leaders, among others. 

This report helps the global education community take stock of what information decision-makers use to measure results and manage change. Drawing upon our review of the literature and the two surveys of end users in developing countries, we offer practical recommendations to help those who fund and produce education data to be more responsive to what decision-makers want and need.

AidData Policy Report

Decoding Data Use: How do leaders source data and use it to accelerate development?

2017-11-28

Takaaki Masaki, Samantha Custer, Agustina Eskenazi, Alena Stern, Rebecca Latourell

We decode what 3500 leaders from 126 countries say about the types of data or analysis they use, from what sources, and for which purposes.

AidData Policy Report

Decoding Data Use: How do leaders source data and use it to accelerate development?

2017-11-28

Takaaki Masaki, Samantha Custer, Agustina Eskenazi, Alena Stern, Rebecca Latourell

We decode what 3500 leaders from 126 countries say about the types of data or analysis they use, from what sources, and for which purposes.

AidData Policy Report

Decoding Data Use: How do leaders source data and use it to accelerate development?

2017-11-28

Takaaki Masaki, Samantha Custer, Agustina Eskenazi, Alena Stern, Rebecca Latourell

We decode what 3500 leaders from 126 countries say about the types of data or analysis they use, from what sources, and for which purposes.

The Decoding Data Use report reveals what 3500 leaders have to say about the types of data or analysis they use, from what sources, and for which purposes in the context of their work. Our study draws upon responses to AidData’s 2017 Listening to Leaders Survey of public officials and development practitioners from 126 low- and middle-income countries (LICs and MICs). Armed with these insights, we help funders, producers, advocates, and infomediaries of development data understand how to position themselves for greater impact. 

This report was made possible through generous financial support received from: the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States Agency for International Development’s Global Development Lab (through cooperative agreement AID-OAA-A-12-00096), and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The findings and conclusions of this report are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of these funders and partners.

AidData Policy Report

Realizing Agenda 2030: Will donor dollars and country priorities align with global goals?

2017-11-06

Tanya Sethi, Samantha Custer, Jennifer Turner, Jacob Sims, Matthew DiLorenzo, Rebecca Latourell

Tracking aid to the SDGs/MDGs and surveying leaders, we assess how global goals crowd in financing and inform domestic priorities.

AidData Policy Report

Realizing Agenda 2030: Will donor dollars and country priorities align with global goals?

2017-11-06

Tanya Sethi, Samantha Custer, Jennifer Turner, Jacob Sims, Matthew DiLorenzo, Rebecca Latourell

Tracking aid to the SDGs/MDGs and surveying leaders, we assess how global goals crowd in financing and inform domestic priorities.

AidData Policy Report

Realizing Agenda 2030: Will donor dollars and country priorities align with global goals?

2017-11-06

Tanya Sethi, Samantha Custer, Jennifer Turner, Jacob Sims, Matthew DiLorenzo, Rebecca Latourell

Tracking aid to the SDGs/MDGs and surveying leaders, we assess how global goals crowd in financing and inform domestic priorities.

This report seeks to uncover the extent to which global goals crowd in international financing, inform domestic policy priorities, and navigate progress toward development outcomes in low- and middle-income countries (LICs and MICs). Our report:

  1. Provides a historical perspective on how ODA financing was aligned with the MDGs, and the perceived influence of global goals in shaping domestic priorities
  2. Offers a baseline of ODA financing to the SDGs and a forward-looking perspective in translating past lessons learned from the MDGs era into actionable insights

Using a pilot methodology developed by AidData, we analyze ODA flows during the MDGs era (2000-2013) and approximate baseline financing for each goal prior to the adoption of Agenda 2030 in September 2015. The dataset used in the report, Financing to the SDGs, Version 1.0, provides project-level data on estimated Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from 2000 to 2013. In this report, we also draw upon the responses of nearly 7,000 public, private, and civil society leaders from AidData’s novel 2014 Reform Efforts Survey to assess how national-level policymakers perceive the MDGs in light of their domestic reform priorities, and what this may mean for the SDGs. 

This report was made possible through generous financial support received from the Hewlett Foundation and is aligned with AidData’s commitment as an anchor partner of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data. Its findings and conclusions are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of these funders and partners.

AidData Policy Report

Beyond the Tyranny of Averages: Development Progress from the Bottom Up

2017-09-28

Samantha Custer, Matthew DiLorenzo, Takaaki Masaki, Tanya Sethi, Jessica Wells

Relying on averages is worsening inequality within countries, as donors miss the mark and aid financing fails to reach the poorest regions.

AidData Policy Report

Beyond the Tyranny of Averages: Development Progress from the Bottom Up

2017-09-28

Samantha Custer, Matthew DiLorenzo, Takaaki Masaki, Tanya Sethi, Jessica Wells

Relying on averages is worsening inequality within countries, as donors miss the mark and aid financing fails to reach the poorest regions.

AidData Policy Report

Beyond the Tyranny of Averages: Development Progress from the Bottom Up

2017-09-28

Samantha Custer, Matthew DiLorenzo, Takaaki Masaki, Tanya Sethi, Jessica Wells

Relying on averages is worsening inequality within countries, as donors miss the mark and aid financing fails to reach the poorest regions.

In spite of rising inequality within countries, policymakers often fall into the trap of evaluating progress from the top-down, rather than the bottom-up. Bilateral aid agencies and multilateral development banks tend to use national-level indicators (e.g., GDP per capita, child mortality rates) to select the countries and sectors where they will work. These national aggregates mask hotspots of deprivation within countries, which appear to be widening.

Over the past five years, AidData and its partners have worked with numerous governments and development partners to help close this evidence gap. With generous financial support from the United States Agency for International Development’s Global Development Lab, they have identified the geographical locations of nearly 70,000 development projects worth approximately $1.23 trillion across the globe. As a result, there is now an abundance of geographically disaggregated data we can use to assess: who is funding what, where, and to what effect at the subnational level?

In the Beyond the Tyranny of Averages report, we draw upon this body of work to shed light on two critical questions:

  1. Targeting — To what extent is the international community channeling resources to the least developed regions within countries?
  2. Effectiveness — Under which conditions does this assistance help local communities reduce spatial inequality –​ the uneven distribution of public services, infrastructure, wealth, and opportunity?

Based on our findings, we present a roadmap for countries and their development partners to fully harness the subnational data revolution to "leave no one behind".

This research was conducted with generous support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Global Development Lab (through cooperative agreement AID-OAA-A-12-00096). The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government. This study also supports AidData’s commitments as an anchor partner of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data.

AidData Policy Report

Avoiding Data Graveyards: Insights from Data Producers & Users in Three Countries

2017-04-01

Samantha Custer and Tanya Sethi, Eds.

From interviews with 200 leaders, we pinpoint barriers to data use and offer cross-cutting principles for demand-driven investments in data.

AidData Policy Report

Avoiding Data Graveyards: Insights from Data Producers & Users in Three Countries

2017-04-01

Samantha Custer and Tanya Sethi, Eds.

From interviews with 200 leaders, we pinpoint barriers to data use and offer cross-cutting principles for demand-driven investments in data.

AidData Policy Report

Avoiding Data Graveyards: Insights from Data Producers & Users in Three Countries

2017-04-01

Samantha Custer and Tanya Sethi, Eds.

From interviews with 200 leaders, we pinpoint barriers to data use and offer cross-cutting principles for demand-driven investments in data.

In 2016, researchers from the AidData Center for Development Policy interviewed 200 decision-makers and those that advise them in Honduras, Timor-Leste, and Senegal. Central government officials, development partner representatives based in country, and leaders of civil society organizations (CSOs) shared their experiences in producing and using data to target development projects, monitor progress, and evaluate results. The report identifies nine barriers to the use of data and corresponding operating principles for funders and producers to make demand-driven investments in the next generation of development data and statistics.

Spanish

Resumen Ejecutivo

Traduciendo la Transparencia en Acción para el Desarrollo Sustentable en Honduras

Tetun

Sumáriu Ezekutivu

Uzu Dadus nian iha Kultura Orál: Haruka Dadus Dezenvolvimentu Bá Serbisu iha Timor-Leste

French

Note de Synthèse

Exploiter la Révolution des Données pour Alimenter la Stratégie de Développement Émergente du Sénégal

AidData Policy Report

Financing the SDGs in Colombia

2017-03-01

AidData

We debut a pilot methodology for tracking financing to the SDGs, and share findings on three key sources of financing for Colombia.

AidData Policy Report

Financing the SDGs in Colombia

2017-03-01

AidData

We debut a pilot methodology for tracking financing to the SDGs, and share findings on three key sources of financing for Colombia.

AidData Policy Report

Financing the SDGs in Colombia

2017-03-01

AidData

We debut a pilot methodology for tracking financing to the SDGs, and share findings on three key sources of financing for Colombia.

Spanish Language Version: Financiación de los ODS en Colombia

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires mobilizing resources from a variety of sources, including international partners, domestic budgets, foundations and philanthropy, as well as the private sector. Knowing where this money is going is key to helping policymakers make smarter choices and steer resources to priority areas. However, data on development financing rarely incorporate all of these sources. 

To gain a clearer picture of SDG funding, AidData is launching a cutting-edge pilot in Colombia that will track, integrate, visualize and disseminate all-source financing for the SDGs, allowing decision makers to view progress on financing sustainable development from multiple angles. 

As a proof of concept, the brief presents AidData’s methodology for tracking financing to the SDGs and findings on three key sources of data for Colombia: 

  1. Traditional and emerging donor data
  2. Data from Colombia’s Aid Information Management System (AIMS), and
  3. Colombia’s National Budget data. 

For each data source, information is provided on historical levels of funding for the SDGs, which SDGs received the most funding, and how top donors allocated funds by SDG. Also featured are spotlights on education (Goal 4) and industry, innovation and infrastructure (Goal 9) for a deeper dive into these areas of particular interest to Colombia.

Finally, the brief introduces a pilot index developed by AidData that identifies pockets of social vulnerability at the subnational level in Colombia. This Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) is then overlaid with geocoded aid information to examine if aid projects and dollars are being concentrated in the most vulnerable areas.

AidData Policy Report

In the Eye of the Beholder: When is governance data "good enough"?

2016-12-01

Takaaki Masaki, Tanya Sethi, Samantha Custer

In a 2016 snap polll, 500 leaders shared their experiences on the role of governance data in advancing reforms in their countries.

AidData Policy Report

In the Eye of the Beholder: When is governance data "good enough"?

2016-12-01

Takaaki Masaki, Tanya Sethi, Samantha Custer

In a 2016 snap polll, 500 leaders shared their experiences on the role of governance data in advancing reforms in their countries.

AidData Policy Report

In the Eye of the Beholder: When is governance data "good enough"?

2016-12-01

Takaaki Masaki, Tanya Sethi, Samantha Custer

In a 2016 snap polll, 500 leaders shared their experiences on the role of governance data in advancing reforms in their countries.

This report presents new evidence from a 2016 Governance Data Alliance (GDA) Snap Poll of public, private, and civil society leaders in 126 low- and middle-income countries to answer four critical questions:

  • Delivery Channels: How do these leaders find or source governance data?
  • Use: How is governance data used and for what purpose(s)?
  • Influence: Which governance data do leaders find most useful – and why?
  • Barriers: What are the most prevalent obstacles to the use of governance data?

Over 500 leaders shared their firsthand experiences in advancing reforms in their countries and the role of governance data in that process. Snap poll participants evaluated 28 governance data sources (see the collected 2016 Governance Assessment Profiles) produced by a wide variety of multilateral organizations, bilateral agencies, and civil society groups.

Based upon their responses, we present four key takeaways.

  1. Broad-based communications still have sway, though the delivery channels leaders use to find governance data varies by where they work.
  2. Governance data is predominantly used to conduct research and analysis; however, specific use cases appear to be shaped by different organizational mandates.
  3. Most survey participants found governance data to be salient and helpful in their work, but this data is reportedly most useful when it is also perceived to be relevant and credible.
  4. Governance data that fails to take into account the local context is seen as irrelevant and lacks credibility when it is not transparent in methods and assumptions.

Commissioned by the Governance Data Alliance, this study was made possible with financial support from the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Omidyar Network.

AidData Policy Report

Danish Development Cooperation from a Partner Perspective

2016-09-01

Bradley Parks, Samantha Custer, Takaaki Masaki, Tanya Sethi, Rebecca Latourell

We assess Denmark's performance in agenda-setting, implementing reforms, and providing advice with feedback from leaders in 40 countries.

AidData Policy Report

Danish Development Cooperation from a Partner Perspective

2016-09-01

Bradley Parks, Samantha Custer, Takaaki Masaki, Tanya Sethi, Rebecca Latourell

We assess Denmark's performance in agenda-setting, implementing reforms, and providing advice with feedback from leaders in 40 countries.

AidData Policy Report

Danish Development Cooperation from a Partner Perspective

2016-09-01

Bradley Parks, Samantha Custer, Takaaki Masaki, Tanya Sethi, Rebecca Latourell

We assess Denmark's performance in agenda-setting, implementing reforms, and providing advice with feedback from leaders in 40 countries.

To assess Denmark’s performance from a partner country perspective, the study uses contributions from public, private, and civil society sector leaders in 40 low- and middle-income countries that participated in the 2014 Reform Efforts Survey. Participants provided first-hand insights into their experiences working with a variety of development partners and feedback on three aspects of performance: influence in setting the policy priorities, usefulness of advice in informing policy decisions, and helpfulness in reform implementation (i.e., translating ideas into action). The study finds that long-term partnerships and focussed investments amplify Denmark’s influence and improve favourability in the eyes of key counterparts. Furthermore, Denmark’s current practice of frequently communicating with in-country stakeholders was identified as particularly fruitful.

AidData Policy Report

From Pork to Performance: Open Government and Program Performance Tracking in the Philippines

2016-07-01

Samantha Custer, Hanif Rahemtulla, Kai Kaiser

New evidence on the prospects and limits of technology-enabled transparency to improve governance worldwide.

AidData Policy Report

From Pork to Performance: Open Government and Program Performance Tracking in the Philippines

2016-07-01

Samantha Custer, Hanif Rahemtulla, Kai Kaiser

New evidence on the prospects and limits of technology-enabled transparency to improve governance worldwide.

AidData Policy Report

From Pork to Performance: Open Government and Program Performance Tracking in the Philippines

2016-07-01

Samantha Custer, Hanif Rahemtulla, Kai Kaiser

New evidence on the prospects and limits of technology-enabled transparency to improve governance worldwide.

In June of 2016, The World Bank and AidData published From Pork to Performance, a study on the political economy of open data for service delivery in the Philippines.

From Pork to Performance illuminates the politics of how public resources are spent and the difficulty of the “last mile” of service delivery. This study examines the extent to which technology and transparency can disrupt this low accountability status quo through turning information into collective action to improve government performance by strengthening the accountability relationships between politicians, service providers and citizens.

Here are ten key takeaways from the report:

1. Service delivery is an important barometer of government performance and public trust.

When governments fail to deliver basic public services (e.g., roads, schools), citizens experience the pain points in immediate tangible ways, from disconnected roads to absentee teachers. For most citizens, these micro-transactions at the last mile of service delivery – on the road and in the classroom – are the most powerful impressions they have of their government’s performance.

2. Poor information creates friction and perverse incentives that favor pork over performance.

If citizens, officials, and oversight agencies can’t track the national budget, they remain in the dark as to how well upstream public resources translate into downstream access to services they consume daily. Money gets “lost” to corruption and inefficiency, basic services become private goods, and the public is left with few opportunities to reward or sanction politicians for results.

3. This study examines whether technology and transparency can produce better results.

The World Bank Group partnered with government reform champions in the Philippines to design a series of digital accountability platforms to disclose information on the whole service delivery chain in a given sector – from upstream budgets to downstream implementation. The study features examples from five sectors (e.g., education, reconstruction, roads, municipal development, and tax collection). The platforms give citizens, politicians and front-line providers the tools they need to track public expenditures and seek to turn open data into collective action to improve government performance.

4. Translating technology into “digital dividends” requires getting the fundamentals right.

The study assesses the results of five open government initiatives using an assessment rubric based upon four C’s: content, channel, choice, and consequences. The performance information disclosed must be timely and salient to end users (content); easy to access and use (channel); accompanied by credible outlets for people to take action (choice); and this collective action must be sufficient to change how policies are designed or programs delivered (consequences).

5. The success of technology platforms is interlinked with the broader politics of reform.

We find that digital platforms are just the “tip of the iceberg”. If the data the government releases is obsolete or irrelevant, people won’t pay attention. If the technology channel to get information to end-users is inaccessible, people won’t use the data. If there aren’t obvious ways for people to give feedback, lobby, or vote based upon the information, they won’t take action. Finally, if the agencies financing and implementing government programs are unwilling to heed the data and respond to feedback, services won’t improve.

6. High-level leadership and inter-agency coordination are essential to track the entire service delivery life cycle.

Coordination constraints – such as manual integration of data across multiple, disconnected systems – create roadblocks even on a “digital highway”. Governments need to put in place clear institutional structures to facilitate inter-agency coordination to: (1) comply with disclosure standards, (2) report performance data in a timely fashion, and (3) harmonize information management systems for seamless expenditure tracking.

7. Integrate digital accountability platforms within broader reform efforts, rather than as stand-alone initiatives.

Platforms that are well integrated with sector-specific or cross-cutting international commitments have been more successful in galvanizing lasting political commitment, dedicated resources, and buy-in across agencies and levels of government. Prioritize those sectors where digital technologies can complement reform efforts already underway.

8. Design platforms with a clear view of the performance challenge to be solved and iterate with users to ensure it is fit-for-purpose.

To deepen uptake, prioritize rapid iteration with end users to ensure that platforms are releasing the right information, at the right time, and in the right format so that citizens, officials, and oversight agencies can turn publicly available data into actionable insights.

9. Find ways that open government can align incentives to make politics work for development.

Getting digital accountability platforms to “click” requires a constellation of actors who view greater transparency as being in their interest. Next-generation open government initiatives need to reframe the value-add of transparency as serving, rather than threatening, the interests of these stakeholders to break through gridlock.

10. Broaden the support base for digital accountability platforms inside and outside of government to have staying power.

Mobilize the public to help improve official data on service delivery and they may be more interested in acting upon it. Demonstrate the value of platform data as a management tool for civil servants to more easily plan, implement, and evaluate flagship government programs.

AidData Policy Report

Governance Data: Who Uses It and Why?

2016-03-01

Samantha Custer, Zachary Rice, Takaaki Masaki, Rebecca Latourell, Bradley Parks

We examine the use of governance data among policymakers and practitioners in 126 low- and middle- income countries.

AidData Policy Report

Governance Data: Who Uses It and Why?

2016-03-01

Samantha Custer, Zachary Rice, Takaaki Masaki, Rebecca Latourell, Bradley Parks

We examine the use of governance data among policymakers and practitioners in 126 low- and middle- income countries.

AidData Policy Report

Governance Data: Who Uses It and Why?

2016-03-01

Samantha Custer, Zachary Rice, Takaaki Masaki, Rebecca Latourell, Bradley Parks

We examine the use of governance data among policymakers and practitioners in 126 low- and middle- income countries.

This report evaluates the use of governance data among policymakers and practitioners in 126 low- and middle- income countries. Research institutions, multilateral development banks, bilateral aid agencies, and civil society groups increasingly produce governance data to identify strong and weaker performers, inform resource allocation decisions, and support domestic reform champions in countries around the world. However, governance data producers know relatively little about who actually uses their diagnostic and advisory tools and why. The objective of this report is to help close this knowledge gap.

AidData Policy Report

Listening to Leaders: Which Development Partners Do They Prefer and Why?

2015-10-01

Samantha Custer, Zachary Rice, Takaaki Masaki, Rebecca Latourell, Bradley Parks

We draw upon the firsthand experiences and observations of nearly 6,750 policymakers and practitioners in 126 countries.

AidData Policy Report

Listening to Leaders: Which Development Partners Do They Prefer and Why?

2015-10-01

Samantha Custer, Zachary Rice, Takaaki Masaki, Rebecca Latourell, Bradley Parks

We draw upon the firsthand experiences and observations of nearly 6,750 policymakers and practitioners in 126 countries.

AidData Policy Report

Listening to Leaders: Which Development Partners Do They Prefer and Why?

2015-10-01

Samantha Custer, Zachary Rice, Takaaki Masaki, Rebecca Latourell, Bradley Parks

We draw upon the firsthand experiences and observations of nearly 6,750 policymakers and practitioners in 126 countries.

Measuring whether, when, how, and why individual development partners have influenced reform efforts in low- and middle-income countries is a challenge that has confounded scholars, practitioners, and policymakers for many decades. In this report launched in October 2015, AidData draws upon the firsthand experiences and observations of nearly 6,750 policymakers and practitioners in 126 countries to answer these critical questions. The Listening to Leaders: Which Development Partners Do They Prefer and Why? report examines the interactions that decision-makers in low and middle-income countries have with these development partnerships, pulling from their invaluable insights into the most pressing problems they face, their top policy priorities, and thoughts on how aid agencies and other external actors can partner with them most effectively. 

Listening to Leaders is the second report after The Marketplace of Ideas for Policy Change to leverage data from AidData’s 2014 Reform Efforts Survey. The second wave of this global omnibus survey was fielded in 2017, and a new report on Listening to Leaders 2018: Is development cooperation tuned-in or tone-deaf? was published in 2018.

AidData Policy Report

The Marketplace of Ideas for Policy Change: Who do developing world leaders listen to and why?

2015-04-01

Bradley Parks, Zachary Rice, Samantha Custer

A novel survey reveals how external assessments of government performance influence policymaking in low- and middle-income countries.

AidData Policy Report

The Marketplace of Ideas for Policy Change: Who do developing world leaders listen to and why?

2015-04-01

Bradley Parks, Zachary Rice, Samantha Custer

A novel survey reveals how external assessments of government performance influence policymaking in low- and middle-income countries.

AidData Policy Report

The Marketplace of Ideas for Policy Change: Who do developing world leaders listen to and why?

2015-04-01

Bradley Parks, Zachary Rice, Samantha Custer

A novel survey reveals how external assessments of government performance influence policymaking in low- and middle-income countries.

Despite considerable time, money and effort expended by donors, international organizations, and NGOs to influence policy change in low and middle income countries, there is a lack of understanding about how they can most effectively influence reform efforts on the ground. In this report, AidData draws upon the firsthand experiences and observations of nearly 6,750 policymakers and practitioners in 126 countries to answer these critical questions. The Marketplace of Ideas for Policy Change report examines the influence of over 100 external assessments of government performance — from cross-country benchmarking exercises and watchlists to country-specific diagnostics and conditional aid programs — on the policymaking process of low and middle income countries. Participants in the survey identified the specific sources of external analysis and advice that were used by key government decision-makers between 2004 and 2013, and why. Survey respondents also provided detailed information about reform processes within their own countries, such who has advocated for reform in different sectors and who actively obstructed reform efforts.

AidData Working Paper Series

AidData’s Working Paper Series contains pre-publication papers addressing the causes and consequences of development finance; whether, when, and how data transparency and accountability initiatives lead to better decision making and improved development outcomes; and related research methods. The series is a forum where relevant papers and research findings can be disseminated more broadly to scholars, policymakers, and practitioners. The views expressed in AidData working papers are those of the authors and should not be attributed to AidData or funders of AidData’s work.

64

AidData Working Paper

Connective Financing: Chinese Infrastructure Projects and the Diffusion of Economic Activity in Developing Countries

2018-09-11

Richard Bluhm, Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley Parks, Austin Strange, Michael Tierney

AidData Working Paper

Connective Financing: Chinese Infrastructure Projects and the Diffusion of Economic Activity in Developing Countries

2018-09-11

Richard Bluhm, Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley Parks, Austin Strange, Michael Tierney

AidData Working Paper

Connective Financing: Chinese Infrastructure Projects and the Diffusion of Economic Activity in Developing Countries

2018-09-11

Richard Bluhm, Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley Parks, Austin Strange, Michael Tierney

How do development projects influence the geographic distribution of economic activity within low-income and middle-income countries? Existing research focuses on the effects of Western development projects on inter-personal inequality and inequality across different subnational regions. However, China has recently become a major financier of economic infrastructure in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe, and it is unclear if these investments diffuse or concentrate economic activity. We introduce an original dataset of geo-located Chinese Government-financed projects in 138 countries between 2000 and 2014, and analyze the effects of these projects on the spatial distribution of economic activity within host countries. We find that Chinese development projects in general, and Chinese transportation projects in particular, reduce economic inequality within and between subnational localities. Our results suggest that Chinese investments in “connective infrastructure” produce positive economic spillovers that lead to a more equal distribution of economic activity in the localities where they are implemented.

63

AidData Working Paper

Estimating Spatial Treatment Effects: An Application to Base Closures and Aid Delivery in Afghanistan

2018-08-30

Kosuke Imai, Jason Lyall, Yuki Shiraito, Xiaolin Yang

AidData Working Paper

Estimating Spatial Treatment Effects: An Application to Base Closures and Aid Delivery in Afghanistan

2018-08-30

Kosuke Imai, Jason Lyall, Yuki Shiraito, Xiaolin Yang

AidData Working Paper

Estimating Spatial Treatment Effects: An Application to Base Closures and Aid Delivery in Afghanistan

2018-08-30

Kosuke Imai, Jason Lyall, Yuki Shiraito, Xiaolin Yang

Scholars have increasingly embraced fine-grained geospatial data to estimate the effects of aid programs at the subnational level. To date, however, scholars have yet to wrestle with a number of methodological issues arising from the use of these data, particularly when we move beyond coarse provincial (or administrative) level data to the level of aid disbursement itself. We require tools flexible enough to estimate aid effects when (1) the same aid disbursement is linked to multiple locations; (2) when the treatment and outcomes are measured at different levels or locations; and (3) where the distance of the presumed aid spillover, both spatially and temporally, are not known ex ante. We introduce a new method for estimating spatial treatment effects when fine-grained data are available for both the treatment and outcomes of interest. We demonstrate the utility of this approach using two empirical applications: the close of hundreds of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) bases and the implementation of the Community Development Program (CDP) in violent areas of Afghanistan (2010-13). Drawing on multiple waves of a large-scale survey experiment, we examine how base closures and aid delivery affected support for the Afghan government relative to its Taliban enemy.

Funding: This research was supported by AidData at the College of William and Mary and the USAID Global Development Lab through cooperative agreement AID-OAA-A-12-00096. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of AidData, USAID, or the United States Government.

62

AidData Working Paper

Honor among Chiefs: An Experiment on Monitoring and Diversion Among Traditional Leaders in Malawi

2018-08-29

Elizabeth Carlson, Brigitte Seim

AidData Working Paper

Honor among Chiefs: An Experiment on Monitoring and Diversion Among Traditional Leaders in Malawi

2018-08-29

Elizabeth Carlson, Brigitte Seim

AidData Working Paper

Honor among Chiefs: An Experiment on Monitoring and Diversion Among Traditional Leaders in Malawi

2018-08-29

Elizabeth Carlson, Brigitte Seim

Traditional, hereditary chiefs are an integral part of the development infrastructure in many African countries, but there are few empirical studies examining how chiefs perform in this role and to whom they are accountable. To capture chiefs’ behavior as agents of development and understand the accountability mechanisms they face, we conduct a field experiment on 200 Malawian village chiefs, documenting how they distribute a valuable development good – iron roofing sheets – as we sequentially add monitoring by donors, subjects, and the state. We find evidence that even in the absence of formal accountability institutions, monitoring alters chief behavior; diversion of the materials is highest in the absence of monitoring. However, the chief’s principals have competing demands that counteract one another. We determine that while most of a chief’s principals prefer allocations based on need, a subset of the chief’s subjects – his relatives – prefer an allocation that benefits them. As the core of his social and economic networks, these principals are often able to override the demands of the chief’s other principals. Altogether, diversion is minimized when chiefs are monitored by the donor, and only the donor. When chiefs are monitored by all their principals simultaneously, diversion is not significantly lower than under control, but dissatisfaction among subjects is greater. This study contributes to the literatures on chiefs and informal accountability, highlights the need to consider common agency when designing and analyzing development interventions, and provides guidance for development practitioners who rely on traditional chiefs as partners.

Funding: This research was supported by AidData at the College of William and Mary and the USAID Global Development Lab through cooperative agreement AID-OAA-A-12-00096. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of AidData, USAID, or the United States Government.

61

AidData Working Paper

China in Africa: Competition for Traditional Development Finance Institutions?

2018-07-25

Chris Humphrey, Katharina Michaelowa

AidData Working Paper

China in Africa: Competition for Traditional Development Finance Institutions?

2018-07-25

Chris Humphrey, Katharina Michaelowa

AidData Working Paper

China in Africa: Competition for Traditional Development Finance Institutions?

2018-07-25

Chris Humphrey, Katharina Michaelowa

Official development finance from China has risen tremendously in the past two decades across the globe, including in the world’s poorest continent, Africa. How has this sudden increase in development resources affected the two major multilateral development banks (MDBs) in the region, the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB)? One might expect that the MDBs—often described as tools to exert the influence of wealthy western countries—might compete with China to maintain their relevance and influence in Africa. This study undertakes a combination of statistical tests and in-depth interviews with government officials in three recipient countries to see if this is the case, both in terms of overall finance levels as well as in the sectoral distribution of projects. The results indicate that total MDB finance levels by country change little over time regardless of Chinese activity. The same is true for funding levels of traditional bilateral donors. The sectoral allocation of concessional lending does not show any responsiveness either. In contrast, shifts in funding levels overall and in sector allocation can be observed for non-concessional countries; the latter, however, represent only a small minority among the recipients of Chinese  finance. Overall, the study suggests that while China’s role in African development finance is indeed substantial and growing, it has not had the “game changing” impact on traditional development finance as popular perception might lead one to believe. Things may change, however, once more recipient countries develop economically and move into the non-concessional category.

60

AidData Working Paper

Implementation Level in World Bank Projects: National vs. Local Allocation of Power

2018-07-24

Silvia Marchesi, Tania Masi

AidData Working Paper

Implementation Level in World Bank Projects: National vs. Local Allocation of Power

2018-07-24

Silvia Marchesi, Tania Masi

AidData Working Paper

Implementation Level in World Bank Projects: National vs. Local Allocation of Power

2018-07-24

Silvia Marchesi, Tania Masi

In this paper we explore the factors that determine the level at which World Bank projects are implemented. In particular, focusing on the importance of informational asymmetry between levels of government, we empirically assess whether this choice is influenced by the relative importance of the local information at the recipient country level. Using an AidData dataset that provides information on more than 5800 World Bank projects for the period 1995-2014, and controlling for characteristics at both country and project level, we find that transparency does influence the probability that a project is implemented locally rather than nationally. More specifically, a one standard deviation decline in transparency increases the probability that a World Bank project will be implemented locally by up to 3 percent.

59

AidData Working Paper

The Effects of Chinese Aid on State Legitimacy in Africa: Cross-National and Sub-National Evidence from Surveys, Survey Experiments, and Behavioral Games

2018-07-23

Robert A. Blair, Philip Roessler

AidData Working Paper

The Effects of Chinese Aid on State Legitimacy in Africa: Cross-National and Sub-National Evidence from Surveys, Survey Experiments, and Behavioral Games

2018-07-23

Robert A. Blair, Philip Roessler

AidData Working Paper

The Effects of Chinese Aid on State Legitimacy in Africa: Cross-National and Sub-National Evidence from Surveys, Survey Experiments, and Behavioral Games

2018-07-23

Robert A. Blair, Philip Roessler

What are the effects of Chinese aid on the legitimacy of African states? China has dramatically increased the scope of its aid to Africa in recent years, igniting much debate among scholars and policymakers, some of whom characterize China as a “rogue donor” that is rupturing the social contract between citizens and recipient states. We test this proposition by combining within-country analysis of original surveys, survey experiments, and behavioral games in Liberia with cross-country analysis of AidData and Afrobarometer data on 38 African countries. We find little evidence indicating that exposure to Chinese aid has diminished Africans’ perceptions of government or reduced tax compliance or morale, both important indicators of state legitimacy. Our results are consistent across settings, levels of analysis, and measurement and identification strategies, belying the conventional wisdom that China’s increasing economic engagement imperils good governance or estranges citizens from recipient African states.

58

AidData Working Paper

The Political Geography of Government Projects: Evidence from +/- 40,000 Projects in Ghana

2018-06-30

Nahomi Ichino, Martin Williams, Erik Wibbels

AidData Working Paper

The Political Geography of Government Projects: Evidence from +/- 40,000 Projects in Ghana

2018-06-30

Nahomi Ichino, Martin Williams, Erik Wibbels

AidData Working Paper

The Political Geography of Government Projects: Evidence from +/- 40,000 Projects in Ghana

2018-06-30

Nahomi Ichino, Martin Williams, Erik Wibbels

A large body of work on distributive politics emphasizes that incumbents strategically target spending at voters to achieve electoral ends, with important debates about whether politicians target swing or core voters. Nearly all such work, however, ignores the fact that voters are clustered in space and that much government spending is on club goods that are inherently geographic. These goods, such as schools or clinics, serve communities and cannot be targeted at individual voters; such goods also have spatial externalities because neighboring communities can use them. Our paper has three aims. First, we outline the analytical challenges inherent in taking project locations and their corresponding spatial externalities seriously. Second, we describe some of the empirical challenges associated with attaining project location data, mapping it, combining it with relevant covariates at the appropriate scale and modeling it. Third, we introduce a new dataset that combines over 40,000 projects in Ghana’s districts with fine-grained census tract and polling booth data. To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest data set of its kind. In preliminary analysis of a modest portion of the data, we estimate the role of need, partisanship and spatial externalities in shaping which communities receive government projects.

This research was supported by AidData at the College of William and Mary and the USAID Global Development Lab through cooperative agreement AID-OAA-A-12-00096.

57

AidData Working Paper

Secondary School Electrification in Western Kenya

2018-06-29

Susanna Berkouwer, Kenneth Lee, Michael Walker

AidData Working Paper

Secondary School Electrification in Western Kenya

2018-06-29

Susanna Berkouwer, Kenneth Lee, Michael Walker

AidData Working Paper

Secondary School Electrification in Western Kenya

2018-06-29

Susanna Berkouwer, Kenneth Lee, Michael Walker

We estimate the impact of the rollout of a Kenyan program that connected the vast majority of Kenyan secondary schools to the electricity grid on the number of students taking a secondary completion exam and their exam performance. Using administrative data from western Kenya and a differences-in-differences approach, and controlling for school and time fixed effects, we find no significant impact on either the number of students taking the exams, or on exam scores. We explore secondary school energy usage via an original school survey and find that electricity access is still unreliable for many schools, with over half of schools reporting a blackout in the last three days.

This research was supported by AidData at the College of William and Mary and the USAID Global Development Lab through cooperative agreement AID-OAA-A-12-00096. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of AidData, USAID, or the United States Government.

56

AidData Working Paper

Bypass Aid and Perceptions of Local Government Performance and Legitimacy

2018-06-28

Kate Baldwin, Matthew S. Winters

AidData Working Paper

Bypass Aid and Perceptions of Local Government Performance and Legitimacy

2018-06-28

Kate Baldwin, Matthew S. Winters

AidData Working Paper

Bypass Aid and Perceptions of Local Government Performance and Legitimacy

2018-06-28

Kate Baldwin, Matthew S. Winters

What are the consequences of revealing true information about the origins and administration of local development projects to Ugandan adults? Do they think differently about their own government when they learn that the financing for a local development project has come from outside of their country and that the entity responsible for bringing the project to their community is a non-governmental organization? We conduct an informational experiment among N=2,446 Ugandan adults in 18 different parishes in which we randomize the information that we provide about a local project in which foreign aid bypasses the government (i.e., funding from donors is provided to NGOs for project implementation). Our experimental design permits us to separately estimate the effect of finding out a project is donor-funded, the effect of finding out a project is NGO-implemented, and their interaction. We use both survey measures and a donation game to study whether citizens are more or less responsive to government entreaties. We find that providing information about bypass aid decreases citizens’ beliefs about the quality of their local government but has limited effects on their willingness to comply with the government in either survey or behavioral measures. We also find evidence that information that a project bypasses government increases citizens’ willingness to contribute money to it.

This research was supported by AidData at the College of William and Mary and the USAID Global Development Lab through cooperative agreement AID-OAA-A-12-00096. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of AidData, USAID, or the United States Government.

55

AidData Working Paper

Foreign Aid and Subnational Development: A Grid Cell Analysis

2018-06-27

Jürgen Bitzer, Erkan Gören

AidData Working Paper

Foreign Aid and Subnational Development: A Grid Cell Analysis

2018-06-27

Jürgen Bitzer, Erkan Gören

AidData Working Paper

Foreign Aid and Subnational Development: A Grid Cell Analysis

2018-06-27

Jürgen Bitzer, Erkan Gören

We examine the impact of geo-referenced World Bank development programs on subnational development using equally sized grid cells with a spatial resolution of 0.5 decimal degrees latitude × longitude as the unit of investigation. The proposed grid cell approach solves a number of endogeneity problems discussed in the aid effectiveness literature that make it difficult to identify the true effect of foreign aid on development outcomes due to the presence of unobserved heterogeneity, lack of key country-level controls, aggregation bias, simultaneity and/or the presence of reverse causality in the association between foreign aid and economic growth, measurement errors, and endogenous sample selection bias. The estimates reveal that World Bank foreign aid projects contribute significantly to grid cell economic activity measured by night-time lights growth. This finding is robust to the presence of unobserved country-year and grid-cell-specific unobserved heterogeneity, and to the inclusion of a full set of grid-cell-specific socioeconomic, demographic, conflict-related, biogeographic, and climatic controls. Additional sensitivity tests con rm the robustness of the main findings to various econometric estimators, alternative model specifications, and different spatial aggregation levels.

54

AidData Working Paper

The Effects of Trade, Aid, and Investment on China's Image in Developing Countries

2018-06-26

Vera Z. Eichenauer, Andreas Fuchs, Lutz Brückner

AidData Working Paper

The Effects of Trade, Aid, and Investment on China's Image in Developing Countries

2018-06-26

Vera Z. Eichenauer, Andreas Fuchs, Lutz Brückner

AidData Working Paper

The Effects of Trade, Aid, and Investment on China's Image in Developing Countries

2018-06-26

Vera Z. Eichenauer, Andreas Fuchs, Lutz Brückner

One goal of China’s Go Out policy is to create goodwill in countries around the world. At the same time, China’s growing economic engagement has provoked much criticism. This paper is the first to study whether these activities change the attitudes of individuals in developing countries towards China at both the national and subnational level. Using repeated cross-sectional survey data from the Latinobarómetro, we analyze whether and how growing amounts of exports, foreign aid, and foreign direct investment from China to Latin America affect opinions on China within 18 Latin American countries over the 2002-2013 period. We run instrumental-variables regressions by exploiting exogenous variation in the supply of Chinese exports, aid, and investment proxied by China’s market penetration of developing countries outside Latin America. In contrast to the widespread criticism, we do not find evidence that China’s growing economic activities in the respective countries deteriorate average attitudes towards China—neither at the national nor the provincial level. However, our results show that the young, educated, and economically privileged population develops more positive views of China. We interpret this as evidence that China’s economic engagement creates winners and losers.

53

AidData Working Paper

The Donor Footprint and Gender Gaps

2018-06-25

Maria Perrotta Berlin, Evelina Bonnier, Anders Olofsgård

AidData Working Paper

The Donor Footprint and Gender Gaps

2018-06-25

Maria Perrotta Berlin, Evelina Bonnier, Anders Olofsgård

AidData Working Paper

The Donor Footprint and Gender Gaps

2018-06-25

Maria Perrotta Berlin, Evelina Bonnier, Anders Olofsgård

In this paper, we analyze the impact of foreign aid on female empowerment by matching geo-coded household surveys with the location of aid projects, thus measuring an average community effect of exposure to aid-financed projects. Given that women’s empowerment is a multidimensional concept, we examine the impact on several indicators related to women’s relative standing in the household. We find positive effects on women’s participation in the labor force, household decision-making and attitudes toward domestic violence, as well as on household consumption and expenditures on children. These effects are generally stronger for gender specific projects. At the same time, we find no or negative effects for other indicators, such as the division of household chores, and children’s education. We argue that the variation in outcomes can best be understood by what change would be required from other family members and how this change matches the norms of the community.

52

AidData Working Paper

Aid Curse with Chinese Characteristics? Chinese Development Flows and Economic Reforms

2018-05-25

Samuel Brazys, Krishna Chaitanya Vadlamannati

The authors investigate whether Chinese development aid disincentivizes economic reform by providing governments with a budgetary cushion.

AidData Working Paper

Aid Curse with Chinese Characteristics? Chinese Development Flows and Economic Reforms

2018-05-25

Samuel Brazys, Krishna Chaitanya Vadlamannati

The authors investigate whether Chinese development aid disincentivizes economic reform by providing governments with a budgetary cushion.

AidData Working Paper

Aid Curse with Chinese Characteristics? Chinese Development Flows and Economic Reforms

2018-05-25

Samuel Brazys, Krishna Chaitanya Vadlamannati

The authors investigate whether Chinese development aid disincentivizes economic reform by providing governments with a budgetary cushion.

The emergence of China as a major development partner requires a reassessment of traditional donor-recipient dynamics. In addition to using new rhetoric like “South-South cooperation” or “Win-Win”, China has also eschewed classifications and practices of the traditional donors of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Donor Assistance Committee (DAC). Yet this “new approach” and willful ignorance may not spare China from the same issues confronted by traditional donors. In this paper, we consider the extent to which Chinese development efforts disincentivize difficult economic reforms by providing recipient governments with a budgetary cushion. Using an instrumental variable approach with panel data covering 117 countries during the 2000-2014 period, we find that the presence of Chinese development flows, particularly those over which recipients have a high degree of discretion, inhibit broader economic reform. These findings are robust to a number of alternative specifications, data, instruments and approaches and are suggestive of an institutional aid curse “with Chinese characteristics” as insidious as that which has plagued some traditional donor-recipient relationships.

51

AidData Working Paper

The Impact of Health Service Delivery on Political Support: Evidence from the Nigerian Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme

2018-05-24

Adanna Chukwama, Thomas J. Bossert

Geocoded Afrobarometer data is used to assess how provision of new healthcare facilites impacts citizen trust in the ruling political party.

AidData Working Paper

The Impact of Health Service Delivery on Political Support: Evidence from the Nigerian Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme

2018-05-24

Adanna Chukwama, Thomas J. Bossert

Geocoded Afrobarometer data is used to assess how provision of new healthcare facilites impacts citizen trust in the ruling political party.

AidData Working Paper

The Impact of Health Service Delivery on Political Support: Evidence from the Nigerian Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme

2018-05-24

Adanna Chukwama, Thomas J. Bossert

Geocoded Afrobarometer data is used to assess how provision of new healthcare facilites impacts citizen trust in the ruling political party.

Sub-Saharan African governments need to make substantial investments to expand access to quality health services, necessitating research that examines the incentives before politicians to make these investments. This paper examined the implications of a national maternal and child health intervention in Nigeria for trust in the President and the ruling party in geographically-matched households and facilities using difference-in-difference models. We show that proximity to intervention health facilities led to increases in trust in the President and the ruling party. Our findings also indicate that the effect of service delivery on trust did not significantly interact with patronage relationships between the President and citizens. More broadly, our findings contribute to the evidence on positive returns to improving physical access to quality health services in similar contexts in Africa.

50

AidData Working Paper

Chinese Development Assistance and Household Welfare in Sub-Saharan Africa

2018-05-23

Bruno Martorano, Laura Metzger, Marco Sanfilippo

A geospatial analysis finds Chinese aid is positively affecting household wealth and education in 13 sub-Saharan African countries.

AidData Working Paper

Chinese Development Assistance and Household Welfare in Sub-Saharan Africa

2018-05-23

Bruno Martorano, Laura Metzger, Marco Sanfilippo

A geospatial analysis finds Chinese aid is positively affecting household wealth and education in 13 sub-Saharan African countries.

AidData Working Paper

Chinese Development Assistance and Household Welfare in Sub-Saharan Africa

2018-05-23

Bruno Martorano, Laura Metzger, Marco Sanfilippo

A geospatial analysis finds Chinese aid is positively affecting household wealth and education in 13 sub-Saharan African countries.

By combing geocoded project-level data on Chinese development assistance with geocoded household-level data from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), we investigate the effect of Chinese project assistance on household welfare in 13 sub-Saharan African countries. We exploit the geographic proximity of household clusters across two different DHS survey waves (before and after the influx of Chinese aid) and use a difference-in-difference design in order to investigate the impact of Chinese aid on households’ wealth and education. Our results consistently point to an overall positive effect of Chinese project assistance on household welfare: areas that receive Chinese projects are more likely to be wealthier, stay in school longer, and achieve a higher educational attainment than areas which did not receive such projects. Results are robust to various alternative model specifications.

49

AidData Working Paper

Geostatistical Tools to Map the Interaction between Development Aid and Indices of Need

2018-05-18

Claudio Bosco, Natalia Tejedor-Garavito, Daniele de Rigo, Andrew J. Tatem, Carla Pezzulo, Richard Wood, Heather Chamberlain, Tom Bird

Modern statistical approaches and geocoded aid data are used to map key social and health indicators for spatial decision-making.

AidData Working Paper

Geostatistical Tools to Map the Interaction between Development Aid and Indices of Need

2018-05-18

Claudio Bosco, Natalia Tejedor-Garavito, Daniele de Rigo, Andrew J. Tatem, Carla Pezzulo, Richard Wood, Heather Chamberlain, Tom Bird

Modern statistical approaches and geocoded aid data are used to map key social and health indicators for spatial decision-making.

AidData Working Paper

Geostatistical Tools to Map the Interaction between Development Aid and Indices of Need

2018-05-18

Claudio Bosco, Natalia Tejedor-Garavito, Daniele de Rigo, Andrew J. Tatem, Carla Pezzulo, Richard Wood, Heather Chamberlain, Tom Bird

Modern statistical approaches and geocoded aid data are used to map key social and health indicators for spatial decision-making.

In order to meet and assess progress towards global sustainable development goals (SDGs), an improved understanding of geographic variation in population wellbeing indicators such as health status, wealth and access to resources is crucial, as the equitable and efficient allocation of international aid relies on knowing where funds are needed most. Unfortunately, in many low-income countries, detailed, reliable and timely information on the spatial distribution and characteristics of intended aid recipients are rarely available. Furthermore, lack of information on the past distribution of aid relative to need also hinders assessments of the impacts of aid. High-resolution data on key social and health indicators, as well as how aid distribution relates to these indicators are therefore fundamental for targeting limited resources and building on past efforts. 

In this study, we show how modern statistical approaches combined with a new geographic database of aid distribution can be used to map the distribution of indicators with a level of detail that can support geographically stratified decision-making. Based on geo-located survey data from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) in Nigeria (2008 - 2013) and Nepal (2006 - 2011), Bayesian geostatistical models and machine learning approaches were used in combination with a suite of spatial data layers to create high-resolution predictive maps for (i) the rates of stunting in children under the age of five and (ii) the household wealth index. An ensemble model was also exploited for aggregating different modelling results to improve the modelling prediction capacity in Nigeria (for stunting 2008). By combining these maps with information on the disbursement of aid for increasing food security and alleviating poverty (AidData database - http://aiddata.org/), we quantified both the reported spatial distribution of aid relative to stunting and poverty, as well as how changes in these indices overtime related to aid disbursement. While many cases of aid disbursement lacked detailed spatial information, the results here demonstrate the potential of this approach and highlight the value of spatially disaggregated data on the distribution of aid.

Note: This article contains high-resolution maps and images. The link above is for an optimized PDF (2 kb). For the full-resolution PDF (56 mb), please click here. The PDF may take a few moments to load.

48

AidData Working Paper

Breaking the Clientelistic Voting Equilibrium: The Joint Importance of Salience and Coordination

2017-11-30

Claire Adida, Jessica Gottlieb, Eric Kramon, Gweneth McClendon

Two conditions must be present for information about politician performance to affect how voters reward or punish good or bad performers.

AidData Working Paper

Breaking the Clientelistic Voting Equilibrium: The Joint Importance of Salience and Coordination

2017-11-30

Claire Adida, Jessica Gottlieb, Eric Kramon, Gweneth McClendon

Two conditions must be present for information about politician performance to affect how voters reward or punish good or bad performers.

AidData Working Paper

Breaking the Clientelistic Voting Equilibrium: The Joint Importance of Salience and Coordination

2017-11-30

Claire Adida, Jessica Gottlieb, Eric Kramon, Gweneth McClendon

Two conditions must be present for information about politician performance to affect how voters reward or punish good or bad performers.

Scholars argue that access to information about a politician’s programmatic performance helps voters reward (punish) good (poor) performers. But in clientelistic democracies, where resources are made conditional on electoral behavior, voters may not want to defect from voting for a clientelistic candidate if they do not believe that others will. We argue that two conditions must hold for information about politician performance to exercise its intended effect: voters must care about the information provided and  believe that others in their constituency care as well. Experimental evidence from legislative elections in Benin reveals that voters rewarded good programmatic performance only when information was both accompanied by a civics message and  widely disseminated within the electoral district. Otherwise, access to positive legislative performance information actually lowered incumbent vote share. These results demonstrate the joint importance of salience and voter coordination in shaping information’s impact and breaking the clientelistic voting equilibrium.

47

AidData Working Paper

Lighting the Path: The Influence of Historical Christian Missions on Modern-day Development Aid Allocation in Africa

2017-10-26

Matteo Alpino, Eivind M. Hammersmark

Areas with a historical Christian missionary presence have a higher probability of receiving modern development projects.

AidData Working Paper

Lighting the Path: The Influence of Historical Christian Missions on Modern-day Development Aid Allocation in Africa

2017-10-26

Matteo Alpino, Eivind M. Hammersmark

Areas with a historical Christian missionary presence have a higher probability of receiving modern development projects.

AidData Working Paper

Lighting the Path: The Influence of Historical Christian Missions on Modern-day Development Aid Allocation in Africa

2017-10-26

Matteo Alpino, Eivind M. Hammersmark

Areas with a historical Christian missionary presence have a higher probability of receiving modern development projects.

Recent studies suggest that development aid is not always directed towards the poorest areas within countries, contrary to what we would expect if the objective is to end poverty. In this paper we document a positive correlation between the location of historical Christian missions and the within-country allocation of World Bank and Chinese financed development projects in Africa. The correlation is conditioned on observable geographical and historical factors that have shaped missionaries’ settlement decisions. Christian missions often included health and education facilities, and we consider them to be ancestors of modern micro-development projects. We interpret our finding as evidence of historical path dependence in the spatial distribution of aid, which can be rationalized by assuming decreasing unit cost of implementing aid at the local level. We do not find evidence that the results are driven by donor preference for Christian or Westernized areas.

46

AidData Working Paper

Aid, China, and Growth: Evidence from a New Global Development Finance Dataset

2017-10-10

Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley Parks, Austin M. Strange, Michael J. Tierney

A new dataset of official financing from China is used to investigate how Chinese aid affects economic growth in recipient countries.

AidData Working Paper

Aid, China, and Growth: Evidence from a New Global Development Finance Dataset

2017-10-10

Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley Parks, Austin M. Strange, Michael J. Tierney

A new dataset of official financing from China is used to investigate how Chinese aid affects economic growth in recipient countries.

AidData Working Paper

Aid, China, and Growth: Evidence from a New Global Development Finance Dataset

2017-10-10

Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley Parks, Austin M. Strange, Michael J. Tierney

A new dataset of official financing from China is used to investigate how Chinese aid affects economic growth in recipient countries.

This paper introduces a new dataset of official financing—including foreign aid and other forms of concessional and non-concessional state financing—from China to 138 countries between 2000 and 2014. We use these data to investigate whether and to what extent Chinese aid affects economic growth in recipient countries. To account for the endogeneity of aid, we employ an instrumental-variables strategy that relies on exogenous variation in the supply of Chinese aid over time resulting from changes in Chinese steel production. Variation across recipient countries results from a country’s probability of receiving aid. Controlling for year- and recipient-fixed effects that capture the levels of these variables, their interaction provides a powerful and excludable instrument. Our results show that Chinese official development assistance (ODA) boosts economic growth in recipient countries. For the average recipient country, we estimate that one additional Chinese ODA project produces a 0.7 percentage point increase in economic growth two years after the project is committed. We also benchmark the effectiveness of Chinese aid vis-á-vis the World Bank, the United States, and all members of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC). Our results indicate that Chinese, U.S., and OECD-DAC ODA have positive effects on economic growth, but we find no robust evidence that World Bank aid promotes growth. We also find that, irrespective of the funding source, less concessional and more commercially-oriented types of official finance do not boost economic growth. Finally, we test the popular claim that significant financial support from China impairs the effectiveness of grants and loans from Western donors and lenders. Our results do not support this claim.

45

AidData Working Paper

How Transparency Affects Distributional Politics: A Field Experiment among Elected Incumbents in Malawi

2017-10-01

Ryan Jablonski, Brigitte Seim

Transparency leads to political incumbents allocating goods to communites with greater economic needs versus those of political support.

AidData Working Paper

How Transparency Affects Distributional Politics: A Field Experiment among Elected Incumbents in Malawi

2017-10-01

Ryan Jablonski, Brigitte Seim

Transparency leads to political incumbents allocating goods to communites with greater economic needs versus those of political support.

AidData Working Paper

How Transparency Affects Distributional Politics: A Field Experiment among Elected Incumbents in Malawi

2017-10-01

Ryan Jablonski, Brigitte Seim

Transparency leads to political incumbents allocating goods to communites with greater economic needs versus those of political support.

How does transparency affect distributional politics? We theorize that it conditions how officials choose recipient communities, compelling them to allocate to needy communities rather than to core supporters. We present the results of a field experiment in which 333 elected incumbent councillors in Malawi made real and meaningful decisions about the allocation of NGO-provided development goods to schools in their constituency. Prior to allocating goods, half of the incumbents were informed that letters about their decisions would be sent to local development oversight committees. We find that this transparency treatment caused incumbents to allocate goods to recipient school communities with greater economic need. They were also less likely to allocate to schools with strong political support. To our knowledge, this is the first experimental evaluation of theoretical claims about the role of transparency in distributional politics using in-office elected leaders as participants and observing real distributional decisions.

44

AidData Working Paper

A Primer on Geospatial Impact Evaluation Methods, Tools, and Applications

2017-09-01

Ariel BenYishay, Daniel Runfola, Rachel Trichler, Carrie Dolan, Seth Goodman, Bradley Parks, Jeffery Tanner, Silke Heuser, Geeta Batra, Anupam Anand

A review of the advantages, disadvantages, and use cases of GIEs across countries, sectors, interventions, and development organizations.

AidData Working Paper

A Primer on Geospatial Impact Evaluation Methods, Tools, and Applications

2017-09-01

Ariel BenYishay, Daniel Runfola, Rachel Trichler, Carrie Dolan, Seth Goodman, Bradley Parks, Jeffery Tanner, Silke Heuser, Geeta Batra, Anupam Anand

A review of the advantages, disadvantages, and use cases of GIEs across countries, sectors, interventions, and development organizations.

AidData Working Paper

A Primer on Geospatial Impact Evaluation Methods, Tools, and Applications

2017-09-01

Ariel BenYishay, Daniel Runfola, Rachel Trichler, Carrie Dolan, Seth Goodman, Bradley Parks, Jeffery Tanner, Silke Heuser, Geeta Batra, Anupam Anand

A review of the advantages, disadvantages, and use cases of GIEs across countries, sectors, interventions, and development organizations.

The growing availability of georeferenced data on development investments and outcomes has opened up new opportunities to understand what works, what doesn’t, and why at a substantially lower time and financial cost. When precisely georeferenced intervention data are fused with in-situ and remotely sensed data on outcomes like poverty, child mortality, deforestation, and governance, quasi-experimental methods of causal inference can be used to control for potential confounds and omitted variables at fine geographic levels. We introduce these geospatial impact evaluation (GIE) methods, review their advantages and disadvantages, and describe their relevance and use across countries, sectors, intervention types, and development organizations.

43

AidData Working Paper

BRICS and Foreign Aid

2017-08-01

Gerda Asmus, Andreas Fuchs, Angelika Müller

An overview of the small but growing literature on BRICS donors, who show considerable variation in their bilateral foreign aid activities.

AidData Working Paper

BRICS and Foreign Aid

2017-08-01

Gerda Asmus, Andreas Fuchs, Angelika Müller

An overview of the small but growing literature on BRICS donors, who show considerable variation in their bilateral foreign aid activities.

AidData Working Paper

BRICS and Foreign Aid

2017-08-01

Gerda Asmus, Andreas Fuchs, Angelika Müller

An overview of the small but growing literature on BRICS donors, who show considerable variation in their bilateral foreign aid activities.

This paper provides an overview of the small but growing literature on the bilateral foreign aid activities carried out by the five BRICS countries. While these so-called emerging donors are steadily gaining prominence in international development, they are certainly not new to the field, with foreign aid programs dating back as far as the 1950s. The recent increase in both the size and scope of their development activities around the globe is regarded by some as a threat to the international aid architecture dominated by the United States and its allies in Western Europe and Japan. What do we know about the size, scope and institutional design of the BRICS countries’ aid activities? What can we learn about these donors’ aid motives by analyzing the pattern of their aid recipients and focal sectors? Does the existing qualitative and quantitative literature allow us to draw conclusions about the effects of BRICS aid on economic growth, other development outcomes, governance and conflict in recipient countries? Moreover, how will BRICS aid affect the DAC-centered international aid architecture and the way the so-called traditional donors provide aid? While our examination of existing scholarly work allows us to draw some tentative conclusions, it also underscores the considerable variation BRICS donors show in their aid approaches; they rarely act as a group in international development cooperation. We also highlight the major avenues and challenges for future research.

42

AidData Working Paper

Aid and Growth in Malawi

2017-07-01

Daniel Chris Khomba, Alex Trew

Do foreign aid flows impact local growth? Researchers find that aid flows cause higher growth and relocate economic activity across space.

AidData Working Paper

Aid and Growth in Malawi

2017-07-01

Daniel Chris Khomba, Alex Trew

Do foreign aid flows impact local growth? Researchers find that aid flows cause higher growth and relocate economic activity across space.

AidData Working Paper

Aid and Growth in Malawi

2017-07-01

Daniel Chris Khomba, Alex Trew

Do foreign aid flows impact local growth? Researchers find that aid flows cause higher growth and relocate economic activity across space.

We study the impact on local growth of foreign aid flows in Malawi over the period 2000–13. Using household surveys, we show that growth in light density is a good proxy for growth in household consumption. To isolate a causal impact of aid on growth, we employ two exogenous determinants of within-country disbursement: first, the ethnic affinity of a constituency or district with the sitting President; second, the portion of Parliamentarians in a constituency or district that defect to the ruling party. Using these instruments, alone or together, we identify a robust and quantitatively significant role for aid flows in causing higher growth in light density at both constituency and district level. Constituency level regressions suggest a higher effect than district level regressions, suggesting that aid flows cause a relocation of economic activity across space. We find a hump-shaped growth response over the course of three years. Bilateral aid appears to be better in causing growth than multilateral aid while grants have more impact than loans.

41

AidData Working Paper

Escaping the Valley of Disengagement: Two Field Experiments on Motivating Citizens to Monitor Public Goods

2017-06-01

Mark T. Buntaine, Daniel L. Nielson, Jacob T. Skaggs

Governments cannot provide public goods effectively when they lack information about their delivery.

AidData Working Paper

Escaping the Valley of Disengagement: Two Field Experiments on Motivating Citizens to Monitor Public Goods

2017-06-01

Mark T. Buntaine, Daniel L. Nielson, Jacob T. Skaggs

Governments cannot provide public goods effectively when they lack information about their delivery.

AidData Working Paper

Escaping the Valley of Disengagement: Two Field Experiments on Motivating Citizens to Monitor Public Goods

2017-06-01

Mark T. Buntaine, Daniel L. Nielson, Jacob T. Skaggs

Governments cannot provide public goods effectively when they lack information about their delivery.

Governments cannot provide public goods effectively when they lack information about their delivery. Citizens, for their part, experience deficient or absent public services, but they lack incentives to provide monitoring when they do not expect governments to be responsive to their concerns. Over time, this reinforcing cycle creates what we term the valley of disengagement. We investigate how to activate and sustain citizen engagement in governance given the challenges posed by this vicious cycle. In two field experiments in Kampala, Uganda, we recruited citizens to report on solid waste services to the municipal government. We find that neighbors' and leaders' nominations of reporters and public announcements about reporters' activity do not increase citizen monitoring. However, government responsiveness to reporters boosts participation over several months, highlighting the critical role of timely and targeted responsiveness by governments for sustaining citizen engagement.

40

AidData Working Paper

When Do Global Performance Assessments Influence Policy Behavior? Micro-Evidence from the 2014 Reform Efforts Survey

2017-05-02

Bradley C. Parks, Takaaki Masaki

An investigation of the conditions under which global performance assessments instigate changes in state behavior.

AidData Working Paper

When Do Global Performance Assessments Influence Policy Behavior? Micro-Evidence from the 2014 Reform Efforts Survey

2017-05-02

Bradley C. Parks, Takaaki Masaki

An investigation of the conditions under which global performance assessments instigate changes in state behavior.

AidData Working Paper

When Do Global Performance Assessments Influence Policy Behavior? Micro-Evidence from the 2014 Reform Efforts Survey

2017-05-02

Bradley C. Parks, Takaaki Masaki

An investigation of the conditions under which global performance assessments instigate changes in state behavior.

Scholars and policymakers generally agree that global performance assessments (GPAs) can influence the policy priorities and actions of public sector decision-makers. However, there is little systematic evidence about the conditions under which GPAs — and performance assessments, more generally — instigate changes in state behavior. There is also a lack of understanding about the causal mechanisms through which GPAs and other types of performance assessments facilitate policy changes. We seek to close this evidence gap by leveraging a survey of 1,788 host government officials that provides comparative data on the agenda-setting influence and reform design influence of more than 100 government performance assessments. We argue that GPAs function as signaling devices that provide credibility assurances to foreign investors and donors. However, the net benefits of credibility signaling to these external actors must be sufficiently large and certain for policymakers in assessed countries to recalibrate their domestic reform priorities and efforts. We posit that this condition is met when the supplier of a cross-country performance assessment allows assessed governments to participate in the assessment process. Using a multilevel linear model to account for the hierarchical structure of our survey data, we find evidence that performance assessments yield greater policy influence when they make an explicit comparison of government performance across countries and allow assessed governments to participate in the assessment process. This finding is robust to a variety of tests, including country-fixed and respondent-fixed effects.

39

AidData Working Paper

Development Aid and Infant Mortality

2017-05-01

Andreas Kotsadam, Gudrun Østby, Siri Aas Rustad, Andreas Forø Tollefsen, Henrik Urdal

A team of researchers undertake what may be the first systematic attempt to study how DA affects infant mortality at the subnational level.

AidData Working Paper

Development Aid and Infant Mortality

2017-05-01

Andreas Kotsadam, Gudrun Østby, Siri Aas Rustad, Andreas Forø Tollefsen, Henrik Urdal

A team of researchers undertake what may be the first systematic attempt to study how DA affects infant mortality at the subnational level.

AidData Working Paper

Development Aid and Infant Mortality

2017-05-01

Andreas Kotsadam, Gudrun Østby, Siri Aas Rustad, Andreas Forø Tollefsen, Henrik Urdal

A team of researchers undertake what may be the first systematic attempt to study how DA affects infant mortality at the subnational level.

While there is a vast literature studying the effects of development aid (DA) on economic growth, there are far fewer comparative studies addressing how aid affects health outcomes. Furthermore, while much attention has been paid to country-level effects of aid, there is a clear knowledge gap in the literature when it comes to systematic studies of aid effectiveness below the country-level. Addressing this gap, we undertake what we believe is the first systematic attempt to study how DA affects infant mortality at the subnational level. We match new geographic aid data from the AidData on the precise location, type, and time frame of bilateral and multilateral aid projects in Nigeria with available georeferenced survey data from five Nigerian Demographic and Health Surveys, covering information on 294,835 births in the period 1953-2013. Using quasi-experimental approaches, with mother fixed-effects, we are able to control for a vast number of unobserved factors that may otherwise be spuriously correlated with both infant mortality and DA. The results indicate very clearly that geographical proximity to aid projects reduces neonatal, infant, and child mortality. Moreover, aid contributes to reduce systematic inter-group, or horizontal, inequalities in a setting where such differences loom large. In particular, we find that aid more effectively reduces infant mortality in less privileged groups like children of Muslim women, and children living in rural, and in Muslim-dominated areas. Finally, there is evidence that aid projects are established in areas that on average have lower infant mortality than non-aid locations, suggesting that there are biases resulting in aid not necessarily reaching those populations in greatest need.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in World Development

38

AidData Working Paper

geoSIMEX: A Generalized Approach To Modeling Spatial Imprecision

2017-04-01

Daniel Runfola, Robert Marty, Seth Goodman, Michael Lefew, Ariel BenYishay

A flexible approach - geoSIMEX - can provide parameter and error estimates while adjusting for spatial imprecision.

AidData Working Paper

geoSIMEX: A Generalized Approach To Modeling Spatial Imprecision

2017-04-01

Daniel Runfola, Robert Marty, Seth Goodman, Michael Lefew, Ariel BenYishay

A flexible approach - geoSIMEX - can provide parameter and error estimates while adjusting for spatial imprecision.

AidData Working Paper

geoSIMEX: A Generalized Approach To Modeling Spatial Imprecision

2017-04-01

Daniel Runfola, Robert Marty, Seth Goodman, Michael Lefew, Ariel BenYishay

A flexible approach - geoSIMEX - can provide parameter and error estimates while adjusting for spatial imprecision.

There is a large and growing set of literature examining how different classes of models can integrate information on spatial imprecision in order to more accurately reflect available data. Here, we present a flexible approach - geoSIMEX - which can provide parameter and error estimates while adjusting for spatial imprecision. We illustrate this approach through a case study leveraging a novel, publically available dataset recording the location of Chinese aid in Southeast Asia at varying levels of precision. Using a difference-in-difference modeling approach, we integrate Chinese aid information with satellite derived data on vegetation (NDVI) to examine if Chinese aid has caused an increase or decrease in vegetation. Following multiple approaches which do not incorporate spatial imprecision, we find that Chinese aid had a negative impact on vegetation; once spatial imprecision was incorporated into our estimates through the geoSIMEX procedure no evidence of impact is found.

37

AidData Working Paper

Targeted Foreign Aid and International Migration: Is Development Promotion an Effective Immigration Policy?

2017-03-03

Jonas Gamso, Farhod Yuldashev

Findings indicate that governance aid is accompanied by reductions in the emigration rates of developing countries.

AidData Working Paper

Targeted Foreign Aid and International Migration: Is Development Promotion an Effective Immigration Policy?

2017-03-03

Jonas Gamso, Farhod Yuldashev

Findings indicate that governance aid is accompanied by reductions in the emigration rates of developing countries.

AidData Working Paper

Targeted Foreign Aid and International Migration: Is Development Promotion an Effective Immigration Policy?

2017-03-03

Jonas Gamso, Farhod Yuldashev

Findings indicate that governance aid is accompanied by reductions in the emigration rates of developing countries.

Immigration from poor countries continues to be one of the most salient concerns among voters and politicians in the United States and in countries of Western Europe. Faced with the failure of traditional immigration policies, scholars and policymakers in these high-income countries are increasingly turning towards foreign aid to reduce migrant inflows. This approach reflects the conventional wisdom that individuals in the Developing World migrate to countries of the Global North in an effort to escape poverty, underdevelopment, and other problems at home. Leaders representing high income countries believe that aid can improve the well-being of would-be migrants, thereby deterring them from uprooting their lives and migrating abroad. However, there remains little consensus as to whether foreign aid actually reduces migration, as only a few studies have tackled this subject and they have produced contradictory results. We suspect that this literature has failed to produce definitive findings due to its tendency to treat all aid the same way. Therefore, we examine the distinct effects of three types of aid on emigration patterns: governance aid, economic aid, and social aid. To do so, we analyze a panel of 101 low and middle income countries over a time series spanning 25 years (1985-2010). Our findings indicate that governance aid is accompanied by reductions in the emigration rates of developing countries, whereas other types of aid have no discernible relationship to emigration. These results suggest that some, but not all, types of foreign aid can act as an effective and development-friendly immigration policy.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in World Development.

36

AidData Working Paper

Foreign Aid and Growth at the Subnational Level

2017-03-02

Andrea Civelli, Andrew Horowitz, Arilton Teixeira

Analysis finds statistically significant positive and persistent effects of aid shocks on nighttime luminosity.

AidData Working Paper

Foreign Aid and Growth at the Subnational Level

2017-03-02

Andrea Civelli, Andrew Horowitz, Arilton Teixeira

Analysis finds statistically significant positive and persistent effects of aid shocks on nighttime luminosity.

AidData Working Paper

Foreign Aid and Growth at the Subnational Level

2017-03-02

Andrea Civelli, Andrew Horowitz, Arilton Teixeira

Analysis finds statistically significant positive and persistent effects of aid shocks on nighttime luminosity.

We develop a measurement strategy for the impact of foreign aid based on a regional panel vectorautoregressive model (P-VAR). We illustrate the strategy using Ugandan districts. Data for the regional units (ADM2) is assembled combining satellite sources for socio-economic activity, geo-located aid disbursements, and traditional household surveys. We find statistically significant positive and persistent effects of aid shocks on nighttime luminosity. Mapping nightlights to economic activity, the results suggest that the economic magnitude of these effects is small, but significant – with a multiplier between 2 and 3 in the medium to long-run. The P-VAR addresses endogeneity concerns associated with non-random aid assignment.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in the Journal of Development Economics.

35

AidData Working Paper

Impact of Mass Bed Net Distribution Progams on Politics

2017-03-01

Kevin Croke

Bed net distribution results in large, statistically significant improvements in the approval levels of political leaders.

AidData Working Paper

Impact of Mass Bed Net Distribution Progams on Politics

2017-03-01

Kevin Croke

Bed net distribution results in large, statistically significant improvements in the approval levels of political leaders.

AidData Working Paper

Impact of Mass Bed Net Distribution Progams on Politics

2017-03-01

Kevin Croke

Bed net distribution results in large, statistically significant improvements in the approval levels of political leaders.

Functioning democracy requires that citizens reward politicians who deliver benefits, yet there is surprisingly little causal evidence of changes in citizen views or behavior in response to specific government programs. I examine this question in Tanzania, which has recently implemented large health programs targeting diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria. Tanzania’s recent national anti-malaria campaigns took place concurrently with a national household surveys, which enables a regression discontinuity design based on interview date to estimate the effect of these programs on the popularity of local politicians. Bed net distribution results in large, statistically significant improvements in the approval levels of political leaders, especially in malaria endemic areas. Effects are largest shortly after program implementation, but smaller effects persist for up to six months. These findings suggest that citizens update their evaluation of politicians in response to programs, especially when these services address important problems, and that the effects decay in magnitude, but not completely.

34

AidData Working Paper

Natural Resource Sector FDI and Growth in Post-Conflict Settings: Subnational Evidence from Liberia

2017-02-01

Jonas B. Bunte, Harsh Desai, Kanio Gbala, Brad Parks, Daniel Miller Runfola

Results suggest that, in general, natural resource concessions improve local economic growth outcomes.

AidData Working Paper

Natural Resource Sector FDI and Growth in Post-Conflict Settings: Subnational Evidence from Liberia

2017-02-01

Jonas B. Bunte, Harsh Desai, Kanio Gbala, Brad Parks, Daniel Miller Runfola

Results suggest that, in general, natural resource concessions improve local economic growth outcomes.

AidData Working Paper

Natural Resource Sector FDI and Growth in Post-Conflict Settings: Subnational Evidence from Liberia

2017-02-01

Jonas B. Bunte, Harsh Desai, Kanio Gbala, Brad Parks, Daniel Miller Runfola

Results suggest that, in general, natural resource concessions improve local economic growth outcomes.

The Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf administration, which came to power in 2006 after the end of a nearly fifteen year civil war, has made foreign direct investment (FDI) the centerpiece of its growth and development strategy. However, unlike other governments that have sought to benefit from FDI through technology and knowledge transfers, the Liberian authorities have pursued a strategy of requiring that investors provide public goods in specific geographic areas. It is not clear if this strategy, which is designed to set in motion agglomeration processes, improves local economic growth outcomes. This paper presents first-of-its kind, quasi-experimental evidence on the economic impacts of natural resource sector FDI. We first construct a new dataset of more than 550 sub-nationally georeferenced natural resource concessions that the Liberian government granted to investors between 2004 and 2015 (Liberia Concessions Geocoded Research Release, Version 1.0); for the associated methodology, see An Open-Source Methodology for Tracking Natural Resource Concessions in Liberia: Version 1.0). We then merge these georeferenced investment data with survey- and satellite-based outcome and covariate data at the 1km x 1km grid cell level. We use remotely sensed data on nighttime light to measure local economic growth and propensity score matching methods to compare growth in otherwise similar locations with and without FDI. Our results suggest that, in general, natural resource concessions improve local economic growth outcomes. However, there is important variation across different types of concessions and concessionaires. Mining concessions outperform agricultural concessions, and concessions granted to Chinese investors outperform concessions granted to U.S. investors.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in World Development.

33

AidData Working Paper

Chinese Aid and Local Corruption

2016-12-02

Ann-Sofie Isaksson, Andreas Kotsadam

Empirical results consistently indicate more widespread local corruption around active Chinese project sites

AidData Working Paper

Chinese Aid and Local Corruption

2016-12-02

Ann-Sofie Isaksson, Andreas Kotsadam

Empirical results consistently indicate more widespread local corruption around active Chinese project sites

AidData Working Paper

Chinese Aid and Local Corruption

2016-12-02

Ann-Sofie Isaksson, Andreas Kotsadam

Empirical results consistently indicate more widespread local corruption around active Chinese project sites

Considering the mounting criticisms concerning Chinese aid practices, the present paper investigates whether Chinese aid projects fuel local-level corruption in Africa. To this end, we geographically match a new geo-referenced dataset on the subnational allocation of Chinese development finance projects to Africa over the 2000-2012 period with 98,449 respondents from four Afrobarometer survey waves across 29 African countries. By comparing the corruption experiences of individuals who live near a site where a Chinese project is being implemented at the time of the interview to those of individuals living close to a site where a Chinese project will be initiated but where implementation had not yet started at the time of the interview, we control for unobservable time-invariant characteristics that may influence the selection of project sites. The empirical results consistently indicate more widespread local corruption around active Chinese project sites. The effect, which lingers after the project implementation period, is seemingly not driven by an increase in economic activity, but rather seems to signify that the Chinese presence impacts norms. Moreover, China stands out from the World Bank and other bilateral donors in this respect. In particular, whereas the results indicate that Chinese aid projects fuel local corruption but have no observable impact on local economic activity.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in the Journal of Public Economics.

32

AidData Working Paper

Forest Cover Impacts of Chinese Development Projects in Ecologically Sensitive Areas

2016-12-01

Ariel BenYishay, Bradley Parks, Daniel Runfola, Rachel Trichler

Georeferenced project data is merged with a long series of high-resolution satellite data to identify project impacts on forest cover.

AidData Working Paper

Forest Cover Impacts of Chinese Development Projects in Ecologically Sensitive Areas

2016-12-01

Ariel BenYishay, Bradley Parks, Daniel Runfola, Rachel Trichler

Georeferenced project data is merged with a long series of high-resolution satellite data to identify project impacts on forest cover.

AidData Working Paper

Forest Cover Impacts of Chinese Development Projects in Ecologically Sensitive Areas

2016-12-01

Ariel BenYishay, Bradley Parks, Daniel Runfola, Rachel Trichler

Georeferenced project data is merged with a long series of high-resolution satellite data to identify project impacts on forest cover.

What are the conservation impacts of Chinese development activities in ecological hotspots? We generate and sub-nationally geo-reference a dataset of official Chinese development activities implemented between 2000 and 2014 in the Tropical Andes, the Great Lakes region of Africa, and the Mekong Delta. We then merge these project data with a long series of high-resolution satellite data in order to evaluate their impacts on forest cover. A difference-in-differences estimation strategy is used to identify changes in tree cover that have resulted from exposure to Chinese-funded infrastructure projects in Cambodia and Tanzania. We find that in Cambodia, these projects slowed forest loss, while Tanzania saw faster rates of forest loss in areas near active projects. However, these average results mask heterogeneous treatment effects across different types of forest governance regimes. In Cambodia, where large tracts of forested land – including concessions and plantations – have been granted to natural resource sector investors and the enforcement of environmental laws and regulations is exceptionally weak, we find that standing forests in plantation areas were negatively impacted by nearby Chinese-funded infrastructure projects. In Tanzania, where there is a minimally viable protected areas network, we find that areas under formal protection experienced little or no deforestation from these Chinese-funded projects. These effects hold even after we account for economic development patterns, as proxied by nighttime lights. We conclude that Chinese-funded infrastructure projects need not lead to widespread environmental damage when nearby ecosystems are appropriately protected, and domestic environmental governance plays a crucial role in shaping forest cover outcomes.

31

AidData Working Paper

Fueling Conflict? (De)Escalation and Bilateral Aid

2016-11-02

Richard Bluhm, Martin Gassebner, Sarah Langlotz, Paul Schaudt

Receiving bilateral aid raises the chances of escalating from small conflict to armed conflict, but it not in truly peaceful countries.

AidData Working Paper

Fueling Conflict? (De)Escalation and Bilateral Aid

2016-11-02

Richard Bluhm, Martin Gassebner, Sarah Langlotz, Paul Schaudt

Receiving bilateral aid raises the chances of escalating from small conflict to armed conflict, but it not in truly peaceful countries.

AidData Working Paper

Fueling Conflict? (De)Escalation and Bilateral Aid

2016-11-02

Richard Bluhm, Martin Gassebner, Sarah Langlotz, Paul Schaudt

Receiving bilateral aid raises the chances of escalating from small conflict to armed conflict, but it not in truly peaceful countries.

This paper studies the effects of bilateral foreign aid on conflict escalation and de-escalation. We make three major contributions. First, we combine data on civil wars with data on low level conflicts in a new ordinal measure capturing the two-sided and multifaceted nature of conflict. Second, we develop a novel empirical framework. We propose a dynamic ordered probit estimator that allows for unobserved heterogeneity and corrects for endogeneity. Third, we identify the causal effect of foreign aid on conflict by predicting bilateral aid flows based on electoral outcomes of donor countries that are exogenous to recipients. We establish that the effect of foreign aid on the various transition probabilities is heterogeneous and can be substantial. Receiving bilateral aid raises the chances of escalating from small conflict to armed conflict, but we find no evidence that aid ignites conflict in truly peaceful countries.

30

AidData Working Paper

Aid Management, Trust, and Development Policy Influence

2016-11-01

Bradley C. Parks, Takaaki Masaki, Jörg Faust, Stefan Leiderer

Development agencies can amplify their policy influence by entrusting their counterpart governments with aid management responsibilities.

AidData Working Paper

Aid Management, Trust, and Development Policy Influence

2016-11-01

Bradley C. Parks, Takaaki Masaki, Jörg Faust, Stefan Leiderer

Development agencies can amplify their policy influence by entrusting their counterpart governments with aid management responsibilities.

AidData Working Paper

Aid Management, Trust, and Development Policy Influence

2016-11-01

Bradley C. Parks, Takaaki Masaki, Jörg Faust, Stefan Leiderer

Development agencies can amplify their policy influence by entrusting their counterpart governments with aid management responsibilities.

Bilateral and multilateral development agencies spend a great deal of time, money, and effort trying to shape the reform priorities and processes of their counterpart countries. However, the means by which development agencies can achieve these ends are poorly understood. This article draws upon the first-hand experiences and observations of more than 1,000 public sector officials from 70 low- and middle-income countries to better understand which external sources of reform advice and assistance are most and least useful to public sector decision-makers—and why. We find that donors more effectively shape reform priorities when they choose to deliver their funding through the public financial management systems of counterpart countries, rather than using channels of aid delivery—in particular, technical assistance programs—that bypass host governments and signal a lack of trust in the motivations and capabilities of the local authorities. This finding holds true even after controlling for institutional quality, or the trustworthiness of public sector institutions, in aid-receiving countries. As such, our results call attention to the fact that development agencies can amplify their policy influence by entrusting their counterpart governments with aid management responsibilities.

29

AidData Working Paper

Repression and Foreign Aid in Autocracies: Exploiting Debt Relief Negotiations in Post-Cold War Africa

2016-07-02

Brett L. Carter

When the threat of financial sanction is credible, Western donors have reduced the odds of repression in Africa’s post-Cold War autocracies.

AidData Working Paper

Repression and Foreign Aid in Autocracies: Exploiting Debt Relief Negotiations in Post-Cold War Africa

2016-07-02

Brett L. Carter

When the threat of financial sanction is credible, Western donors have reduced the odds of repression in Africa’s post-Cold War autocracies.

AidData Working Paper

Repression and Foreign Aid in Autocracies: Exploiting Debt Relief Negotiations in Post-Cold War Africa

2016-07-02

Brett L. Carter

When the threat of financial sanction is credible, Western donors have reduced the odds of repression in Africa’s post-Cold War autocracies.

Does dependence on development aid from Western sources constrain the use of repression among autocrats? To answer this question, I employ a novel dataset of Africa’s post-Cold War autocracies in which the unit of analysis is the country-day rather than the country-year. This day-level dataset enables me to address three potential sources of bias that may obscure the relationship between Western aid dependence and repression. When the threat of financial sanction is credible, I find, Western donors have reduced the daily odds of repression in Africa’s post-Cold War autocracies. Western aid dependence is constraining even during periods of sustained popular protests. The results suggest that modern autocrats who rely on Western donors for financial support lack the easy recourse to repression enjoyed by their Cold War era predecessors.

28

AidData Working Paper

Do Domestic Politics Shape U.S. Influence in the World Bank?

2016-07-01

Erasmus Kersting, Christopher Kilby

Reexamining four empirical studies of the World Bank, U.S. influence is driven by the years in which the U.S. government was divided.

AidData Working Paper

Do Domestic Politics Shape U.S. Influence in the World Bank?

2016-07-01

Erasmus Kersting, Christopher Kilby

Reexamining four empirical studies of the World Bank, U.S. influence is driven by the years in which the U.S. government was divided.

AidData Working Paper

Do Domestic Politics Shape U.S. Influence in the World Bank?

2016-07-01

Erasmus Kersting, Christopher Kilby

Reexamining four empirical studies of the World Bank, U.S. influence is driven by the years in which the U.S. government was divided.

This paper investigates whether U.S. presidential administrations choose to exert more influence over international financial institutions when they have less control over bilateral aid because of a divided U.S. government. Reexamining four empirical studies of the World Bank, we demonstrate that findings of U.S. influence are driven by the years in which the U.S. government was divided. This provides a richer picture of when and why the U.S. exerts influence in multilateral settings and an alternate explanation to persistent questions about the role of international organizations in the political economy.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in the Review of International Organizations.

27

AidData Working Paper

Tangible Information and Citizen Empowerment: Identification Cards and Food Subsidy Programs in Indonesia

2016-06-01

Abhijit Banerjee, Rema Hanna, Jordan Kyle, Benjamin A. Olken, Sudarno Sumarto

On net, beneficiaries received 26 percent more subsidy in villages targeted with an information program.

AidData Working Paper

Tangible Information and Citizen Empowerment: Identification Cards and Food Subsidy Programs in Indonesia

2016-06-01

Abhijit Banerjee, Rema Hanna, Jordan Kyle, Benjamin A. Olken, Sudarno Sumarto

On net, beneficiaries received 26 percent more subsidy in villages targeted with an information program.

AidData Working Paper

Tangible Information and Citizen Empowerment: Identification Cards and Food Subsidy Programs in Indonesia

2016-06-01

Abhijit Banerjee, Rema Hanna, Jordan Kyle, Benjamin A. Olken, Sudarno Sumarto

On net, beneficiaries received 26 percent more subsidy in villages targeted with an information program.

Local officials in developing countries do not always implement programs as the central government intends, often due to corruption. Directly informing citizens about their rights may result in citizens receiving more, but whether this occurs in practice is ultimately an empirical question. In an experiment in over 550 villages, we test whether mailing cards with program information to targeted beneficiaries increases the subsidy they receive from a subsidized rice program. On net, beneficiaries received 26 percent more subsidy in card villages. Ineligible households received no less, so this represents substantially lower leakage.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Political Economy.

26

AidData Working Paper

The Dragon's Curse? China, the World Bank, and Perceptions of Corruption in Tanzania

2016-05-04

Gina Kelly, Samuel Brazys, Johan A. Elkink

The paper finds a strong association between the location of a larger number of Chinese aid projects and higher perceptions of corruption.

AidData Working Paper

The Dragon's Curse? China, the World Bank, and Perceptions of Corruption in Tanzania

2016-05-04

Gina Kelly, Samuel Brazys, Johan A. Elkink

The paper finds a strong association between the location of a larger number of Chinese aid projects and higher perceptions of corruption.

AidData Working Paper

The Dragon's Curse? China, the World Bank, and Perceptions of Corruption in Tanzania

2016-05-04

Gina Kelly, Samuel Brazys, Johan A. Elkink

The paper finds a strong association between the location of a larger number of Chinese aid projects and higher perceptions of corruption.

The rise of China as a “non-traditional” development partner has been one of the most important phenomenon in the field over the past decade but the implications of this emergence are not yet fully understood. The lack of transparency in Chinese aid programs, coupled with an apparently uninterested stance towards the governance implications of development, lead many to wonder if Chinese engagement will contribute to or undermine development efforts, particularly those of traditional donors such as the World Bank. This paper takes advantage of recent innovations in development aid data to investigate the spatial relationship between Chinese aid, World Bank aid and citizen perceptions of corruption in Tanzania. The paper finds a strong association between the location of a larger number of Chinese aid projects and higher perceptions of corruption. The paper also finds evidence that the presence of a large number of Chinese aid projects may undermine the “beneficial” relationship between World Bank aid projects and perceptions of corruption. However, both of these findings are qualified by the inability to disentangle the association with these aid projects from the association with similarly co-located natural resources, which may be an alternative driver of corruption via the “resource curse”.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in the Review of International Organizations.

25

AidData Working Paper

What Determines Earmarked Funding to International Development Organizations?

2016-05-03

Vera Z. Eichenauer, Bernhard Reinsberg

Earmarked aid is associated with different donor- and recipient-level factors than traditional or ‘pure’ bilateral aid.

AidData Working Paper

What Determines Earmarked Funding to International Development Organizations?

2016-05-03

Vera Z. Eichenauer, Bernhard Reinsberg

Earmarked aid is associated with different donor- and recipient-level factors than traditional or ‘pure’ bilateral aid.

AidData Working Paper

What Determines Earmarked Funding to International Development Organizations?

2016-05-03

Vera Z. Eichenauer, Bernhard Reinsberg

Earmarked aid is associated with different donor- and recipient-level factors than traditional or ‘pure’ bilateral aid.

Earmarked aid to international development organizations has quadrupled over the last two decades and now represents almost twenty percent of total aid. This paper introduces a new dataset on earmarked aid, which alternatively has been referred to as multi-bi, restricted, non-core or trust fund aid. The data makes it possible to track the rise of the new aid channel over an extended period of time and in greater detail regarding, e.g., the implementing multilateral organizations. The data include more than 100,000 earmarked projects of 23 OECD donors to 290 multilateral institutions from 1990 to 2012. We graphically illustrate the distribution and patterns of this new aid channel for all actors involved, namely donor governments and their aid-providing agencies, multilateral organizations, and recipient countries, and highlight promising avenues for further research. In a first empirical application of the data, we analyze donors’ heterogeneous use of earmarked aid, and test three lines of argument for the provision of earmarked aid: official donor motives regarding specific recipient needs, public opinion in donor countries, and ‘market-oriented’ donor economies’ use of earmarked aid to ‘bypass’ recipient countries with weak governance. We show that earmarked aid is associated with different donor- and recipient-level factors than traditional or ‘pure’ bilateral aid.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in the Review of International Organizations.

24

AidData Working Paper

Foreign Aid and the Intensity of Violent Armed Conflict

2016-05-02

Daniel Strandow, Michael G. Findley, Joseph K. Young

Multiple measures of funding concentration are associated with increased military fatalities, but not with civilian fatalities.

AidData Working Paper

Foreign Aid and the Intensity of Violent Armed Conflict

2016-05-02

Daniel Strandow, Michael G. Findley, Joseph K. Young

Multiple measures of funding concentration are associated with increased military fatalities, but not with civilian fatalities.

AidData Working Paper

Foreign Aid and the Intensity of Violent Armed Conflict

2016-05-02

Daniel Strandow, Michael G. Findley, Joseph K. Young

Multiple measures of funding concentration are associated with increased military fatalities, but not with civilian fatalities.

Does foreign aid increase or decrease violence during ongoing wars? Although answers to this question are almost surely found at local levels, most research on this topic is performed at much higher levels of analysis, most notably the country level. We investigate the impact of foreign aid on the intensity of violence during ongoing armed conflict at a microlevel. We examine the influence that concentrated aid funding has on political violence within war zones that are contested among combatants. Using new geographically coded data within a matching design, we find that multiple measures of funding concentration are associated with increased military fatalities, but not with civilian fatalities.

23

AidData Working Paper

Elite and Mass Support for Foreign Aid Versus Government Programs: Experimental Evidence from Uganda

2016-05-01

Michael G. Findley, Adam S. Harris, Helen V. Milner, Daniel Nielson

Members of parliament support government programs over foreign aid, whereas citizens prefer aid over government programs.

AidData Working Paper

Elite and Mass Support for Foreign Aid Versus Government Programs: Experimental Evidence from Uganda

2016-05-01

Michael G. Findley, Adam S. Harris, Helen V. Milner, Daniel Nielson

Members of parliament support government programs over foreign aid, whereas citizens prefer aid over government programs.

AidData Working Paper

Elite and Mass Support for Foreign Aid Versus Government Programs: Experimental Evidence from Uganda

2016-05-01

Michael G. Findley, Adam S. Harris, Helen V. Milner, Daniel Nielson

Members of parliament support government programs over foreign aid, whereas citizens prefer aid over government programs.

Does foreign aid enable or constrain elite capture of public revenues? Building on prominent debates in the foreign aid literature, we examine whether recipient preferences are consistent with a view – called here donor control theory – that foreign donors wield substantial control over the flow of aid dollars, making elite capture more difficult and mass benefits more likely. We compare elite and mass support for foreign aid versus government spending on development projects through a survey experiment with behavioral outcomes on members of the Ugandan national parliament and a representative sample of Ugandan citizens. For two actual aid projects, we randomly assigned different funders to the projects. Significant treatment effects reveal that members of parliament support government programs over foreign aid, whereas citizens prefer aid over government. Donor control theory also implies that citizens should favor foreign aid more and elites less as their perceptions of government clientelism and corruption increase. We explore this and report on other alternative mechanisms. Effects for citizens and elites are most apparent for those perceiving significant government corruption, supporting donor control theory.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in International Organization.

22

AidData Working Paper

Indigenous Land Rights and Deforestation: Evidence from the Brazilian Amazon

2016-04-01

Ariel BenYishay, Silke Heuser, Daniel Runfola, Rachel Trichler

Satellite-based forest cover data and variation in timing is used to study whether formalization of land rights affects deforestation rates.

AidData Working Paper

Indigenous Land Rights and Deforestation: Evidence from the Brazilian Amazon

2016-04-01

Ariel BenYishay, Silke Heuser, Daniel Runfola, Rachel Trichler

Satellite-based forest cover data and variation in timing is used to study whether formalization of land rights affects deforestation rates.

AidData Working Paper

Indigenous Land Rights and Deforestation: Evidence from the Brazilian Amazon

2016-04-01

Ariel BenYishay, Silke Heuser, Daniel Runfola, Rachel Trichler

Satellite-based forest cover data and variation in timing is used to study whether formalization of land rights affects deforestation rates.

Concerns over the expropriation of and encroachment on indigenous communities’ lands have led to greater formalization of these communities’ rights in a number of developing countries. We study whether formalization of indigenous communities’ land rights affects the rate of deforestation in both the short and medium terms. Beginning in 1995, the Government of Brazil formalized the rights of several hundred indigenous communities whose lands cover more than 40 million hectares in the Amazon region and provided support for these rights’ enforcement. We study the program’s impacts using a long time-series of satellite-based forest cover data. Using both matched samples of treated and comparison communities and plausibly exogenous variation in the timing of formalization, we find no effect of these protections on satellite-based greenness measures. This is true even for communities that received support for surveillance and enforcement of these rights. Notably, we observe low counterfactual rates of deforestation on communities’ lands between 1982 and 2014, suggesting that indigenous land rights programs should not uniformly be justified on the basis of their forest protection, at least in the medium term.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

21

AidData Working Paper

Putting Money to Mouths: Rewarding and Punishing Human Rights Behaviors

2016-03-01

Darren Hawkins, Jay Goodliffe

Recipients who become more like donors get significant increases in aid; recipients already similar to donors get large decreases in aid.

AidData Working Paper

Putting Money to Mouths: Rewarding and Punishing Human Rights Behaviors

2016-03-01

Darren Hawkins, Jay Goodliffe

Recipients who become more like donors get significant increases in aid; recipients already similar to donors get large decreases in aid.

AidData Working Paper

Putting Money to Mouths: Rewarding and Punishing Human Rights Behaviors

2016-03-01

Darren Hawkins, Jay Goodliffe

Recipients who become more like donors get significant increases in aid; recipients already similar to donors get large decreases in aid.

Do foreign aid donors reward recipients for good human rights and democracy records? In contrast to previous studies, we argue that donor states are interested in reproduction, influencing recipient states to adopt domestic practices similar to their own. This theory of donor behavior produces different hypotheses than those previously tested. In particular, we expect that aid donors will reward changes in a recipient’s level of democracy or respect for human rights that bring the recipient closer to the donor. Once recipients become more similar to donors, however, donor states allocate their resources away from those similar states. This is because donors prefer to utilize scarce resources to reward recipients who are actively changing in ways that bring them closer to donors. We find that recipients who change to become more like donors receive significant increases in aid while recipients who are already similar to donors receive large decreases in aid.

20

AidData Working Paper

The Impacts of World Bank Development Projects on Sites of High Biodiversity Importance

2016-02-01

Graeme M. Buchanan, Bradley C. Parks, Paul F. Donald, Brian F. O'Donnell, Daniel Runfola, John P. Swaddle, Lukasz Tracewski, Stuart H.M. Butchart

Project impact on biodiverse areas is assessed using remote-sensed forest change data and in situ monitoring data on conservation outcomes.

AidData Working Paper

The Impacts of World Bank Development Projects on Sites of High Biodiversity Importance

2016-02-01

Graeme M. Buchanan, Bradley C. Parks, Paul F. Donald, Brian F. O'Donnell, Daniel Runfola, John P. Swaddle, Lukasz Tracewski, Stuart H.M. Butchart

Project impact on biodiverse areas is assessed using remote-sensed forest change data and in situ monitoring data on conservation outcomes.

AidData Working Paper

The Impacts of World Bank Development Projects on Sites of High Biodiversity Importance

2016-02-01

Graeme M. Buchanan, Bradley C. Parks, Paul F. Donald, Brian F. O'Donnell, Daniel Runfola, John P. Swaddle, Lukasz Tracewski, Stuart H.M. Butchart

Project impact on biodiverse areas is assessed using remote-sensed forest change data and in situ monitoring data on conservation outcomes.

The impacts of international development projects on biodiversity are poorly documented, yet many areas of biodiversity importance are potentially affected by such efforts. We assessed the impact of World Bank development projects on sites of biodiversity significance (Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas; IBAs) using remote sensing derived forest change data and in situ monitoring data on the conservation state (conditions), pressures (threats), and responses (conservation interventions) at these sites. IBAs <10 km from World Bank project locations had a marginally lower rate of forest loss than matched IBAs > 100 km from World Bank project locations and were subjected to lower pressures than matched sites, although there were no differences in conservation state or responses underway. Despite important caveats, these results suggest that World Bank development projects do not have a negative impact on biodiversity, and in some cases might be a benefit to biodiversity. Thus, while more work is needed, our results suggest that international development projects might be compatible with nature conservation objectives if delivered with appropriate safeguards.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in the Journal of Environment & Development.

19

AidData Working Paper

Are "New" Donors Challenging World Bank Conditionality?

2016-01-01

Diego Hernandez

Findings suggest new donors might be perceived as an attractive option to which the World Bank reacts by offering less restrictive credits.

AidData Working Paper

Are "New" Donors Challenging World Bank Conditionality?

2016-01-01

Diego Hernandez

Findings suggest new donors might be perceived as an attractive option to which the World Bank reacts by offering less restrictive credits.

AidData Working Paper

Are "New" Donors Challenging World Bank Conditionality?

2016-01-01

Diego Hernandez

Findings suggest new donors might be perceived as an attractive option to which the World Bank reacts by offering less restrictive credits.

This paper investigates whether World Bank conditionality is affected by the presence of “new” donors by using panel data for 54 African countries over the 1980 to 2013 period. Empirical results indicate that the World Bank delivers loans with significantly fewer conditions to recipient countries which are assisted by China. Less stringent conditionality is also observed in better off borrowers that are in addition funded by Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, but this effect vanishes after the start of the new millennium. In contrast, World Bank conditionality is rarely affected by aid inflows from DAC donors, and when it is, conditionality is revised upwards. These findings suggest that new donors might be perceived as an attractive financial option to which the World Bank reacts by offering credits less restrictively in order to remain competitive in the loan-giving market.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in World Development.

18

AidData Working Paper

Sub-national Perspectives on Aid Effectiveness: Impact of Aid on Health Outcomes in Uganda

2015-12-03

Tonny Odokonyero, Alex Ijjo, Robert Marty, Tony Muhumuza, Godfrey Owot Moses

Health aid achieved an overall significant impact in reducing both disease severity and burden.

AidData Working Paper

Sub-national Perspectives on Aid Effectiveness: Impact of Aid on Health Outcomes in Uganda

2015-12-03

Tonny Odokonyero, Alex Ijjo, Robert Marty, Tony Muhumuza, Godfrey Owot Moses

Health aid achieved an overall significant impact in reducing both disease severity and burden.

AidData Working Paper

Sub-national Perspectives on Aid Effectiveness: Impact of Aid on Health Outcomes in Uganda

2015-12-03

Tonny Odokonyero, Alex Ijjo, Robert Marty, Tony Muhumuza, Godfrey Owot Moses

Health aid achieved an overall significant impact in reducing both disease severity and burden.

While the health sector has attracted significant foreign aid, evidence on the effectiveness of this support is mixed. By combining household panel data with a unique geographically-referenced foreign aid data, this paper uses a Difference-In-Differences approach to investigate the contribution of aid on key health outcomes in Uganda. We find that even though aid was not targeted to localities with the worst health conditions, health aid achieved an overall significant impact in reducing both disease severity and burden. However, the impact is most robust for disease burden compared to severity. In addition, we observe increased aid effectiveness if resources are channeled to locations that are closer to communities in need, given ease of access to health services. From a policy perspective, the results point to the need for development partners to better target aid to sub-national areas with higher disease prevalence. Moreover, aid ought to be channeled as close to intended beneficiaries as possible, thus offering additional advantage of driving the Universal Health Coverage strategy of “close to client” health system.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in Health Economics.

17

AidData Working Paper

Does Foreign Aid Fuel Trust?

2015-12-02

Alexandra D'Onofrio, Giuseppe Maggio

Individuals living in counties that got aid exhibit higher probability to trust others with respect to those living in counties with no aid.

AidData Working Paper

Does Foreign Aid Fuel Trust?

2015-12-02

Alexandra D'Onofrio, Giuseppe Maggio

Individuals living in counties that got aid exhibit higher probability to trust others with respect to those living in counties with no aid.

AidData Working Paper

Does Foreign Aid Fuel Trust?

2015-12-02

Alexandra D'Onofrio, Giuseppe Maggio

Individuals living in counties that got aid exhibit higher probability to trust others with respect to those living in counties with no aid.

What are the socioeconomic effects of foreign aid in developing countries? How effective is aid in promoting social capital? The paper explores empirically these questions and it assesses the causal effect of foreign aid on trust in Uganda. Individuals living in counties that received aid exhibit higher probability to trust others with respect to those living in counties with no aid. On the intensive margin, increase in one percent in the value of aid projects disbursed induces a similar increase in the probability of trusting other people. We use also an instrumental strategy based on the enforcement of Non Governmental Organizations (Amendment) Act and we show that the link from aid to trust is robust to different estimation strategies. Finally, we find that a channel is operating through lowering inequality. We demonstrate that foreign aid has a stronger effect in counties where there is a lower level of perceived inequality.

16

AidData Working Paper

Foreign Aid, Foreign Policy, and Domestic Government Legitimacy: Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh

2015-12-01

Simone Dietrich, Minhaj Mahmud, Matthew S. Winters

Information about U.S. aid slightly improves general perceptions of the U.S., and increases confidence in local authorities.

AidData Working Paper

Foreign Aid, Foreign Policy, and Domestic Government Legitimacy: Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh

2015-12-01

Simone Dietrich, Minhaj Mahmud, Matthew S. Winters

Information about U.S. aid slightly improves general perceptions of the U.S., and increases confidence in local authorities.

AidData Working Paper

Foreign Aid, Foreign Policy, and Domestic Government Legitimacy: Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh

2015-12-01

Simone Dietrich, Minhaj Mahmud, Matthew S. Winters

Information about U.S. aid slightly improves general perceptions of the U.S., and increases confidence in local authorities.

Foreign aid donors try to make themselves visible as the funders of development projects in order to improve citizen attitudes abroad. Do target populations receive these political communications in the intended fashion, and do they succeed in changing attitudes? Despite the widespread use of the practice, there exists little evidence about the effectiveness of this strategy. We embed an informational experiment about a U.S.-funded health project in a nationwide survey in Bangladesh. Although we find limited recognition of the USAID brand, explicit information about U.S. funding slightly improves general perceptions of the United States. It does not, however, change respondent’s opinions on substantive foreign policy issues. We also find, contrary to existing arguments that foreign aid undermines domestic government legitimacy, that the information increases confidence in local authorities. These results strengthen our understanding of the efficacy of promoting donor visibility and shed light on an important debate in the area of governance that assesses the effect of external actors on government legitimacy.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in the Journal of Politics.

15

AidData Working Paper

Apples and Dragon Fruits: The Determinants of Aid and Other Forms of State Financing From China to Africa

2015-10-01

Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley Parks, Austin M. Strange, Michael J. Tierney

Results suggest Beijing’s motives may not be substantially different from those shaping the allocation of Western official finance.

AidData Working Paper

Apples and Dragon Fruits: The Determinants of Aid and Other Forms of State Financing From China to Africa

2015-10-01

Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley Parks, Austin M. Strange, Michael J. Tierney

Results suggest Beijing’s motives may not be substantially different from those shaping the allocation of Western official finance.

AidData Working Paper

Apples and Dragon Fruits: The Determinants of Aid and Other Forms of State Financing From China to Africa

2015-10-01

Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley Parks, Austin M. Strange, Michael J. Tierney

Results suggest Beijing’s motives may not be substantially different from those shaping the allocation of Western official finance.

Chinese “aid” is a lightning rod for criticism. Policymakers, journalists, and public intellectuals claim that Beijing is using its largesse to cement alliances with political leaders, secure access to natural resources, and create exclusive commercial opportunities for Chinese firms—all at the expense of citizens living in developing countries. We argue that much of the controversy about Chinese “aid” results from a failure to distinguish between China’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) and more commercially-oriented sources and types of state financing. Using a new database on China’s official financing commitments to Africa from 2000-2013, we find the allocation of Chinese ODA to be driven primarily by foreign policy considerations, while economic interests better explain the distribution of less concessional forms of Chinese official financing. Our results suggest Beijing’s motives may not be substantially different from those shaping the allocation of Western official finance. Our data and findings also address the need for better measures of an increasingly diverse set of non-Western financial activities that are neither well understood nor systematically tracked by the Western-led regime for international development finance.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in International Studies Quarterly.

14

AidData Working Paper

Transparency and System Support in Peru

2015-09-01

Darren Hawkins, Lucas Brook, Ian Hansen, Neal Hoopes, Taylor Rawson

We find that transparency has little impact on political attitudes, unless accompanied by either one of two conditions.

AidData Working Paper

Transparency and System Support in Peru

2015-09-01

Darren Hawkins, Lucas Brook, Ian Hansen, Neal Hoopes, Taylor Rawson

We find that transparency has little impact on political attitudes, unless accompanied by either one of two conditions.

AidData Working Paper

Transparency and System Support in Peru

2015-09-01

Darren Hawkins, Lucas Brook, Ian Hansen, Neal Hoopes, Taylor Rawson

We find that transparency has little impact on political attitudes, unless accompanied by either one of two conditions.

Powerful international actors have vigorously promoted transparency for developing countries, yet we know little about the actual effects of transparency. In this paper, we use a series of survey experiments conducted on the streets of Lima, Peru to investigate a fairly simple question: what are the effects of government transparency on attitudes regarding support for the Peruvian political system? Like many developing countries, Peru lacks much system support, making it more difficult to improve governance and democracy. We find that transparency has little impact on political attitudes, unless accompanied by either one of two conditions: the information is attributed to a credible third-party (in our case, USAID), or the information provides a frame in which the government is associate with comparative socioeconomic wellbeing. Under those conditions, Peruvians increase their approval of the national political community, the regime’s performance, regime institutions, and local government. The increases are substantively large, ranging between 6 to 11 points on our 100-point scales, or about half of a standard deviation of the variation in the control groups.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in the British Journal of Political Science.

13

AidData Working Paper

Does Foreign Aid Target the Poorest?

2015-08-02

Ryan C. Briggs

Results suggest that aid is not being allocated effectively to alleviate extreme poverty.

AidData Working Paper

Does Foreign Aid Target the Poorest?

2015-08-02

Ryan C. Briggs

Results suggest that aid is not being allocated effectively to alleviate extreme poverty.

AidData Working Paper

Does Foreign Aid Target the Poorest?

2015-08-02

Ryan C. Briggs

Results suggest that aid is not being allocated effectively to alleviate extreme poverty.

This paper examines the extent to which foreign aid reaches people at different levels of wealth in Africa. I introduce a method for measuring the sub-national distribution of a country’s population by levels of wealth using household surveys and match this information to data on the location of aid projects from two multilateral donors. Within countries, aid disproportionately flows to regions with more of the richest people. Aid does not favor areas with more of the poorest people. These results suggest that donors are not able to realize their preferences for a pro-poor distribution of aid and that aid is not being allocated effectively to alleviate extreme poverty.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in International Organization.

12

AidData Working Paper

'Ground-Truthing' Chinese Development Finance in Africa: Field Evidence from South Africa and Uganda

2015-08-01

Edwin Muchapondwa, Daniel Nielson, Bradley Parks, Austin M. Strange, Michael J. Tierney

Ground-truthing generally reveals close agreement between open-source data and answers to protocol questions.

AidData Working Paper

'Ground-Truthing' Chinese Development Finance in Africa: Field Evidence from South Africa and Uganda

2015-08-01

Edwin Muchapondwa, Daniel Nielson, Bradley Parks, Austin M. Strange, Michael J. Tierney

Ground-truthing generally reveals close agreement between open-source data and answers to protocol questions.

AidData Working Paper

'Ground-Truthing' Chinese Development Finance in Africa: Field Evidence from South Africa and Uganda

2015-08-01

Edwin Muchapondwa, Daniel Nielson, Bradley Parks, Austin M. Strange, Michael J. Tierney

Ground-truthing generally reveals close agreement between open-source data and answers to protocol questions.

A new methodology, Tracking Underreported Financial Flows (TUFF), leverages open-source information on development finance by non-transparent, non-Western donors. If such open-source methods prove to be valid and reliable, they can enhance our understanding of the causes and consequences of development finance from non-transparent donors including, but not limited to, China. But open-source methods face charges of inaccuracy. In this study we create and field-test a replicable ‘ground-truthing’ methodology to verify, update, and improve open-source data with in-person interviews and site visits in Uganda and South Africa. Ground-truthing generally reveals close agreement between open-source data and answers to protocol questions from informants with official roles in the Chinese-funded projects. Our findings suggest that open-source data collection, while limited in knowable ways, can provide a stronger empirical foundation for research on development finance.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in the Journal of Development Studies.

11

AidData Working Paper

Doing Harm by Doing Good: The Negative Externalities of Humanitarian Aid Provision During Civil Conflict

2015-07-01

Reed M. Wood, Christopher Sullivan

Humanitarian aid may be associated with increased rebel violence but less with state violence.

AidData Working Paper

Doing Harm by Doing Good: The Negative Externalities of Humanitarian Aid Provision During Civil Conflict

2015-07-01

Reed M. Wood, Christopher Sullivan

Humanitarian aid may be associated with increased rebel violence but less with state violence.

AidData Working Paper

Doing Harm by Doing Good: The Negative Externalities of Humanitarian Aid Provision During Civil Conflict

2015-07-01

Reed M. Wood, Christopher Sullivan

Humanitarian aid may be associated with increased rebel violence but less with state violence.

Humanitarian assistance is intended to ameliorate the human costs of war by providing relief to vulnerable populations. Yet, the introduction of aid resources into conflict zones may influence subsequent violence patterns and expose intended recipients to new risks. Herein, we investigate the potential negative externalities associated with humanitarian aid. We argue that aid can create incentives for armed actors to intentionally target civilians for violence. Aid incentivizes rebel violence by providing opportunities for looting and presenting challenges to rebel authority. It potentially incentivizes state violence where it augments rebel capabilities or provides rebels a resource base. We evaluate both arguments using spatially disaggregated data on aid and conflict violence for a sample of nearly two-dozen post-Cold War African countries. The results of multiple statistical analyses provide strong support for the argument that humanitarian aid is associated with increased rebel violence but less support for the relationship between aid and state violence.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in the Journal of Politics.

10

AidData Working Paper

Do Aid Donors Specialize and Coordinate within Recipient Countries? The Case of Malawi

2015-06-01

Peter Nunnenkamp, Albena Sotirova, Rainer Thiele

No evidence for increased aid specialization after Paris Declaration; regional division of labor among donors may have deteriorated.

AidData Working Paper

Do Aid Donors Specialize and Coordinate within Recipient Countries? The Case of Malawi

2015-06-01

Peter Nunnenkamp, Albena Sotirova, Rainer Thiele

No evidence for increased aid specialization after Paris Declaration; regional division of labor among donors may have deteriorated.

AidData Working Paper

Do Aid Donors Specialize and Coordinate within Recipient Countries? The Case of Malawi

2015-06-01

Peter Nunnenkamp, Albena Sotirova, Rainer Thiele

No evidence for increased aid specialization after Paris Declaration; regional division of labor among donors may have deteriorated.

Acknowledging that aid proliferation and a lack of coordination impair aid effectiveness, donors have repeatedly promised to specialize and better coordinate their aid activities, most notably in the Paris Declaration of 2005. We exploit geocoded aid data from Malawi to assess whether the country’s bilateral and multilateral donors have acted accordingly at the district and sector level. We do not find compelling evidence for increased aid specialization after the Paris Declaration, and the regional division of labor among donors may even have deteriorated. Our within-country evidence thus broadly corroborates what previous studies found at the national level of recipient countries.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in Development Policy Review.

9

AidData Working Paper

Aid and Growth at the Regional Level

2015-05-06

Axel Dreher, Steffen Lohmann

Significant correlations between aid and growth in second-level administrative regions, but no causal effects.

AidData Working Paper

Aid and Growth at the Regional Level

2015-05-06

Axel Dreher, Steffen Lohmann

Significant correlations between aid and growth in second-level administrative regions, but no causal effects.

AidData Working Paper

Aid and Growth at the Regional Level

2015-05-06

Axel Dreher, Steffen Lohmann

Significant correlations between aid and growth in second-level administrative regions, but no causal effects.

This paper brings the aid effectiveness debate to the sub-national level. We hypothesize the non-robust results regarding the effects of aid on development in the previous literature to arise due to the effects of aid being insufficiently large to measurably affect aggregate outcomes. Using geo-coded data for World Bank aid to a maximum of 2,221 first-level administrative regions (ADM1) and 54,167 second-level administrative regions (ADM2) in 130 countries over the 2000-2011 period, we test whether aid affects development, measured as nighttime light growth. Our preferred identification strategy exploits variation arising from interacting a variable that indicates whether or not a country has passed the threshold for receiving IDA’s concessional aid with a recipient region’s probability to receive aid, in a sample of 478 ADM1 regions and almost 8,400 ADM2 regions from 21 countries. Controlling for the levels of the interacted variables, the interaction provides a powerful and excludable instrument. Overall, we find significant correlations between aid and growth in ADM2 regions, but no causal effects.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in the Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

8

AidData Working Paper

A Spatial Analysis of The Effect of Foreign Aid in Conflict Areas

2015-05-05

Stijn van Weezel

In contrast with the literature this study does not find a strong effect of aid on conflict.

AidData Working Paper

A Spatial Analysis of The Effect of Foreign Aid in Conflict Areas

2015-05-05

Stijn van Weezel

In contrast with the literature this study does not find a strong effect of aid on conflict.

AidData Working Paper

A Spatial Analysis of The Effect of Foreign Aid in Conflict Areas

2015-05-05

Stijn van Weezel

In contrast with the literature this study does not find a strong effect of aid on conflict.

Although most aid projects are aimed at local development, research on aid and conflict mainly uses the country-year as unit of analysis. This study examines the link between aid and conflict at the sub-national level for three African countries between 1999-2008, using a unique dataset with information on local aid projects. The data shows that in general aid is allocated relatively close to the capital whereas conflicts occur in the peripheral areas. In contrast with the literature this study does not find a strong effect of aid on conflict as the analysis provides relatively little empirical support for a link in either positive or negative direction. Some of the results do show that non-fungible aid corresponds with decreases in conflict levels suggesting that aid increases the opportunity costs of rebellion although the magnitude of the effect is very low.

7

AidData Working Paper

Building a Stronger System for Tracking Nutrition Sensitive Spending

2015-05-04

Scott B. Ickes, Rachel B. Trichler, Bradley C. Parks

Models indicate that the amount of nutrition sensitive and total nutrition ODA was significantly predicted by stunting prevalence

AidData Working Paper

Building a Stronger System for Tracking Nutrition Sensitive Spending

2015-05-04

Scott B. Ickes, Rachel B. Trichler, Bradley C. Parks

Models indicate that the amount of nutrition sensitive and total nutrition ODA was significantly predicted by stunting prevalence

AidData Working Paper

Building a Stronger System for Tracking Nutrition Sensitive Spending

2015-05-04

Scott B. Ickes, Rachel B. Trichler, Bradley C. Parks

Models indicate that the amount of nutrition sensitive and total nutrition ODA was significantly predicted by stunting prevalence

There is growing awareness that the necessary solutions for improving nutrition outcomes are multi-sectoral. As such, investments are increasingly directed towards “nutrition sensitive” approaches that not only address an underlying or basic determinant of nutrition, but also seek to achieve an explicit nutrition goal or outcome. Understanding how and where official development assistance for nutrition is invested remains an important but complex challenge. Our objective was to develop a methodology for classifying and tracking nutrition sensitive official development assistance and to produce estimates of the amount of nutrition sensitive aid received by countries with a high burden of undernutrition. We analyzed all financial flows reported to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee Creditor Reporting Service in 2010 to estimate these investments. We assessed the relationships between national stunting prevalence, stunting burden, under-five mortality and the amount of nutrition specific and nutrition sensitive ODA. We estimate that, in 2010, a total of $379.4 million (M) USD was committed to nutrition specific projects and programs, of which 25 designated beneficiaries accounted for nearly 85% ($320 M). A total of $1.79 billion (B) was committed to nutrition sensitive spending, of which the top 25 countries/regions accounted for $1.4 B (82%). Nine categories of development activities accounted for 75% of nutrition sensitive spending, led by Reproductive Health Care (30.4%), Food Aid/Food Security Programs (14.1%), Emergency Food Aid (13.2%), and Basic Health Care (5.0%). Multivariate linear regression models indicate that the amount of nutrition sensitive (p=0·001) and total nutrition ODA was significantly predicted by stunting prevalence (p = 0.001). The size of the total population of stunted children significantly predicted the amount of nutrition specific ODA (p < 0.001). A reliable estimate of nutrition spending is critical for effective planning by both donors and recipients, and a key for success as the global development community re-commits to a new round of goals to address the inter-related causes of undernutrition in low-income countries.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in the Food and Nutrition Bulletin.

6

AidData Working Paper

The Foreign Aid Effectiveness Debate: Evidence from Malawi

2015-05-03

Rajlakshmi De, Charles Becker

Results suggest that a sub-national framework provides sufficient granularity for detecting impacts of foreign aid on poverty alleviation.

AidData Working Paper

The Foreign Aid Effectiveness Debate: Evidence from Malawi

2015-05-03

Rajlakshmi De, Charles Becker

Results suggest that a sub-national framework provides sufficient granularity for detecting impacts of foreign aid on poverty alleviation.

AidData Working Paper

The Foreign Aid Effectiveness Debate: Evidence from Malawi

2015-05-03

Rajlakshmi De, Charles Becker

Results suggest that a sub-national framework provides sufficient granularity for detecting impacts of foreign aid on poverty alleviation.

Understanding the role of foreign aid in poverty alleviation is one of the central inquiries of development economics. To augment past cross-country studies, this paper offers a first step toward addressing the absence of disaggregated estimates of the allocation and impact of foreign aid. Newly geocoded aid project data from Malawi are used in combination with multiple rounds of living standards data to assess the allocation and impact of health aid, water aid, and education aid. Allocation is modeled using living standards variables, geographic indicators, and other aid bundling. Significant, positive effects of health aid on decreasing disease severity and of water aid on decreasing diarrhea incidence were estimated through both IV and PSM difference-in-differences approaches. An appropriate instrument for education aid could not be determined, but propensity score matching methods indicate a potential positive effect of education aid on school enrollment. Different aid donors’ allocation behaviors are also assessed. The aid impact results suggest that a sub-national framework provides sufficient granularity for detecting the impacts of foreign aid on poverty alleviation in Malawi and that policymakers and governments should use geographic living standards information to inform future aid allocation.

5

AidData Working Paper

The Political Economy of Aid Allocation in Africa: Evidence from Zambia

2015-05-02

Takaaki Masaki

Political elites distribute more donor projects to districts where opposition to the ruling party enjoys greater popularity

AidData Working Paper

The Political Economy of Aid Allocation in Africa: Evidence from Zambia

2015-05-02

Takaaki Masaki

Political elites distribute more donor projects to districts where opposition to the ruling party enjoys greater popularity

AidData Working Paper

The Political Economy of Aid Allocation in Africa: Evidence from Zambia

2015-05-02

Takaaki Masaki

Political elites distribute more donor projects to districts where opposition to the ruling party enjoys greater popularity

Does electoral politics influence the allocation of foreign aid within aid-recipient countries? Despite the abundance of studies on the determinants of aid allocation, the existing literature offers little leverage on this question, largely due to the paucity of data on the locations of donor-funded projects. In this essay, I utilize newly available data on the georaphical distribution of development projects in Zambia to test whether electorial incentivies shape aid allocation at the sub-national level. Challenging a widespread belief in African politics that autocrats reward their own core supporters with more resources, I argue -- and find strong evidence -- that when they have limited knowledge about citizens' voting preferences, political elites distribute more donor projects to districts where opposition to the ruling party (or incumbent president) enjoys greater popularity; and districts where a majority of voters share the ethnicity of the incumbent president.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in the African Studies Review.

4

AidData Working Paper

Aiming at the Wrong Targets: The Difficulty of Improving Domestic Institutions with International Aid

2015-05-01

Benjamin P. Buch, Mark T. Buntaine, Bradley C. Parks

Aid-dependent countries are more likely to select targets that measure public sector organization rather than policy outcomes.

AidData Working Paper

Aiming at the Wrong Targets: The Difficulty of Improving Domestic Institutions with International Aid

2015-05-01

Benjamin P. Buch, Mark T. Buntaine, Bradley C. Parks

Aid-dependent countries are more likely to select targets that measure public sector organization rather than policy outcomes.

AidData Working Paper

Aiming at the Wrong Targets: The Difficulty of Improving Domestic Institutions with International Aid

2015-05-01

Benjamin P. Buch, Mark T. Buntaine, Bradley C. Parks

Aid-dependent countries are more likely to select targets that measure public sector organization rather than policy outcomes.

We explain why the record of aid agencies in building and reforming public sector institutions in developing countries has been broadly unsuccessful, despite extraordinary amounts of time, money, effort, and a commitment to achieve targets. We argue that requirements to specify and monitor observable indicators of success have created strong incentives for aid-dependent countries to signal performance to their foreign sponsors by achieving targets. However, in the absence of requirements about the types of targets that should be pursued, countries that rely heavily upon external sources of financial support select easy targets that have limited value for strengthening public sector institutions. In particular, aid-dependent countries are more likely to select targets that measure how public sector institutions are organized, rather than targets that measure what policy outcomes are achieved through strengthened public sector institutions. We demonstrate that this argument has both explanatory and predictive power for World Bank environment and natural resource management projects.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in International Studies Quarterly.

3

AidData Working Paper

Aid on Demand: African Leaders and the Geography of China's Foreign Assistance

2014-11-01

Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Roland Hodler, Bradley C. Parks, Paul A. Raschky, Michael J. Tierney

More Chinese aid aid is allocated the birth regions of African leaders; Chinese aid is also found to increase economic growth.

AidData Working Paper

Aid on Demand: African Leaders and the Geography of China's Foreign Assistance

2014-11-01

Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Roland Hodler, Bradley C. Parks, Paul A. Raschky, Michael J. Tierney

More Chinese aid aid is allocated the birth regions of African leaders; Chinese aid is also found to increase economic growth.

AidData Working Paper

Aid on Demand: African Leaders and the Geography of China's Foreign Assistance

2014-11-01

Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Roland Hodler, Bradley C. Parks, Paul A. Raschky, Michael J. Tierney

More Chinese aid aid is allocated the birth regions of African leaders; Chinese aid is also found to increase economic growth.

This article investigates whether China’s foreign aid is particularly prone to capture by political leaders of aid-receiving countries. We examine whether more Chinese aid is allocated to the birth regions of political leaders and regions populated by the ethnic groups to which leaders belong, controlling for indicators of need and various fixed effects. We have collected data on 117 African leaders’ birthplaces and ethnic groups and have geocoded 1,650 Chinese development finance projects across 3,097 physical locations that were committed to Africa over the 2000–2012 period. Our econometric results show that when leaders hold power their birth regions receive substantially more funding from China than other subnational regions. We also find—less robust—evidence that African leaders direct more Chinese aid to areas populated by individuals who share their ethnicity. However, when we replicate the analysis for the World Bank, our regressions show no evidence of favoritism. We also evaluate the impact of Chinese aid on regional development, exploiting time variation in the amount of Chinese aid that results from China’s production of steel and geographical variation in the probability that a subnational region will receive such aid. We find that Chinese aid improves local development outcomes, as measured by per-capita nighttime light emissions at the first and second subnational administrative level. We therefore conclude that China’s foreign aid program has both distributional and developmental consequences for Africa.

Note: Working Paper revised October 2016.

2

AidData Working Paper

Titling Community Land to Prevent Deforestation: No Reduction in Forest Loss in Morona-Santiago, Ecuador

2014-10-02

Mark T. Buntaine, Stuart E. Hamilton, Marco Millones

The impacts of a donor-funded land titling and management program on forest cover in Ecuador are investigated using remotely sensed data and matched comparisons that account for spatial assignment.

AidData Working Paper

Titling Community Land to Prevent Deforestation: No Reduction in Forest Loss in Morona-Santiago, Ecuador

2014-10-02

Mark T. Buntaine, Stuart E. Hamilton, Marco Millones

The impacts of a donor-funded land titling and management program on forest cover in Ecuador are investigated using remotely sensed data and matched comparisons that account for spatial assignment.

AidData Working Paper

Titling Community Land to Prevent Deforestation: No Reduction in Forest Loss in Morona-Santiago, Ecuador

2014-10-02

Mark T. Buntaine, Stuart E. Hamilton, Marco Millones

The impacts of a donor-funded land titling and management program on forest cover in Ecuador are investigated using remotely sensed data and matched comparisons that account for spatial assignment.

Land tenure and land titling programs for forests have become a mainstay of conservation and resource management policy worldwide. They are thought to reduce deforestation by lengthening the time horizon of landholders and improving the ability of landholders to legally exclude competing users. Despite these expectations, reliable evidence about how land titling programs affect forest cover is limited because programs are targeted according to other factors that themselves influence the conversion of forests, such as indigenous status or low population density. We investigate the effect of a donor-funded land titling and management program on forest cover in Morona-Santiago, Ecuador. To estimate the impact of community land titles and management plans, we match plots in program areas with similar plots outside program areas on a variety of covariates that influence forest conversion. Based on matched comparisons, we do not find evidence that land titling or the creation of community management plans reduced forest loss in the first five years after the program. Our results are some of the first evidence about the effects of land titling programs on forests that account for spatial assignment and interactions with other institutions. More broadly, our analysis demonstrates the promise of using remotely sensed data to evaluate the effects of policies beyond normal cycles of policy and program evaluation.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in Global Environmental Change.

1

AidData Working Paper

Leveraging Aid for Trade Capacity in Uganda

2014-10-01

Alex Thomas Ijjo, Isaac Shinyekwa

An examination of how aid impacts Uganda’s external trade and the effects of the WTO's "Aid for Trade" initiative in strengthening national trade capacity.

AidData Working Paper

Leveraging Aid for Trade Capacity in Uganda

2014-10-01

Alex Thomas Ijjo, Isaac Shinyekwa

An examination of how aid impacts Uganda’s external trade and the effects of the WTO's "Aid for Trade" initiative in strengthening national trade capacity.

AidData Working Paper

Leveraging Aid for Trade Capacity in Uganda

2014-10-01

Alex Thomas Ijjo, Isaac Shinyekwa

An examination of how aid impacts Uganda’s external trade and the effects of the WTO's "Aid for Trade" initiative in strengthening national trade capacity.

The hindrances to the gainful participation of least developed countries (LDCs) in international trade are predominantly domestic supply related constraints rather than foreign market access. These constraints include variable productive capacity, economic infrastructure bottlenecks, and inability to meet international quality standards. In recognition of such challenges facing LDCs, the World Trade Organization (WTO) launched the “Aid for Trade” (AFT) initiative in 2005 to coordinate international support for strengthening trade capacity in LDCs. Looking at the case of Uganda, we initially examine the role of overall Official Development Assistance (ODA) in driving Uganda’s external trade and then specifically that of AFT in strengthening national trade capacity. Although we find reasonable alignment between aid and national development priorities, there is, as yet, very little evidence of a robust aid impact especially on export capability vis-à-vis that of import. The paper underscores persisting deficiency in Uganda’s capacity to meet internationally accepted standards and to ensure stability and consistency in export supplies. While we note the development of some capacity in trade policy formulation and the mainstreaming of more relevant trade strategies into the country’s National Development Plan (NDP) with aid support, we recommend that future aid support be directed into unlocking the crippling constraints in Uganda’s productive capacity, standards development, economic infrastructure and sound trade policy analysis and formulation.

Journal Articles

AidData faculty and staff, affiliated scholars, and members of the AidData Research Consortium regularly publish their findings in leading disciplinary and interdisciplinary journals. Earlier versions of some of the articles below were published as AidData Working Papers.

Note: A version of this article was previously published as an AidData Working Paper.

Journal Article

Natural resource sector FDI, government policy, and economic growth: Quasi-experimental evidence from Liberia

2018-03-20

Jonas B. Bunte, Harsh Desai, Kanio Gbala, Bradley C. Parks, Daniel Miller Runfola

Journal Article

Natural resource sector FDI, government policy, and economic growth: Quasi-experimental evidence from Liberia

2018-03-20

Jonas B. Bunte, Harsh Desai, Kanio Gbala, Bradley C. Parks, Daniel Miller Runfola

Journal Article

Natural resource sector FDI, government policy, and economic growth: Quasi-experimental evidence from Liberia

2018-03-20

Publisher

World Development

Jonas B. Bunte, Harsh Desai, Kanio Gbala, Bradley C. Parks, Daniel Miller Runfola

Governments use a variety of policies to increase the impact of foreign investment on economic growth. An increasingly popular policy is to require that foreign companies provide public goods near the communities where their commercial investments are sited. This approach seeks to crowd in additional investments, create clusters of interconnected firms, and set in motion economic agglomeration processes. Post-2006 Liberia represents an ideal empirical setting to test the effectiveness of this approach. We construct a new dataset that measures the precise locations of 557 natural resource concessions granted to investors. We then merge these data with a remotely sensed measure of nighttime light growth at the 1km x 1km grid cell level and analyze it using a matched difference-in-differences strategy. We find heterogeneous treatment effects across sectors and investor types: mining (specifically iron-ore) investments projects have positive growth effects, while agriculture and forestry investment projects do not; furthermore, concessions granted to Chinese investors have positive growth effects while those given to U.S. investors do not. These patterns of heterogeneous treatment effects across sectors and investor types are consistent with the theory of change underpinning the government's development corridor strategy.

Journal Article

Bypass Aid and Unrest in Autocracies

2018-03-13

Matthew DiLorenzo

Journal Article

Bypass Aid and Unrest in Autocracies

2018-03-13

Matthew DiLorenzo

Journal Article

Bypass Aid and Unrest in Autocracies

2018-03-13

Publisher

International Studies Quarterly

Matthew DiLorenzo

Scholars and policymakers argue that donors can pursue development goals without bolstering autocratic regimes by bypassing recipient governments and channeling aid through intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations. However, I argue that bypass aid can subsidize government transfers to citizens and thus reduce popular resistance to autocrats. By providing goods and services that benefit individuals under the status quo, bypass aid may affect citizens' willingness to challenge an incumbent regime. In particular, aid may lower the concessions that an autocrat needs to make to, on the one hand, deter unrest or, on the other hand, increase the opportunity costs of political resistance. As such, aid may have political effects regardless of whether or not recipient governments have managerial control over aid. Statistical tests show that bypass aid is associated with less frequent domestic unrest in autocracies. To address potential endogeneity, I use an original data set that records instances in which governments are suspected of, or actually caught, misusing aid to proxy for the distribution of aid across channels.

Note: A version of this article was previously published as an AidData Working Paper.

Journal Article

Development aid and infant mortality. Micro-level evidence from Nigeria

2018-02-03

Andreas Kotsadam, Gudrun Østby, Siri Aas Rustad, Andreas Forø Tollefsen, Henrik Urdal

Journal Article

Development aid and infant mortality. Micro-level evidence from Nigeria

2018-02-03

Andreas Kotsadam, Gudrun Østby, Siri Aas Rustad, Andreas Forø Tollefsen, Henrik Urdal

Journal Article

Development aid and infant mortality. Micro-level evidence from Nigeria

2018-02-03

Publisher

World Development

Andreas Kotsadam, Gudrun Østby, Siri Aas Rustad, Andreas Forø Tollefsen, Henrik Urdal

While there is a vast literature studying the effects of official development aid (ODA) on economic growth, there are far fewer comparative studies addressing how aid affects health outcomes. Furthermore, while much attention has been paid to country-level effects of aid, there is a clear knowledge gap in the literature when it comes to systematic studies of aid effectiveness below the country-level. Addressing this gap, we undertake what we believe is the first systematic attempt to study how ODA affects infant mortality at the subnational level. We match new geographic aid data from the AidData on the precise location, type, and time frame of bilateral and multilateral aid projects in Nigeria with available georeferenced survey data from five Nigerian Demographic and Health Surveys. Using quasi-experimental approaches, with mother fixed-effects, we are able to control for a vast number of unobserved factors that may otherwise be spuriously correlated with both infant mortality and ODA. The results indicate very clearly that geographical proximity to active aid projects reduces infant mortality. Moreover, aid contributes to reduce systematic inter-group, or horizontal, inequalities in a setting where such differences loom large. In particular, we find that aid more effectively reduces infant mortality in less privileged groups like children of Muslim women, and children living in rural, and in Muslim-dominated areas. Finally, there is evidence that aid projects are established in areas that on average have lower infant mortality than non-aid locations, suggesting that there are biases resulting in aid not necessarily reaching those populations in greatest need.

Note: A version of this article was previously published as an AidData Working Paper.

Journal Article

The Political Economy of Aid Allocation in Africa: Evidence from Zambia

2018-02-01

Takaaki Masaki

Journal Article

The Political Economy of Aid Allocation in Africa: Evidence from Zambia

2018-02-01

Takaaki Masaki

Journal Article

The Political Economy of Aid Allocation in Africa: Evidence from Zambia

2018-02-01

Publisher

African Studies Review

Takaaki Masaki

This article utilizes a newly available dataset on the geographical distribution of development projects in Zambia to test whether electoral incentives shape aid allocation at the subnational level. Based on this dataset, it argues that when political elites have limited information to target distributive goods specifically to swing voters, they allocate more donor projects to districts where opposition to the incumbent is strong, as opposed to districts where the incumbent enjoys greater popularity.

Note: A version of this article was previously published as an AidData Working Paper.

Journal Article

Apples and Dragon Fruits: The Determinants of Aid and Other Forms of State Financing from China to Africa

2018-02-01

Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley C Parks, Austin M Strange, Michael J Tierney

Journal Article

Apples and Dragon Fruits: The Determinants of Aid and Other Forms of State Financing from China to Africa

2018-02-01

Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley C Parks, Austin M Strange, Michael J Tierney

Journal Article

Apples and Dragon Fruits: The Determinants of Aid and Other Forms of State Financing from China to Africa

2018-02-01

Publisher

International Studies Quarterly

Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley C Parks, Austin M Strange, Michael J Tierney

Chinese 'aid' is a lightning rod for criticism. Policy-makers, journalists, and public intellectuals claim that Beijing uses its largesse to cement alliances with political leaders, secure access to natural resources, and create exclusive commercial opportunities for Chinese firms — all at the expense of citizens living in developing countries. We argue that much of the controversy about Chinese 'aid' stems from a failure to distinguish between China's Official Development Assistance (ODA) and more commercially oriented sources and types of state financing. Using a new database on China's official financing commitments to Africa from 2000 to 2013, we find that the allocation of Chinese ODA is driven primarily by foreign policy considerations, while economic interests better explain the distribution of less concessional flows. These results highlight the need for better measures of an increasingly diverse set of non-Western financial activities.

Journal Article

Quantifying Heterogeneous Causal Treatment Effects in World Bank Development Finance Projects

2017-12-30

Jianing Zhao, Daniel M. Runfola, Peter Kemper

Journal Article

Quantifying Heterogeneous Causal Treatment Effects in World Bank Development Finance Projects

2017-12-30

Jianing Zhao, Daniel M. Runfola, Peter Kemper

Journal Article

Quantifying Heterogeneous Causal Treatment Effects in World Bank Development Finance Projects

2017-12-30

Publisher

Joint European Conference on Machine Learning and Knowledge Discovery in Databases

Jianing Zhao, Daniel M. Runfola, Peter Kemper

The World Bank provides billions of dollars in development finance to countries across the world every year. As many projects are related to the environment, we want to understand the World Bank projects impact to forest cover. However, the global extent of these projects results in substantial heterogeneity in impacts due to geographic, cultural, and other factors. Recent research by Athey and Imbens has illustrated the potential for hybrid machine learning and causal inferential techniques which may be able to capture such heterogeneity. We apply their approach using a geolocated dataset of World Bank projects, and augment this data with satellite-retrieved characteristics of their geographic context (including temperature, precipitation, slope, distance to urban areas, and many others). We use this information in conjunction with causal tree (CT) and causal forest (CF) approaches to contrast 'control' and 'treatment' geographic locations to estimate the impact of World Bank projects on vegetative cover.

Note: A version of this article was previously published as an AidData Working Paper.

Journal Article

Indigenous land rights and deforestation: Evidence from the Brazilian Amazon

2017-11-01

Ariel BenYishay, Silke Heuser, Daniel Runfola, Rachel Trichler

Journal Article

Indigenous land rights and deforestation: Evidence from the Brazilian Amazon

2017-11-01

Ariel BenYishay, Silke Heuser, Daniel Runfola, Rachel Trichler

Journal Article

Indigenous land rights and deforestation: Evidence from the Brazilian Amazon

2017-11-01

Publisher

Journal of Environmental Economics and Management

Ariel BenYishay, Silke Heuser, Daniel Runfola, Rachel Trichler

Concerns over the expropriation of and encroachment on indigenous communities' lands have led to greater formalization of these communities' rights in a number of developing countries. We study whether formalization of indigenous communities' land rights affects the rate of deforestation in both the short and medium terms. Beginning in 1995, the Government of Brazil formalized the rights of several hundred indigenous communities whose lands cover more than 40 million hectares in the Amazon region and provided support for these rightsÕ enforcement. We study the program's impacts using a long time-series of satellite-based forest cover data. Using both plausibly exogenous variation in the timing of formalization and matched samples of treated and comparison communities, we find no effect of these protections on satellite-based greenness measures. This is true even for communities that received support for surveillance and enforcement of these rights. Notably, we observe low counterfactual rates of deforestation on communities' lands between 1982 and 2010, suggesting that indigenous land rights programs should not uniformly be justified on the basis of their forest protection, at least in the medium term.

Note: A version of this article was previously published as an AidData Working Paper.

Journal Article

Foreign Aid, Foreign Policy, and Domestic Government Legitimacy: Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh

2017-10-27

Simone Dietrich, Minhaj Mahmud, Matthew S. Winters

Journal Article

Foreign Aid, Foreign Policy, and Domestic Government Legitimacy: Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh

2017-10-27

Simone Dietrich, Minhaj Mahmud, Matthew S. Winters

Journal Article

Foreign Aid, Foreign Policy, and Domestic Government Legitimacy: Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh

2017-10-27

Publisher

The Journal of Politics

Simone Dietrich, Minhaj Mahmud, Matthew S. Winters

Foreign aid donors make themselves visible as the funders of development projects to improve citizen attitudes abroad. Do target populations receive these political communications in the intended fashion, and does the information succeed in changing attitudes? Despite the widespread use of various mechanisms to communicate information about foreign funding, little evidence exists about their effectiveness. We embed an informational experiment about a US-funded health project in a nationwide survey in Bangladesh. Although we find only limited recognition of the USAID brand, explicit information about US funding slightly improves general perceptions of the United States; it does not, however, change respondent's opinions on substantive foreign policy issues. We also find that information increases confidence in local authorities. While our results suggest that information about foreign donors can effect attitudinal change, they also suggest that current mechanisms for information transmission might not be sufficient to do so.

Journal Article

What Do We (Not) Know About Development Aid and Violence? A Systematic Review

2017-10-01

Christoph Zürcher

Journal Article

What Do We (Not) Know About Development Aid and Violence? A Systematic Review

2017-10-01

Christoph Zürcher

Journal Article

What Do We (Not) Know About Development Aid and Violence? A Systematic Review

2017-10-01

Publisher

World Development

Christoph Zürcher

The paper presents findings from the first-ever systematic review of the causal impact of development aid on violence in countries affected by civil war. The review identifies 19 studies: Fourteen within-country studies from Afghanistan, Iraq, Colombia, Philippines and India, and five cross-national studies. These studies investigate the impact of six aid types: Community driven development, conditional cash transfers, public employment scheme, humanitarian aid, infrastructure and aid provided by military commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan. The evidence for a violence-dampening effect of aid in conflict zones is not strong. Aid in conflict zones is more likely to exacerbate violence than to dampen violence. A violence-dampening effect of aid appears to be conditional on a relatively secure environment for aid projects to be implemented. A violence-increasing effect occurs when aid is misappropriated by violent actors, or when violent actors sabotage aid projects in order to disrupt the cooperation between the local population and the government.

Note: A version of this article was previously published as an AidData Working Paper.

Journal Article

Who Controls Foreign Aid? Elite versus Public Perceptions of Donor Influence in Aid-Dependent Uganda

2017-08-17

Michael G. Findley, Adam S. Harris, Helen V. Milner, Daniel L. Nielson

Journal Article

Who Controls Foreign Aid? Elite versus Public Perceptions of Donor Influence in Aid-Dependent Uganda

2017-08-17

Michael G. Findley, Adam S. Harris, Helen V. Milner, Daniel L. Nielson

Journal Article

Who Controls Foreign Aid? Elite versus Public Perceptions of Donor Influence in Aid-Dependent Uganda

2017-08-17

Publisher

International Organization

Michael G. Findley, Adam S. Harris, Helen V. Milner, Daniel L. Nielson

Does foreign aid enable or constrain elite capture of public revenues? Reflecting on prominent debates in the foreign aid literature, we examine whether recipient preferences are consistent with a view that foreign donors wield substantial control over the flow of aid dollars, making elite capture more difficult and mass benefits more likely. We compare elite and mass support for foreign aid versus government spending on development projects through a survey experiment with behavioral outcomes. A key innovation is a parallel experiment on members of the Ugandan national parliament and a representative sample of Ugandan citizens. For two actual aid projects, we randomly assigned different funders to the projects. Significant treatment effects reveal that members of parliament support government programs over foreign aid, whereas citizens prefer aid over government. Donor control also implies that citizens should favor foreign aid more and elites less as their perceptions of government clientelism and corruption increase. We explore this and report on other alternative mechanisms. Effects for citizens and elites are most apparent for those perceiving significant government corruption, suggesting that both sets of subjects perceive significant donor control over aid.

Journal Article

An evidence-based approach to ending rural hunger

2017-08-14

Homi Kharas, John W. McArthur, Joachim von Braun

Journal Article

An evidence-based approach to ending rural hunger

2017-08-14

Homi Kharas, John W. McArthur, Joachim von Braun

Journal Article

An evidence-based approach to ending rural hunger

2017-08-14

Publisher

Economics

Homi Kharas, John W. McArthur, Joachim von Braun

Progress toward food and nutrition security (FNS) needs to be sharply accelerated in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal for ending hunger and malnutrition, especially in rural areas. The G20 should target interventions and investment opportunities to maximize impact on people and transformation of rural areas. Currently, few G20 countries map investments, technical assistance, capacity building and policy support in a data-driven way. Such tracking of needs, policies, and resources could include G20 countries' domestic efforts alongside countries they support with development assistance. The G20 could develop such a methodology to identify countries and interventions where additional resources could have a lasting impact. They could then systematically track and streamline FNS actions taken across international organizations and initiatives to efforts to help ensure the SDG is achieved.

Note: A version of this article was previously published as an AidData Working Paper.

Journal Article

Aiming at the Wrong Targets: The Domestic Consequences of International Efforts to Build Institutions

2017-06-12

Mark T. Buntaine, Bradley C. Parks, Benjamin P. Buch

Journal Article

Aiming at the Wrong Targets: The Domestic Consequences of International Efforts to Build Institutions

2017-06-12

Mark T. Buntaine, Bradley C. Parks, Benjamin P. Buch

Journal Article

Aiming at the Wrong Targets: The Domestic Consequences of International Efforts to Build Institutions

2017-06-12

Publisher

International Studies Quarterly

Mark T. Buntaine, Bradley C. Parks, Benjamin P. Buch

We explain why international development organizations have had so little success building and reforming public sector institutions in developing countries. They often fail despite their apparently strong commitment to achieving measurable results and extraordinary amounts of time, money, and effort. We demonstrate that when donors and lenders make access to financing contingent upon achievement of performance targets, recipient countries tend to choose easy and shallow institutional targets. These targets measure the organization of public sector institutions, rather than their effectiveness at addressing public problems. Such targets provide countries with low-cost opportunities to signal commitment to institution-building to international development organizations. We demonstrate the explanatory and predictive power of our argument in the context of a sector of World Bank lending—environment and natural resource management—that focuses heavily on improving public sector institutions.

Journal Article

Foreign Aid as a Counterterrorism Tool: More Liberty, Less Terror?

2017-05-05

Burcu Savun, Daniel C. Tirone

Journal Article

Foreign Aid as a Counterterrorism Tool: More Liberty, Less Terror?

2017-05-05

Burcu Savun, Daniel C. Tirone

Journal Article

Foreign Aid as a Counterterrorism Tool: More Liberty, Less Terror?

2017-05-05

Publisher

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Burcu Savun, Daniel C. Tirone

Is foreign aid effective in reducing terrorism? The existing evidence is mostly negative. We argue that this pessimistic outlook on the efficacy of aid as a counterterrorism tool is partly a function of focusing on only one type of aid: economic aid. Governance and civil society aid can dampen the participation in and support for terrorism by altering the political conditions of a country. We expect countries that receive high levels of governance and civil society aid to experience fewer domestic terrorist incidents than countries that receive little or none. Using a sample of aid eligible countries for the period from 1997 to 2010, we find that governance and civil society aid is effective in dampening domestic terrorism, but this effect is only present if the recipient country is not experiencing a civil conflict. Our findings provide support for the continued use of democracy aid as a counterterrorism tool.

Note: A version of this article was previously published as a working paper.

Journal Article

Tracking Underreported Financial Flows: China’s Development Finance and the Aid–Conflict Nexus Revisited

2017-05-01

Austin M. Strange, Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley C. Parks, Michael J. Tierney

Introducing a new open-source methodology for collecting project-level development finance information.

Journal Article

Tracking Underreported Financial Flows: China’s Development Finance and the Aid–Conflict Nexus Revisited

2017-05-01

Austin M. Strange, Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley C. Parks, Michael J. Tierney

Introducing a new open-source methodology for collecting project-level development finance information.

Journal Article

Tracking Underreported Financial Flows: China’s Development Finance and the Aid–Conflict Nexus Revisited

2017-05-01

Publisher

Austin M. Strange, Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley C. Parks, Michael J. Tierney

Introducing a new open-source methodology for collecting project-level development finance information.

China’s provision of development finance to other countries is sizable but reliable information is scarce. We introduce a new open-source methodology (AidData's TUFF Methodology, Version 1.2) for collecting project-level development finance information and create a database of Chinese official finance (OF) to Africa from 2000 to 2011 (AidData's Chinese Official Finance to Africa Dataset, 2000-2012, Version 1.1). 

We find that China’s commitments amounted to approximately US$73 billion, of which US$15 billion are comparable to Official Development Assistance following Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development definitions. We provide details on 1,511 projects to fifty African countries. We use this database to extend previous research on aid and conflict, which suffers from omitted-variable bias due to the exclusion of Chinese development finance. Our results show that sudden withdrawals of ‘‘traditional’’ aid no longer induce conflict in the presence of sufficient alternative funding from China. Our findings highlight the importance of gathering more complete data on the development activities of ‘‘nontraditional donors’’ to better understand the link between aid and conflict. We provide our replication package for this article at http://aiddata.org/replication-datasets.

An earlier version of this article, China's Development Finance to Africa: A Media-Based Approach to Data Collection, is available as a working paper from the Center for Global Development.

Journal Article

A Top-Down Approach to Estimating Spatially Heterogeneous Impacts of Development Aid on Vegetative Carbon Sequestration

2017-03-09

Daniel Runfola, Ariel BenYishay, Jeffery Tanner, Graeme Buchanan, Jyoteshwar Nagol, Matthias Leu, Seth Goodman, Rachel Trichler, Robert Marty

Journal Article

A Top-Down Approach to Estimating Spatially Heterogeneous Impacts of Development Aid on Vegetative Carbon Sequestration

2017-03-09

Daniel Runfola, Ariel BenYishay, Jeffery Tanner, Graeme Buchanan, Jyoteshwar Nagol, Matthias Leu, Seth Goodman, Rachel Trichler, Robert Marty

Journal Article

A Top-Down Approach to Estimating Spatially Heterogeneous Impacts of Development Aid on Vegetative Carbon Sequestration

2017-03-09

Publisher

Sustainability

Daniel Runfola, Ariel BenYishay, Jeffery Tanner, Graeme Buchanan, Jyoteshwar Nagol, Matthias Leu, Seth Goodman, Rachel Trichler, Robert Marty

Since 1945, over $4.9 trillion dollars of international aid has been allocated to developing countries. To date, there have been no estimates of the regional impact of this aid on the carbon cycle. We apply a geographically explicit matching method to estimate the relative impact of large-scale World Bank projects implemented between 2000 and 2010 on sequestered carbon, using a novel and publicly available data set of 61,243 World Bank project locations. Considering only carbon sequestered due to fluctuations in vegetative biomass caused by World Bank projects, we illustrate the relative impact of World Bank projects on carbon sequestration. We use this information to illustrate the geographic variation in the apparent effectiveness of environmental safeguards implemented by the World Bank. We argue that sub-national data can help to identify geographically heterogeneous impact effects, and highlight many remaining methodological challenges.

Note: A version of this article was previously published as an AidData Working Paper.

Journal Article

Bad neighbors? How co-located Chinese and World Bank development projects impact local corruption in Tanzania

2017-03-01

Samuel Brazys, Johan A. Elkink, Gina Kelly

Journal Article

Bad neighbors? How co-located Chinese and World Bank development projects impact local corruption in Tanzania

2017-03-01

Samuel Brazys, Johan A. Elkink, Gina Kelly

Journal Article

Bad neighbors? How co-located Chinese and World Bank development projects impact local corruption in Tanzania

2017-03-01

Publisher

The Review of International Organizations

Samuel Brazys, Johan A. Elkink, Gina Kelly

The rise of China as a "non-traditional" development partner has been one of the most important phenomena in the field over the past decade. The lack of transparency in Chinese development projects, coupled with an uninterested stance towards governance, lead many to wonder if Chinese engagement will contribute to or undermine existing development efforts. This paper adds to the debate by inquiring as to the relationship of Chinese development efforts with perceptions of, and experiences with, corruption when projects are closely-located to those from a traditional donor, the World Bank. Taking advantage of spatial data, the paper evidences an association between the location of a larger number of Chinese projects and higher experiences with and, to some extent, perceptions of corruption when accounting for co-located World Bank projects. Likewise, while World Bank projects are associated with lower levels of corruption in the absence of Chinese projects, this relationship disappears when Chinese projects are nearby. However, these relationships only hold for Chinese projects which are not "aid-like," suggesting that the differentiation of Chinese overseas flows is an important consideration when studying China as a development partner.

Journal Article

Canary in the coal mine? China, the UNGA, and the changing world order

2017-02-20

Samuel Brazys, Alexander Dukalskis

Journal Article

Canary in the coal mine? China, the UNGA, and the changing world order

2017-02-20

Samuel Brazys, Alexander Dukalskis

Journal Article

Canary in the coal mine? China, the UNGA, and the changing world order

2017-02-20

Publisher

Review of International Studies

Samuel Brazys, Alexander Dukalskis

How China assumes its position of superpower is one of the most important questions regarding global order in the twenty-first century. While considerable and sustained attention has been paid to ChinaÕs growing economic and military might, work examining how China is attempting, if at all, to influence the ecosystem of global norms is in its earlier stages. In this article we examine ChinaÕs actions in an important venue for the development of global norms, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Using a unique dataset that captures how other countries move into or out of alignment with China on UNGA resolutions that are repeated over time, we find statistical evidence that China used diplomatic and economic means in an attempt to subtly alter international norms. We further illustrate these findings by examining four states that made substantive moves toward China on resolutions concerning national sovereignty, democracy, international order, non-interference, and human rights.

Journal Article

Satellite-based assessment of yield variation and its determinants in smallholder African systems

2017-01-12

Marshall Burke, David Lobell

Journal Article

Satellite-based assessment of yield variation and its determinants in smallholder African systems

2017-01-12

Marshall Burke, David Lobell

Journal Article

Satellite-based assessment of yield variation and its determinants in smallholder African systems

2017-01-12

Publisher

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Marshall Burke, David Lobell

The emergence of satellite sensors that can routinely observe millions of individual smallholder farms raises possibilities for monitoring and understanding agricultural productivity in many regions of the world. Here we demonstrate the potential to track smallholder maize yield variation in western Kenya, using a combination of 1-m Terra Bella imagery and intensive field sampling on thousands of fields over 2 y. We find that agreement between satellite-based and traditional field survey-based yield estimates depends significantly on the quality of the field-based measures, with agreement highest (R2 up to 0.4) when using precise field measures of plot area and when using larger fields for which rounding errors are smaller. We further show that satellite-based measures are able to detect positive yield responses to fertilizer and hybrid seed inputs and that the inferred responses are statistically indistinguishable from estimates based on survey-based yields. These results suggest that high-resolution satellite imagery can be used to make predictions of smallholder agricultural productivity that are roughly as accurate as the survey-based measures traditionally used in research and policy applications, and they indicate a substantial near-term potential to quickly generate useful datasets on productivity in smallholder systems, even with minimal or no field training data. Such datasets could rapidly accelerate learning about which interventions in smallholder systems have the most positive impact, thus enabling more rapid transformation of rural livelihoods.

Journal Article

Taking the health aid debate to the subnational level: the impact and allocation of foreign health aid in Malawi

2017-01-11

Robert Marty, Carrie B Dolan, Matthias Leu, Daniel Runfola

Journal Article

Taking the health aid debate to the subnational level: the impact and allocation of foreign health aid in Malawi

2017-01-11

Robert Marty, Carrie B Dolan, Matthias Leu, Daniel Runfola

Journal Article

Taking the health aid debate to the subnational level: the impact and allocation of foreign health aid in Malawi

2017-01-11

Publisher

BMJ Global Health

Robert Marty, Carrie B Dolan, Matthias Leu, Daniel Runfola

Cross-national studies provide inconclusive results as to the effectiveness of foreign health aid. We highlight a novel application of using subnational data to evaluate aid impacts, using Malawi as a case study. We employ two rounds of nationally representative household surveys (2004/2005 and 2010/2011) and geo-referenced foreign aid data. We examine the determinants of Malawi's traditional authorities receiving aid according to health, environmental risk, socioeconomic and political factors. Traditional authorities with greater proportions of individuals living in urban areas, more health facilities and greater proportions of those in major ethnic groups were more likely to receive aid. Difference-in-difference models show health infrastructure and parasitic disease control aid reduced malaria prevalence by 1.20 and 2.20 percentage points, respectively, and increased the likelihood of individuals reporting healthcare as more than adequate by 12.1 and 14.0 percentage points. Aid was targeted to areas with greater existing health infrastructure rather than areas most in need, but still effectively reduced malaria prevalence and enhanced self-reported healthcare quality.

Journal Article

No One Left Behind: A review of social protection and disability at the World Bank

2017-01-01

Valerie L. Karr, Ashley van Edema, Jacob Sims, Callie Brusegaard

Journal Article

No One Left Behind: A review of social protection and disability at the World Bank

2017-01-01

Valerie L. Karr, Ashley van Edema, Jacob Sims, Callie Brusegaard

Journal Article

No One Left Behind: A review of social protection and disability at the World Bank

2017-01-01

Publisher

Disability and the Global South

Valerie L. Karr, Ashley van Edema, Jacob Sims, Callie Brusegaard

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development cites poverty eradication as both the Ôgreatest global challengeÕ and an Ôindispensable requirementÕ for sustainable development (UN, 2015). Unfortunately, the path between discourse and practice is rarely clear. This is especially true for the estimated one billion people with disabilities around the globe who face barriers and challenges to inclusion in mainstream development efforts; and for whom disability-specific projects and interventions are far and few between. This paper responds to the lack of available data focused on tracking the inclusion of persons with disabilities in mainstream poverty reduction efforts. It reports on work by a multidisciplinary research team in developing and piloting a methodology measuring disability inclusive investments in the World BankÕs active portfolio. The paper focuses specifically on the World BankÕs social protection portfolio, aligned with SDG 1 (End Poverty), and outlines a methodology for analysing project-level documentation, using key word searches, and codes aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals to determine the inclusion of persons with disabilities. Findings indicate that only a small percentage, 5%, of the World BankÕs active social protection portfolio explicitly include persons with disabilities as target beneficiaries. It goes on to argue that this dearth in disability inclusive development efforts exposes a vital need to systematically include the needs of this population in the planning for, provision of, and assessment of development assistance efforts. The paper concludes with a set of recommendations for ensuring future projects are inclusive from program development and implementation through to assessment of outcomes.

Journal Article

Locating foreign aid commitments in response to political violence

2016-12-01

Paul Bezerra, Alex Braithwaite

Journal Article

Locating foreign aid commitments in response to political violence

2016-12-01

Paul Bezerra, Alex Braithwaite

Journal Article

Locating foreign aid commitments in response to political violence

2016-12-01

Publisher

Public Choice

Paul Bezerra, Alex Braithwaite

Following a recent trend towards disaggregation in studies of foreign aid and political violence, we evaluate the determinants of foreign aid sub-nationally. We focus our attention upon political violence as a key subnational determinant of aid commitments and argue that donors commit aid to areas with recent political violence in the hope of ameliorating need and bolstering stability. This being the case, however, we contend not all areas experiencing violence are equally likely to receive aid commitments. This is because potential donors are faced with a dilemmaÑbalancing risk and rewardÑthat leads them to question whether they can effectively deliver aid to areas under conditions of extreme violence. We test these two hypotheses and provide confirmation for them in the context of bilateral aid commitments to local areas within Sub-Saharan African states experiencing civil war between 1990 and 2007.

Journal Article

No one left behind: a review of disability inclusive development efforts at the World Bank

2016-12-01

Valerie L. Karr, Jacob Sims, Callie Brusegaard, Ashley Coates

A pilot methodology to assess the inclusion of people with disabilities by international development cooperation organizations.

Journal Article

No one left behind: a review of disability inclusive development efforts at the World Bank

2016-12-01

Valerie L. Karr, Jacob Sims, Callie Brusegaard, Ashley Coates

A pilot methodology to assess the inclusion of people with disabilities by international development cooperation organizations.

Journal Article

No one left behind: a review of disability inclusive development efforts at the World Bank

2016-12-01

Publisher

Valerie L. Karr, Jacob Sims, Callie Brusegaard, Ashley Coates

A pilot methodology to assess the inclusion of people with disabilities by international development cooperation organizations.

In the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) era of financing for development, the international community is placing substantial emphasis on the mantra ‘leave no one behind.' To meet this commitment, an improved ability to assess disability inclusive development efforts of development agencies is required. This study piloted a methodology to monitor the inclusion of people with disabilities in development efforts of the World Bank and aligns findings against progress towards the SDGs by asking two research questions: 1) Are active World Bank projects inclusive of persons with disabilities (PWDs)? and 2) What areas of development and which SDG do disability-inclusive projects focus on? While disability inclusive projects make up only a small percentage of the overall active World Bank portfolio (2.0%), preliminary analysis indicates an investment focus in several areas, such as social protection systems and measures, technical assistance and partnerships, education, health, and affordable housing. The article closes by considering implications for future efforts to track the inclusiveness of development finance as we move forward in implementation of the SDGs.

Journal Article

Aid Modalities Matter: The Impact of Different World Bank and IMF Programs on Democratization in Developing Countries

2016-08-28

Kassandra Birchler, Sophia Limpach, Katharina Michaelowa

Journal Article

Aid Modalities Matter: The Impact of Different World Bank and IMF Programs on Democratization in Developing Countries

2016-08-28

Kassandra Birchler, Sophia Limpach, Katharina Michaelowa

Journal Article

Aid Modalities Matter: The Impact of Different World Bank and IMF Programs on Democratization in Developing Countries

2016-08-28

Publisher

International Studies Quarterly

Kassandra Birchler, Sophia Limpach, Katharina Michaelowa

Many argue that autocratic regimes allocate revenues from foreign aid with the aim of stabilizing their rule rather than serving economic and social development. However, donors often condition foreign aid on reforms in recipient states. We argue that when those conditions for reform focus on participative processes and government accountability, they positively affect democratization. We evaluate our claim based on different types of World Bank and IMF lending programs for a panel of 100 low- and middle-income countries over the years 1980Ð2011. Our results suggest that aid positively affects democratization when it strengthens domestic accountability mechanisms and thereby reduces its fungibility for recipients. The World Bank and the IMFÕs poverty reduction strategy programs provide a notable case of this effect.

Journal Article

Aid and democracy promotion in Asia

2016-06-01

Bann Seng Tan

Journal Article

Aid and democracy promotion in Asia

2016-06-01

Bann Seng Tan

Journal Article

Aid and democracy promotion in Asia

2016-06-01

Publisher

Asian Journal of Comparative Politics

Bann Seng Tan

Can foreign aid be used to promote democracy in Asia? Because liberalization is costly for the autocratic recipients, they can be expected to resist donor pressure to reform politically. The recipients who have the strategic and commercial attributes that donors value should have an easier time getting aid offers and hence leverage against donors who seek liberalization. By contrast, the recipients who lack such attributes have less leverage. This group of ÒsecondaryÓ recipients can be nudged towards political liberalization. I test this argument using foreign aid from AidData and regime-type information from Polity IV. The evidence bares out the argument even after correcting for the threat of reverse causality. I conclude with policy prescriptions for effective aid allocation.

Note: A version of this article was previously published as an AidData Working Paper.

Journal Article

'Ground-Truthing' Chinese Development Finance in Africa: Field Evidence from South Africa and Uganda

2016-05-02

Edwin Muchapondwa, Daniel Nielson, Bradley C. Parks, Austin M. Strange, Michael J. Tierney

Journal Article

'Ground-Truthing' Chinese Development Finance in Africa: Field Evidence from South Africa and Uganda

2016-05-02

Edwin Muchapondwa, Daniel Nielson, Bradley C. Parks, Austin M. Strange, Michael J. Tierney

Journal Article

'Ground-Truthing' Chinese Development Finance in Africa: Field Evidence from South Africa and Uganda

2016-05-02

Publisher

The Journal of Development Studies

Edwin Muchapondwa, Daniel Nielson, Bradley C. Parks, Austin M. Strange, Michael J. Tierney

A new methodology, Tracking Underreported Financial Flows (TUFF), leverages open-source information on development finance by non-transparent, non-Western donors. If such open-source methods prove to be valid and reliable, they can enhance our understanding of the causes and consequences of development finance from non-transparent donors including, but not limited to, China. But open-source methods face charges of inaccuracy. In this study we create and field-test a replicable 'ground-truthing' methodology to verify, update, and improve open-source data with in-person interviews and site visits in Uganda and South Africa. Ground-truthing generally reveals close agreement between open-source data and answers to protocol questions from informants with official roles in the Chinese-funded projects. Our findings suggest that open-source data collection, while limited in knowable ways, can provide a stronger empirical foundation for research on development finance.

Journal Article

Making aid work for education in developing countries: An analysis of aid effectiveness for primary education coverage and quality

2016-05-01

Kassandra Birchler, Katharina Michaelowa

Journal Article

Making aid work for education in developing countries: An analysis of aid effectiveness for primary education coverage and quality

2016-05-01

Kassandra Birchler, Katharina Michaelowa

Journal Article

Making aid work for education in developing countries: An analysis of aid effectiveness for primary education coverage and quality

2016-05-01

Publisher

International Journal of Educational Development

Kassandra Birchler, Katharina Michaelowa

This paper examines the effect of education aid on primary enrolment and education quality. Using the most recent data on aid disbursements and econometric specifications inspired by the general aid effectiveness literature, we find some evidence that donorsÕ increase in funding has substantially contributed to the successful increase in enrolment over the last 15 years. The most robust effect is obtained by aid for education facilities and training. In addition, we find complementarities between aid for primary and secondary education. Our qualitative comparative analysis of education quality also highlights the relevance of a balanced mix of educational expenditures.

Journal Article

Coups d'État and Foreign Aid

2016-04-01

Takaaki Masaki

Journal Article

Coups d'État and Foreign Aid

2016-04-01

Takaaki Masaki

Journal Article

Coups d'État and Foreign Aid

2016-04-01

Publisher

World Development

Takaaki Masaki

Do international donors penalize coups dÕŽtat by reducing aid? How significant is the impact of coups on aid flows? These questions have become increasingly important over the past three decades as the concept of political conditionality has gradually permeated the donor community, pushing for stringent actions to be taken against democratic transgressions like coups. I argue that the end of the Cold War was a historical juncture that reshaped the international donor communityÕs aid-based sanctioning policy toward coups. However, I also posit that the U.S. does not comply with the growing international norm of political conditionality due to its geopolitical interests trumping its rhetorical commitment to penalizing coups. This paper exploits exogenous variation in the success and failure of coups to estimate the causal effect of coup-led regime change on aid flows. My empirical evidence supports the preposition that since the end of the Cold War, the donor community on average has reduced the amounts of aid disbursements in response to coups dÕŽtat although the U.S. has been inconsistent in applying aid sanctions against coups both during the Cold War and post-Cold War periods. While demonstrating a genuine shift in the international communityÕs collective responses toward coups since the end of the Cold War, my findings also attest to potential heterogeneity across major bilateral donors, which may undermine the overall effectiveness of aid and political conditionality.

Journal Article

Rogue aid? An empirical analysis of China's aid allocation

2016-03-22

Axel Dreher and Andreas Fuchs

New evidence shows China does not pay substantially more attention to politics compared to Western donors.

Journal Article

Rogue aid? An empirical analysis of China's aid allocation

2016-03-22

Axel Dreher and Andreas Fuchs

New evidence shows China does not pay substantially more attention to politics compared to Western donors.

Journal Article

Rogue aid? An empirical analysis of China's aid allocation

2016-03-22

Publisher

Axel Dreher and Andreas Fuchs

New evidence shows China does not pay substantially more attention to politics compared to Western donors.

Foreign aid from China is often characterized as “rogue aid” that is guided by selfish interests alone. We collect data on Chinese project aid, food aid, medical staff and total aid money to developing countries, covering the 1956–2006 period, to empirically test to what extent self-interests shape China's aid allocation. While political considerations shape China's allocation of aid, China does not pay substantially more attention to politics compared to Western donors. What is more, China's aid allocation seems to be widely independent of recipients' endowment with natural resources and institutional characteristics. Overall, denoting Chinese aid as “rogue aid” seems unjustified.

Journal Article

Citizen preferences and public goods: comparing preferences for foreign aid and government programs in Uganda

2016-02-01

Helen V. Milner, Daniel L. Nielson, Michael G. Findley

Journal Article

Citizen preferences and public goods: comparing preferences for foreign aid and government programs in Uganda

2016-02-01

Helen V. Milner, Daniel L. Nielson, Michael G. Findley

Journal Article

Citizen preferences and public goods: comparing preferences for foreign aid and government programs in Uganda

2016-02-01

Publisher

The Review of International Organizations

Helen V. Milner, Daniel L. Nielson, Michael G. Findley

Different theories about the impact of aid make distinct predictions about citizensÕ attitudes toward foreign aid in recipient countries. We investigate their preferences toward aid and government projects in order to examine these different theories. Are citizens indifferent between development projects funded by their own government versus those funded by foreign aid donors, as aid capture theory suggests? To address this, in an experiment on a large, representative sample of Ugandan citizens, we randomly assigned the names of funding groups for actual forthcoming development projects and invited citizens to express support attitudinally and behaviorally. We find that citizens are significantly more willing to show behavioral support in favor of foreign aid projects compared to government programs, especially if they already perceive the government as corrupt or clientelist or if they are not supporters of the ruling party. They also trust donors more, think they are more effective, and do not consistently oppose aid conditionality. This experimental evidence is consistent with a theory that we call donor control which sees donors asbeing able to target and condition aid so that it is not fungible with government revenues and thus to be able to better direct it to meet citizensÕ needs.

Journal Article

Migration, climate, and international aid: examining evidence of satellite, aid, and micro-census data

2016-01-01

Daniel Miller Runfola, Ashley Napier

Journal Article

Migration, climate, and international aid: examining evidence of satellite, aid, and micro-census data

2016-01-01

Daniel Miller Runfola, Ashley Napier

Journal Article

Migration, climate, and international aid: examining evidence of satellite, aid, and micro-census data

2016-01-01

Publisher

Migration and Development

Daniel Miller Runfola, Ashley Napier

Over the last ten years, an increasing quantity and quality of data regarding migration and climate risk has become available, leading to a broad body of research examining the relationships between climate impacts on livelihoods and corresponding migratory patterns. This research has provided evidence that migration can serve as an adaptive strategy if local livelihoods are threatened. However, little research has examined the response Ð or lack of Ð from the international aid and donor community in response to these shifts. In this paper, we take the first step toward examining this relationship, utilizing a recently produced database on the sub-national spatial allocation of international aid from 1998 to 2012 in Malawi. We examine the research question: what is the sub-national relationship between international aid and migratory patterns? To analyze this question, we integrate sub-national micro-census information with satellite-derived measurements of climate and the spatial location and amount of international aid. We find evidence that (1) aid does not reduce the likelihood of migration from a location and (2) increased levels of migration do not increase the likelihood of aid being sent to a location.

Journal Article

Assessing the Impact of International Conservation Aid on Deforestation in sub-Saharan Africa

2015-12-01

Matthew Bare, Craig Kauffman, Daniel C. Miller

Journal Article

Assessing the Impact of International Conservation Aid on Deforestation in sub-Saharan Africa

2015-12-01

Matthew Bare, Craig Kauffman, Daniel C. Miller

Journal Article

Assessing the Impact of International Conservation Aid on Deforestation in sub-Saharan Africa

2015-12-01

Publisher

Environmental Research Letters

Matthew Bare, Craig Kauffman, Daniel C. Miller

nternational conservation donors have spent at least $3.4 billion to protect biodiversity and stem tropical deforestation in Africa since the early 1990s. Despite more than two decades of experience, however, there is little research on the effect of this aid at a region-wide scale. Numerous case studies exist, but show mixed results. Existing research is usually based on community perception or focused on short-term donor objectives rather than specific conservation outcomes, like deforestation rates. Thus, the impact of billions of dollars of conservation aid on deforestation rates remains an open question. This article uses an original dataset to analyze the effect of international conservation aid on deforestation rates in 42 African countries between 2000 and 2013. We first describe patterns of conservation aid across the continent and then assess its impact (with one to five-year lags), controlling for other factors that may also affect deforestation, including rural population, protected areas (PAs), governance, and other economic and commodity production variables. We find that conservation aid is associated with higher rates of forest loss after one- or two-year lags. A similar result holds for PA extent, suggesting possible displacement of deforestation from PAs. However, governance quality in high forest cover countries moderates these effects such that deforestation rates are reduced. Rural population is the most consistent factor associated with forest loss, confirming previous studies of this driver. Our results suggest that in heavily forested countries, development projects designed to support conservation work initially in conditions of good governance, but that conservation aid alone is insufficient to mitigate larger deforestation drivers.

Note: A version of this article was previously published as an AidData Working Paper.

Journal Article

Building a Stronger System for Tracking Nutrition Sensitive Spending

2015-10-25

Scott B. Ickes, Rachel B. Trichler, Bradley C. Parks

Journal Article

Building a Stronger System for Tracking Nutrition Sensitive Spending

2015-10-25

Scott B. Ickes, Rachel B. Trichler, Bradley C. Parks

Journal Article

Building a Stronger System for Tracking Nutrition Sensitive Spending

2015-10-25

Publisher

Food and Nutrition Bulletin

Scott B. Ickes, Rachel B. Trichler, Bradley C. Parks

BACKGROUND: There is growing awareness that the necessary solutions for improving nutrition outcomes are multisectorial. As such, investments are increasingly directed toward "nutrition-sensitive" approaches that not only address an underlying or basic determinant of nutrition but also seek to achieve an explicit nutrition goal or outcome. Understanding how and where official development assistance (ODA) for nutrition is invested remains an important but complex challenge, as development projects components vary in their application to nutrition outcomes. Currently, no systematic method exists for tracking nutrition-sensitive ODA. OBJECTIVE: To develop a methodology for classifying and tracking nutrition-sensitive ODA and to produce estimates of the amount of nutrition-sensitive aid received by countries with a high burden of undernutrition. METHODS: We analyzed all financial flows reported to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development's Development Assistance Committee Creditor Reporting Service in 2010 to estimate these investments. We assessed the relationships between national stunting prevalence, stunting burden, under-5 mortality, and the amount of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive ODA. RESULTS: We estimate that, in 2010, a total of $379.4 million (M) US dollars (USD) was committed to nutrition-specific projects and programs of which 25 designated beneficiaries (countries and regions) accounted for nearly 85% ($320 M). A total of $1.79 billion (B) was committed to nutrition-sensitive spending, of which the top 25 countries/regions accounted for $1.4 B (82%). Nine categories of development activities accounted for 75% of nutrition-sensitive spending, led by Reproductive Health Care (30.4%), Food Aid/Food Security Programs (14.1%), Emergency Food Aid (13.2%), and Basic Health Care (5.0%). Multivariate linear regression models indicate that the amount of nutrition-sensitive (P = .001) and total nutrition ODA was significantly predicted by stunting prevalence (P = .001). The size of the total population of stunted children significantly predicted the amount of nutrition-specific ODA (P < .001). CONCLUSION: The recipient profile of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive ODA is related but distinct. Nutrition indicators are associated with the level of nutrition-related ODA commitments to recipient countries. A reliable estimate of nutrition spending is critical for effective planning by both donors and recipients and key for success, as the global development community recommits to a new round of goals to address the interrelated causes of undernutrition in low-income countries.

Note: A version of this article was previously published as an AidData Working Paper.

Journal Article

Titling community land to prevent deforestation: An evaluation of a best-case program in Morona-Santiago, Ecuador

2015-05-15

Mark T. Buntaine, Stuart E. Hamilton, Marco Millones

Journal Article

Titling community land to prevent deforestation: An evaluation of a best-case program in Morona-Santiago, Ecuador

2015-05-15

Mark T. Buntaine, Stuart E. Hamilton, Marco Millones

Journal Article

Titling community land to prevent deforestation: An evaluation of a best-case program in Morona-Santiago, Ecuador

2015-05-15

Publisher

Global Environmental Change

Mark T. Buntaine, Stuart E. Hamilton, Marco Millones

Assigning land title to collective landholders is one of the primary policies land management agencies use to avoid deforestation worldwide. Such programs are designed to improve the ability of landholders to legally exclude competing users and thereby strengthen incentives to manage forests for long-term benefits. Despite the prevalence of this hypothesis, findings about the impacts of land titling programs on deforestation are mixed. Evidence is often unreliable because programs are targeted according to factors that independently influence the conversion of forests. We evaluate a donor-funded land titling and land management program for indigenous communities implemented in Morona-Santiago, Ecuador. This program offers a close to best case scenario for a land titling program to reduce deforestation because of colonization pressure, availability of payments when titled communities maintain forests, and limited opportunities for commercial agriculture. We match plots in program areas with similar plots outside program areas on covariates that influence the conversion of forests. Based on matched comparisons, we do not find evidence that land titling or community management plans reduced forest loss in the five years following legal recognition. The results call into question land titling as a direct deforestation strategy and suggests land titling is better viewed a precursor to other programs.

Note: A version of this article was previously published as an AidData Working Paper.

Journal Article

Aid and Growth at the Regional Level

2015-01-01

Axel Dreher, Steffen Lohmann

Journal Article

Aid and Growth at the Regional Level

2015-01-01

Axel Dreher, Steffen Lohmann

Journal Article

Aid and Growth at the Regional Level

2015-01-01

Publisher

Oxford Review of Economic Policy

Axel Dreher, Steffen Lohmann

This paper brings the aid effectiveness debate to the sub-national level. We hypothesize the non-robust results regarding the effects of aid on development in the previous literature to arise due to the effects of aid being insufficiently large to measurably affect aggregate outcomes. Using geo-coded data for World Bank aid to a maximum of 2,221 first-level administrative regions (ADM1) and 54,167 second-level administrative regions (ADM2) in 130 countries over the 2000Ð11 period, we test whether aid affects development, measured as night-time light growth. Our preferred identification strategy exploits variation arising from interacting a variable that indicates whether or not a country has passed the threshold for receiving the International Development AssociationÕs concessional aid with a recipient regionÕs probability of receiving aid, in a sample of 478 ADM1 regions and almost 8,400 ADM2 regions from 21 countries. Controlling for the levels of the interacted variables, the interaction provides a powerful and excludable instrument. Overall, we find significant correlations between aid and growth in ADM2 regions, but no causal effects.

Journal Article

All-Cause Mortality Reductions from Measles Catchup Campaigns in Africa

2015-01-01

Ariel BenYishay, Keith Kranker

Journal Article

All-Cause Mortality Reductions from Measles Catchup Campaigns in Africa

2015-01-01

Ariel BenYishay, Keith Kranker

Journal Article

All-Cause Mortality Reductions from Measles Catchup Campaigns in Africa

2015-01-01

Publisher

The Journal of Human Resources

Ariel BenYishay, Keith Kranker

As recently as 1999, 13 million measles cases and 500,000 measles-related deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa per year. Over the past decade, vaccination coverage across the continent has improved dramatically, largely as a result of the Measles Initiative, an international effort coordinating and funding national mass-immunization campaigns. We estimate the reduction in all-cause child mortality after initial countrywide measles vaccination campaigns using variation in the timing of the campaigns across countries and subnational regions. This framework accounts for competing and complementary risks as well as for contemporaneous trends in mortality rates that may have biased case-based estimates. We use birth and death history data compiled from multiple Demographic and Health Surveys for 25 countries and control for country-specific trends in child mortality and time-varying factors that were associated with campaign timing. Our findings show that the Measles Initiative campaigns raised the probability of a childÕs survival to 60 months by approximately 2.4 percentage points for cohorts treated by the campaign. The campaigns cost approximately $109 per child life saved, remarkably low in absolute terms as well as relative to other interventions to reduce global child mortality.

Journal Article

Foreign Aid Allocation Tactics and Democratic Change in Africa

2015-01-01

Simone Dietrich, Joseph Wright

Journal Article

Foreign Aid Allocation Tactics and Democratic Change in Africa

2015-01-01

Simone Dietrich, Joseph Wright

Journal Article

Foreign Aid Allocation Tactics and Democratic Change in Africa

2015-01-01

Publisher

The Journal of Politics

Simone Dietrich, Joseph Wright

Over the past two decades, donors increasingly link foreign aid to democracy objectives in Africa. This study investigates whether and how foreign aid influences specific outcomes associated with democratic transition and consolidation. Using an instrumental variables approach for the period from 1989 to 2008, we show that economic aid increases the likelihood of transition to multiparty politics, while democracy aid furthers democratic consolidation by reducing the incidence of multiparty failure and electoral misconduct. However, we find little evidence that either economic or democracy aid influences opposition support in multiparty elections. These findings have implications for understanding how donors allocate aid and the political consequences of foreign assistance in Africa.

Journal Article

China's Role as a Global Health Donor in Africa: What Can We Learn from Studying Under Reported Resource Flows?

2014-12-01

Karen A. Grepin, Victoria Y. Fan, Gordon C. Shen, Lucy Chen

Journal Article

China's Role as a Global Health Donor in Africa: What Can We Learn from Studying Under Reported Resource Flows?

2014-12-01

Karen A. Grepin, Victoria Y. Fan, Gordon C. Shen, Lucy Chen

Journal Article

China's Role as a Global Health Donor in Africa: What Can We Learn from Studying Under Reported Resource Flows?

2014-12-01

Publisher

Globalization and Health

Karen A. Grepin, Victoria Y. Fan, Gordon C. Shen, Lucy Chen

We examine whether foreign aid decreases terrorism, by analyzing whether aid targeted at specific sectors, such as education, is more effective than others. We use the most comprehensive databases on foreign aid and transnational terrorism, AidData and ITERATE, rather than the relatively small samples used in most previous studies, and provide a series of statistical tests. Our results indicate that foreign aid decreases terrorism especially when targeted towards sectors such as education, health, civil society, and conflict prevention. These sector-level results indicate that foreign aid can be an effective instrument in fighting terrorism, if targeted in the right ways.

Journal Article

A mid-term analysis of progress toward international biodiversity targets

2014-10-01

Derek P. Tittensor, Matt Walpole, Samantha L. L. Hill, Daniel G. Boyce, Gregory L. Britten, Neil D. Burgess, Stuart H. M. Butchart, Paul W. Leadley, Eugenie C. Regan, Rob Alkemade, Roswitha Baumung, CŽline Bellard, Lex Bouwman, Nadine J. Bowles-Newark, Anna M. Chenery, William W. L. Cheung, Villy Christensen, H. David Cooper, Annabel R. Crowther, Matthew J. R. Dixon, Alessandro Galli, ValŽrie Gaveau, Richard D. Gregory, Nicolas L. Gutierrez, Tim L. Hirsch, Robert Hšft, Stephanie R. Januchowski-Hartley, Marion Karmann, Cornelia B. Krug, Fiona J. Leverington, Jonathan Loh, Rik Kutsch Lojenga, Kelly Malsch, Alexandra Marques, David H. W. Morgan, Peter J. Mumby, Tim Newbold, Kieran Noonan-Mooney, Shyama N. Pagad, Bradley C. Parks, Henrique M. Pereira, Tim Robertson, Carlo Rondinini, Luca Santini, Jšrn P. W. Scharlemann, Stefan Schindler, U. Rashid Sumaila, Louise S.L. Teh, Jennifer van Kolck, Piero Visconti, Yimin Ye

Journal Article

A mid-term analysis of progress toward international biodiversity targets

2014-10-01

Derek P. Tittensor, Matt Walpole, Samantha L. L. Hill, Daniel G. Boyce, Gregory L. Britten, Neil D. Burgess, Stuart H. M. Butchart, Paul W. Leadley, Eugenie C. Regan, Rob Alkemade, Roswitha Baumung, CŽline Bellard, Lex Bouwman, Nadine J. Bowles-Newark, Anna M. Chenery, William W. L. Cheung, Villy Christensen, H. David Cooper, Annabel R. Crowther, Matthew J. R. Dixon, Alessandro Galli, ValŽrie Gaveau, Richard D. Gregory, Nicolas L. Gutierrez, Tim L. Hirsch, Robert Hšft, Stephanie R. Januchowski-Hartley, Marion Karmann, Cornelia B. Krug, Fiona J. Leverington, Jonathan Loh, Rik Kutsch Lojenga, Kelly Malsch, Alexandra Marques, David H. W. Morgan, Peter J. Mumby, Tim Newbold, Kieran Noonan-Mooney, Shyama N. Pagad, Bradley C. Parks, Henrique M. Pereira, Tim Robertson, Carlo Rondinini, Luca Santini, Jšrn P. W. Scharlemann, Stefan Schindler, U. Rashid Sumaila, Louise S.L. Teh, Jennifer van Kolck, Piero Visconti, Yimin Ye

Journal Article

A mid-term analysis of progress toward international biodiversity targets

2014-10-01

Publisher

Science

Derek P. Tittensor, Matt Walpole, Samantha L. L. Hill, Daniel G. Boyce, Gregory L. Britten, Neil D. Burgess, Stuart H. M. Butchart, Paul W. Leadley, Eugenie C. Regan, Rob Alkemade, Roswitha Baumung, CŽline Bellard, Lex Bouwman, Nadine J. Bowles-Newark, Anna M. Chenery, William W. L. Cheung, Villy Christensen, H. David Cooper, Annabel R. Crowther, Matthew J. R. Dixon, Alessandro Galli, ValŽrie Gaveau, Richard D. Gregory, Nicolas L. Gutierrez, Tim L. Hirsch, Robert Hšft, Stephanie R. Januchowski-Hartley, Marion Karmann, Cornelia B. Krug, Fiona J. Leverington, Jonathan Loh, Rik Kutsch Lojenga, Kelly Malsch, Alexandra Marques, David H. W. Morgan, Peter J. Mumby, Tim Newbold, Kieran Noonan-Mooney, Shyama N. Pagad, Bradley C. Parks, Henrique M. Pereira, Tim Robertson, Carlo Rondinini, Luca Santini, Jšrn P. W. Scharlemann, Stefan Schindler, U. Rashid Sumaila, Louise S.L. Teh, Jennifer van Kolck, Piero Visconti, Yimin Ye

In 2010, the international community, under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity, agreed on 20 biodiversity-related ÒAichi TargetsÓ to be achieved within a decade. We provide a comprehensive mid-term assessment of progress toward these global targets using 55 indicator data sets. We projected indicator trends to 2020 using an adaptive statistical framework that incorporated the specific properties of individual time series. On current trajectories, results suggest that despite accelerating policy and management responses to the biodiversity crisis, the impacts of these efforts are unlikely to be reflected in improved trends in the state of biodiversity by 2020. We highlight areas of societal endeavor requiring additional efforts to achieve the Aichi Targets, and provide a baseline against which to assess future progress.

Journal Article

Encouraging clean energy investment in developing countries: what role for aid?

2014-10-01

Mark T. Buntaine, William Pizer

Journal Article

Encouraging clean energy investment in developing countries: what role for aid?

2014-10-01

Mark T. Buntaine, William Pizer

Journal Article

Encouraging clean energy investment in developing countries: what role for aid?

2014-10-01

Publisher

Climate Policy

Mark T. Buntaine, William Pizer

A large portion of foreign assistance for climate change mitigation in developing countries is directed to clean energy facilities. To support international mitigation goals, however, donors must make investments that have effects beyond individual facilities. They must reduce barriers to private-sector investment by generating information for developers, improving relevant infrastructure, or changing policies. We examine whether donor agencies target financing for commercial-scale wind and solar facilities to countries where private investment in clean energy is limited and whether donor investments lead to more private investments. On average, we find no positive evidence for these patterns of targeting and impact. Coupled with model results that show feed-in tariffs increase private investment, we argue that donor agencies should reallocate resources to improve policies that promote private investment in developing countries, rather than finance individual clean energy facilities.

Journal Article

Rising Powers and the Regime for Development Finance

2014-09-01

Michael J. Tierney

Journal Article

Rising Powers and the Regime for Development Finance

2014-09-01

Michael J. Tierney

Journal Article

Rising Powers and the Regime for Development Finance

2014-09-01

Publisher

International Studies Review

Michael J. Tierney

The 2013 BRICS summit in Durban, South Africa, attended by the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, produced a joint declaration that simultaneously heralded a new "BRICS Development Bank" and demanded the reform of existing "international financial institutions to make them more representative and to reflect the growing weight of BRICS and other developing countries" (eThekwini Declaration 2013). As they had at previous summits, the BRICS demanded reform of "the prevailing global governance architecture" that was conceived over six decades ago. As Edward Mansfield (this issue) explains, international relations theory suggests that rising powers may seek to reform existing institutions or create new ones to challenge the prevailing system (Gilpin 1987; Hawkins, Lake, Nielson, and Tierney 2006). In the area of development finance, the BRICS appear to be attempting both. However, their rhetorical consensus obscures serious differences that make it unlikely we will observe sudden or substantial changes in the global development finance regime that was designed to set standards and enhance cooperation among Western donors. Further, while BRICS donors will become more important sources of development finance, they show little interest in joining the existing regime.

Journal Article

Explaining Global Patterns of International Aid for Linked Biodiversity Conservation and Development

2014-07-01

Daniel C. Miller

Journal Article

Explaining Global Patterns of International Aid for Linked Biodiversity Conservation and Development

2014-07-01

Daniel C. Miller

Journal Article

Explaining Global Patterns of International Aid for Linked Biodiversity Conservation and Development

2014-07-01

Publisher

World Development

Daniel C. Miller

There is little systematic knowledge about the nature, extent, and trends of international aid for projects that link biodiversity conservation and development goals. This study uses a new dataset to analyze spatial and temporal patterns of such aid globally over the past three decades. Results reveal significant donor selectivity in aid allocation, though linked conservation and development aid comprised more than two-thirds of all biodiversity-related assistance. Biodiversity aid generally was directed to biodiversity-rich, well-governed countries, but countries able to exert greater political leverage secured more linked aid than aid targeted to conservation without a stated development objective.

Journal Article

Aid to Africa: Helpful or Harmful?

2014-06-01

Bradley C. Parks, Austin M. Strange

A study of Chinese aid to Africa reveals complicated effects.

Journal Article

Aid to Africa: Helpful or Harmful?

2014-06-01

Bradley C. Parks, Austin M. Strange

A study of Chinese aid to Africa reveals complicated effects.

Journal Article

Aid to Africa: Helpful or Harmful?

2014-06-01

Publisher

Bradley C. Parks, Austin M. Strange

A study of Chinese aid to Africa reveals complicated effects.

The best available data thus suggest that Western governments and China are taking very different tacks in Africa. In terms of official government financing, China provides considerably more support than do Western counterparts for the “hardware” of economic development.  The range of its true aid or ODA activities appears to be quite similar to that of Western aid programs. The high proportion of Beijing’s assistance that takes the form of OOFlike flows does open China to the critique that its interest in the continent is driven more by commercial than by altruistic motives, and that negative unintended consequences may follow. Of course, official financing is only one component of China’s footprint in Africa. AidData does not yet systematically track other financial flows from China, such as state-sponsored and private foreign direct investment and joint venture projects, which may very well be an important part of the overall story of how China is shaping development outcomes in Africa. Additional data collection and analysis will be needed to draw firmer general conclusions about China’s development impact in Africa.

Journal Article

How Aid Targets Votes: The Impact of Electoral Incentives on Foreign Aid Distribution

2014-04-01

Ryan S. Jablonski

Journal Article

How Aid Targets Votes: The Impact of Electoral Incentives on Foreign Aid Distribution

2014-04-01

Ryan S. Jablonski

Journal Article

How Aid Targets Votes: The Impact of Electoral Incentives on Foreign Aid Distribution

2014-04-01

Publisher

World Politics

Ryan S. Jablonski

Despite allegations that foreign aid promotes corruption and patronage, we know little about how recipient governmentsÕ electoral incentives influence aid spending. I propose a distributional politics model of aid spending in which governments use their informational advantages over donors in order to allocate a disproportionate share of aid to electorally strategic supporters, allowing governments to translate aid into votes. To evaluate this argument, I code data on the spatial distribution of multilateral donor projects in Kenya from 1992 to 2010 and show that Kenyan governments have consistently influenced the aid allocation process in favor of co-partisan and co-ethnic voters, a bias that holds for each of KenyaÕs last three regimes. I also confirm that aid distribution increases incumbent vote share. This evidence suggests that electoral motivations play a significant role in aid allocation and that distributional politics may help explain the gap between donor intentions and outcomes.

Journal Article

Choosing international organizations: When do states and the World Bank collaborate on environmental projects

2014-01-01

Patrick Bayer, Christopher Marcoux, Johannes Urpelainen

Journal Article

Choosing international organizations: When do states and the World Bank collaborate on environmental projects

2014-01-01

Patrick Bayer, Christopher Marcoux, Johannes Urpelainen

Journal Article

Choosing international organizations: When do states and the World Bank collaborate on environmental projects

2014-01-01

Publisher

The Review of International Relations

Patrick Bayer, Christopher Marcoux, Johannes Urpelainen

While international cooperation research emphasizes institutional design, states mostly interact with existing organizations. How do states choose organizations for cooperation? We develop a theory of agency choice for development projects, emphasizing the importance of domestic institutions, the scope of cooperation, and the resources of the implementing agency. If states are to cooperate with funding agencies that have abundant resources, such as the World Bank, they must accept more stringent conditions on project implementation. We argue states accept the stringent conditions that resourceful organizations demand if the public goods from project implementation are highly valuable. Empirically, this is the case for democratic states, large projects, and projects that produce national instead of global public goods. We test this theory using data on 2,882 Global Environment Facility (GEF) projects, 1991Ð2011. The GEF offers an ideal case because various implementing agencies are responsible for the actual projects. States implement projects in collaboration with the World Bank, which has the most expertise and resources among the GEFÕs implementing agencies, if their regime type is democracy, the project size is large, and the benefits are primarily national. Qualitative evidence sheds light on causal mechanisms.

Journal Article

When Do Environmentally Focused Assistance Projects Achieve their Objectives? Evidence from World Bank Post-Project Evaluations

2013-05-01

Mark T. Buntaine, Bradley C. Parks

Journal Article

When Do Environmentally Focused Assistance Projects Achieve their Objectives? Evidence from World Bank Post-Project Evaluations

2013-05-01

Mark T. Buntaine, Bradley C. Parks

Journal Article

When Do Environmentally Focused Assistance Projects Achieve their Objectives? Evidence from World Bank Post-Project Evaluations

2013-05-01

Publisher

Global Environmental Politics

Mark T. Buntaine, Bradley C. Parks

Scholars and practitioners have paid considerable attention to the factors that promote successful outcomes in environmentally focused assistance projects. Previous studies have identified various potential predictors of successful outcomes, including the political commitment, institutional capacity, and governance quality of the recipient country; the severity of environmental pressures in the recipient country; donor-recipient contracting dynamics; project characteristics; and civic participation in the recipient country environment sector. We test the influence of these variables on project success using a dataset of outcome ratings for all environmentally focused World Bank projects approved since 1994. We find that strong public sector institutions in the recipient country and proactive staff supervision foster project success and that projects seeking to achieve global environmental objectives are less likely to succeed. Future research will be most fruitful if it focuses on how operational and management characteristics of individual projects lead to successful outcomes.

Journal Article

In-And-Outers and Moonlighters: An Evaluation of the Impact of Policy-making Exposure on IR Scholarship

2013-04-15

Bradley C. Parks, Alena Stern

Journal Article

In-And-Outers and Moonlighters: An Evaluation of the Impact of Policy-making Exposure on IR Scholarship

2013-04-15

Bradley C. Parks, Alena Stern

Journal Article

In-And-Outers and Moonlighters: An Evaluation of the Impact of Policy-making Exposure on IR Scholarship

2013-04-15

Publisher

International Studies Perspectives

Bradley C. Parks, Alena Stern

Some international relations (IR) scholars lament the divide that exists between the academic community and the policy community. Others celebrate it. In this article, we test a core proposition advanced by advocates of bridging the policy-academy divide: that direct engagement in the policy-making process will make international relations scholars more adept at designing, undertaking, and communicating research in ways that are useful and relevant to policymakers. Using a difference-in-differences estimation strategy, we evaluate whether and to what extent direct exposure to the policy-making process influences how IR scholars select publication outlets. We define and evaluate policy-making exposure in two ways: periods of public service in which faculty members temporarily vacate their university positions to work for governments or intergovernmental organizations; and instances in which faculty members undertake substantial consulting assignments for government agencies and intergovernmental organizations. Our findings suggest that Òin-and-outersÓÑfaculty members who temporarily leave the ivory tower to accept policy positionsÑreturn to the academy with new perspectives and publication priorities. By contrast, we find no policy-making exposure effect among Òmoonlighters.Ó Our results suggest that IR scholars are no more likely to publish in policy journals after doing part-time consulting work for governments and IOs.

Journal Article

Biodiversity, Governance, and the Allocation of International Aid for Conservation

2013-02-01

Daniel C. Miller, Arun Agrawal, J. Timmons Roberts

Journal Article

Biodiversity, Governance, and the Allocation of International Aid for Conservation

2013-02-01

Daniel C. Miller, Arun Agrawal, J. Timmons Roberts

Journal Article

Biodiversity, Governance, and the Allocation of International Aid for Conservation

2013-02-01

Publisher

Conservation Letters

Daniel C. Miller, Arun Agrawal, J. Timmons Roberts

There is little systematic knowledge about the magnitude and allocation of international funding flows to support biodiversity conservation in the developing world. Using the newly released AidData compilation, we present a comprehensive assessment of official donor assistance for biodiversity during 1980Ð2008. We find that biodiversity aid increased markedly in the early 1990s, but that estimates of current aid are likely overstated and donor commitments at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit have not been met. Aid has been well targeted, however, in that the allocation of biodiversity aid is positively associated with the number of threatened species in recipient countries after controlling for country size, national population, and wealth. Biodiversity aid is also positively associated with indicators of good governance. Our results provide an empirical measure of progress toward international conservation funding targets, a baseline against which future flows can be compared, and information necessary to assess the effectiveness of biodiversity aid.

Journal Article

Can Peace Be Purchased? A Sectoral-Level Analysis of Aid's Influence on Transnational Terrorism

2011-12-01

Joseph K. Young, Michael Findley

Journal Article

Can Peace Be Purchased? A Sectoral-Level Analysis of Aid's Influence on Transnational Terrorism

2011-12-01

Joseph K. Young, Michael Findley

Journal Article

Can Peace Be Purchased? A Sectoral-Level Analysis of Aid's Influence on Transnational Terrorism

2011-12-01

Publisher

Public Choice

Joseph K. Young, Michael Findley

Does foreign aid reduce terrorism? We examine whether foreign aid decreases terrorism by analyzing whether aid targeted toward certain sectors is more effective than others. We use the most comprehensive databases on foreign aid and transnational terrorismÑAidData and ITERATEÑto provide a series of statistical tests. Our results show that foreign aid decreases terrorism especially when targeted toward sectors, such as education, health, civil society, and conflict prevention. These sector-level results indicate that foreign aid can be an effective instrument in fighting terrorism if allocated in appropriate ways.

Journal Article

The Rise (and Decline?) of Arab Aid: Generosity and Allocation in the Oil Era

2011-11-01

Debra Shushan, Christopher Marcoux

Journal Article

The Rise (and Decline?) of Arab Aid: Generosity and Allocation in the Oil Era

2011-11-01

Debra Shushan, Christopher Marcoux

Journal Article

The Rise (and Decline?) of Arab Aid: Generosity and Allocation in the Oil Era

2011-11-01

Publisher

World Development

Debra Shushan, Christopher Marcoux

Among non-DAC donors, wealthy Arab states are some of the most prolific contributors of foreign aid. Despite this, relatively little is known about Arab foreign aid. The OECD development database offers a paucity of information, aggregating data for ÒArab countriesÓ and ÒArab agencies,Ó without identifying the constituent units of either. A further complication is that Arab donors are not uniformly transparent about their aid efforts, publicizing some of them while keeping other donations secret. In this paper, we advance the state of knowledge of Arab foreign aid in a number of ways. We use AidData to document the trends in reported donations from specific bilateral donors (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) and multilateral agencies (Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, OPECÕs Fund for International Development, and the Islamic Development Bank). Notably, Arab bilateral donors have given less generously over time with aid levels remaining relatively stable despite skyrocketing national wealth. We explore reasons for this decline, including that Arab donors have: shifted their giving from bilateral to multilateral channels, given less as DAC donors have given more, and increased domestic spending at the expense of foreign aid with a view to safeguarding regime security. In addition, we look at the sectoral allocations of Arab bilateral and multilateral organizations, and compare the aid practices of Arab donors to their DAC counterparts. Finally, we suggest why an exclusive focus on aid commitments is problematic where Arab aid is concerned.

Journal Article

Dodging Adverse Selection: How Donor Type and Governance Condition Aid's Effects on School Enrollment

2011-11-01

Zachary Christensen, Dustin Homer, Daniel L. Nielson

Journal Article

Dodging Adverse Selection: How Donor Type and Governance Condition Aid's Effects on School Enrollment

2011-11-01

Zachary Christensen, Dustin Homer, Daniel L. Nielson

Journal Article

Dodging Adverse Selection: How Donor Type and Governance Condition Aid's Effects on School Enrollment

2011-11-01

Publisher

World Development

Zachary Christensen, Dustin Homer, Daniel L. Nielson

We employ AidData to test the effects of primary-education aid on school enrollment. We argue that the problem of adverse selection complicates both the allocation and the effectiveness of aid. We hypothesize that bilateral donors ought to have greater freedom to condition aid on recipient governance quality than multilateral donors, which are often bound by institutional rules to provide aid more impartially. Compared to their multilateral counterparts, bilateral donors may have advantages in overcoming adverse selection, resulting in bilateral aidÕs boosting enrollments to a greater degree. AidDataÕs extensive coverage of multilateral aid enables this analysis for up to 100 low- and low-middle-income countries from 1995 to 2008. Latent growth regression analysis suggests that, compared to multilateral donors, bilateral donors indeed condition their primary education aid on recipient control of corruption and that bilateral aid is significantly related to improved enrollments.

Journal Article

Are 'New' Donors Different? Comparing the Allocation of Bilateral Aid Between nonDAC and DAC Donor Countries

2011-09-29

Axel Dreher, Peter Nunnenkamp, Rainer Thiele

Journal Article

Are 'New' Donors Different? Comparing the Allocation of Bilateral Aid Between nonDAC and DAC Donor Countries

2011-09-29

Axel Dreher, Peter Nunnenkamp, Rainer Thiele

Journal Article

Are 'New' Donors Different? Comparing the Allocation of Bilateral Aid Between nonDAC and DAC Donor Countries

2011-09-29

Publisher

World Development

Axel Dreher, Peter Nunnenkamp, Rainer Thiele

Major DAC donors are widely criticized for weak targeting of aid, selfish aid motives, and insufficient coordination. The emergence of an increasing number of new donors may further complicate the coordination of international aid efforts. At the same time, it is open to question whether new donors (many of which were aid recipients until recently) are more altruistic and provide better targeted aid according to need and merit. Project-level data on aid by new donors, as collected by the AidData initiative, allow for empirical analyses comparing the allocation behavior of new versus old donors. We employ Probit and Tobit models and test for significant differences in the distribution of aid by new and old donors across recipient countries. We find that, on average, new donors care less for recipient need than old donors. New and old donors behave similarly in several respects, however. They disregard merit by not taking the level of corruption in recipient countries into account. Concerns that commercial self-interest distorts the allocation of aid seem to be overblown for both groups.

Journal Article

Foreign Aid Shocks as a Cause of Violent Armed Conflict

2011-04-01

Richard A. Nielsen, Michael G. Findley, Zachary S. Davis, Tara Candland, Daniel L. Nielson

Journal Article

Foreign Aid Shocks as a Cause of Violent Armed Conflict

2011-04-01

Richard A. Nielsen, Michael G. Findley, Zachary S. Davis, Tara Candland, Daniel L. Nielson

Journal Article

Foreign Aid Shocks as a Cause of Violent Armed Conflict

2011-04-01

Publisher

American Journal of Political Science

Richard A. Nielsen, Michael G. Findley, Zachary S. Davis, Tara Candland, Daniel L. Nielson

In this study we resolve part of the confusion over how foreign aid affects armed conflict. We argue that aid shocks – severe decreases in aid revenues – inadvertently shift the domestic balance of power and potentially induce violence. During aid shocks, potential rebels gain bargaining strength vis-a-vis the government. To appease the rebels, the government must promise future resource transfers, but the government has no incentive to continue its promised transfers if the aid shock proves to be temporary. With the government unable to credibly commit to future resource transfers, violence breaks out. Using AidData's comprehensive dataset of bilateral and multilateral aid from 1981 to 2005, we evaluate the effects of foreign aid on violent armed conflict. In addition to rare-event logit analysis, we employ matching methods to account for the possibility that aid donors anticipate conflict. The results show that negative aid shocks significantly increase the probability of armed conflict onset.

Journal Article

More Dollars than Sense: Refining Our Knowledge of Development Finance Using AidData

2011-01-01

Michael J. Tierney, Ryan Powers, Dan Nielson, Darren Hawkins, Timmons Roberts, Mike Findley, Brad Parks, Sven Wilson, Rob Hicks

Journal Article

More Dollars than Sense: Refining Our Knowledge of Development Finance Using AidData

2011-01-01

Michael J. Tierney, Ryan Powers, Dan Nielson, Darren Hawkins, Timmons Roberts, Mike Findley, Brad Parks, Sven Wilson, Rob Hicks

Journal Article

More Dollars than Sense: Refining Our Knowledge of Development Finance Using AidData

2011-01-01

Publisher

World Development

Michael J. Tierney, Ryan Powers, Dan Nielson, Darren Hawkins, Timmons Roberts, Mike Findley, Brad Parks, Sven Wilson, Rob Hicks

In this introductory essay to the special issue, we introduce a new dataset of foreign assistance, AidData, that covers more bilateral and multilateral donors and more types of aid than existing datasets while also improving project-level information about the purposes and activities funded by aid. We utilize that data to provide a brief overview of important trends in foreign aid. Contributors to this special issue draw on AidData as well as other sources to analyze aid transparency, " new" donors (not previously described or analyzed), aid allocation, and aid effectiveness. Our recurring theme in this introductory essay is that AidData and these initial academic projects refine rather than revolutionize our understanding of aid. The database has added significant numbers of new projects, dollar amounts, donors, and details about those projects, though there is much more yet to add. We worry that aid debates have been driven by too little information, and that many claims are based on limited or very poor evidence. Rectifying these problems will not be instantaneous: refining knowledge takes a lot of time and hard work. The common feature of the papers in this special issue is their careful attention to nuance and detail. In spite of what some recent authors have claimed, aid is neither a simple solution nor a sufficient cause of most problems in developing countries; its motivations, distribution, and effects are complex, and shifting. Capturing this complexity requires detailed data, careful thought, and sophisticated methods that allow scholars to make conditional causal and descriptive inferences.

Journal Article

Gendering Agricultural Aid: An Analysis of Whether International Development Assistance Targets Women and Gender

2011-01-01

Elizabeth Ransom, Carmen Bain

Journal Article

Gendering Agricultural Aid: An Analysis of Whether International Development Assistance Targets Women and Gender

2011-01-01

Elizabeth Ransom, Carmen Bain

Journal Article

Gendering Agricultural Aid: An Analysis of Whether International Development Assistance Targets Women and Gender

2011-01-01

Publisher

Gender and Society

Elizabeth Ransom, Carmen Bain

Gender-based inequalities constrain women's ability to participate in efforts to enhance agricultural production and reduce poverty and food insecurity. To resolve this, development organizations have targeted women and more recently 'mainstreamed' gender within their agricultural aid programs. Through an analysis of agricultural-related development aid, we examine whether funded agricultural projects have increasingly targeted women and/or gender. Our results show that the number of agricultural aid projects and the dollar amounts targeting women/gender increased between 1978 and 2003. However, the increase was modest and, as a percentage of all agricultural development aid, has declined since the late 1990s. Significantly, this decline occurs at a time when there are an increasing number of women engaged in agriculture. Our findings suggest that the rhetoric of gender mainstreaming outstrips efforts to develop projects aimed at women and gender inequality and that the concept may be being used to legitimize a decline in focusing explicitly on women.

Journal Article

Climate change, social theory, and justice

2010-05-24

Bradley C. Parks, J. Timmons Roberts

Journal Article

Climate change, social theory, and justice

2010-05-24

Bradley C. Parks, J. Timmons Roberts

Journal Article

Climate change, social theory, and justice

2010-05-24

Publisher

Theory, Culture & Society

Bradley C. Parks, J. Timmons Roberts

This article seeks to answer why North-South climate negotiations have gone on for decades without producing any substantial results. To address this question, we revisit and seek to integrate insights from several disparate theories, including structuralism (new and old), world systems theory, rational choice institutionalism, and social constructivism. We argue that the lack of convergence on climate grew almost inevitably from our starkly unequal world, which has created and perpetuated highly divergent ways of thinking (worldviews and causal beliefs) and promoted particularistic notions of fairness (principled beliefs). We attempt to integrate structural insights about global inequality with the micro-motives of rational choice institutionalism. The structuralist insight that 'unchecked inequality undermines cooperation' suggests climate negotiations must be broadened to include a range of seemingly unrelated development issues such as trade, investment, debt, and intellectual property rights agreements. We conclude by reviewing the work of some 'norm entrepreneurs' bringing justice issues into climate negotiations and explore how these insights might influence 'burden sharing' discussions in the post-Kyoto world, where development is constrained by climate change.

Journal Article

The Politics of Effective Foreign Aid

2010-02-01

Joseph Wright, Matthew Winters

Journal Article

The Politics of Effective Foreign Aid

2010-02-01

Joseph Wright, Matthew Winters

Journal Article

The Politics of Effective Foreign Aid

2010-02-01

Publisher

Annual Review of Political Science

Joseph Wright, Matthew Winters

There is little consensus on whether foreign aid can reliably increase economic growth in recipient countries. We review the literature on aid allocation and provide new evidence suggesting that since 1990 aid donors reward political contestation but not political inclusiveness. Then we examine some challenges in analyzing cross-national data on the aid/growth relationship. Finally, we discuss the causal mechanisms through which foreign aid might affect growth and argue that politics can be viewed as both (a) an exogenous constraint that conditions the causal process linking aid to growth and (b) an endogenous factor that is affected by foreign aid and in turn impacts economic growth.

Journal Article

Controlling Coalitions: Social Lending at the Multilateral Development Banks

2009-12-01

Mona Lyne, Daniel L. Nielson, Michael J. Tierney

Journal Article

Controlling Coalitions: Social Lending at the Multilateral Development Banks

2009-12-01

Mona Lyne, Daniel L. Nielson, Michael J. Tierney

Journal Article

Controlling Coalitions: Social Lending at the Multilateral Development Banks

2009-12-01

Publisher

The Review of International Organizations

Mona Lyne, Daniel L. Nielson, Michael J. Tierney

Multilateral development banks (MDBs) dramatically increased social lending for health, education, and safety nets after 1985. Yet the great powersÕ social policy preferences remained relatively static from 1980 to 2000. This contradicts the conventional view that powerful states control IOs. We argue that highly institutionalized IOs like MDBs require a complete model of possible member-state coalitions encompassing the preferences of all member statesÑnot just major powers. We develop multiple measures of state preferences and include all member states in our coalitional model. We evaluate our model and alternatives with an analysis of more than 10,000 MDB loans from 1980 to 2000. We find that when we include all member states weighted by their voting shares, principal preferences are significantly related to lending outcomes.

Journal Article

Inequality and the global climate regime: breaking the north-south impasse

2009-01-26

Bradley C. Parks, J. Timmons Roberts

Journal Article

Inequality and the global climate regime: breaking the north-south impasse

2009-01-26

Bradley C. Parks, J. Timmons Roberts

Journal Article

Inequality and the global climate regime: breaking the north-south impasse

2009-01-26

Publisher

Cambridge Review of International Affairs

Bradley C. Parks, J. Timmons Roberts

This article explores the hypothesis that global inequality may be a central impediment to interstate cooperation on climate change policy. Conventional wisdom suggests that outcomes in international environmental politics are primarily attributable to material self-interest, bargaining power, coercion, domestic environmental values, exogenous shocks and crises, the existence of salient policy solutions, the strength of political leadership and the influence of nonstate actors. Yet none of these approaches offers a completely satisfactory explanation for the long-standing north-south divide on climate change. Drawing on social inequality literature and international relations theory, we argue that inequality dampens cooperative efforts by reinforcing ÔstructuralistÕ world-views and causal beliefs, polarizing policy preferences, promoting particularistic notions of fairness, generating divergent and unstable expectations about future behaviour, eroding conditions of mutual trust and creating incentives for zero-sum and negative-sum behaviour. In effect, inequality undermines the establishment of mutually acceptable Ôrules of the gameÕ which could mitigate these obstacles.

Journal Article

Fueling Injustice: Globalization, Ecologically Unequal Exchange, and Climate Change

2008-05-24

Bradley C. Parks, J. Timmons Roberts

Journal Article

Fueling Injustice: Globalization, Ecologically Unequal Exchange, and Climate Change

2008-05-24

Bradley C. Parks, J. Timmons Roberts

Journal Article

Fueling Injustice: Globalization, Ecologically Unequal Exchange, and Climate Change

2008-05-24

Publisher

Globalizations

Bradley C. Parks, J. Timmons Roberts

The globalization of economic production fundamentally reshapes how a ÔfairÕ solution to the climate change problem must be forged. Emissions are increasing sharply in developing countries as wealthy nations ÔoffshoreÕ the energy- and natural resource-intensive stages of production. We review a new and relatively under-utilized theory of Ôecologically unequal exchangeÕ and apply it to the case of climate change. We describe four distinct principles that have been proposed to assign responsibility for carbon emissions, discuss their inadequacies, and briefly lay out some ÔhybridÕ proposals currently under consideration. We suggest combining hybrid proposals with environmental aid packages that help poorer nations transition from carbon-intensive pathways of development to more climate-friendly development trajectories, using remuneration from the so-called Ôecological debtÕ. In the context of deadlock over a completely inadequate Kyoto Protocol, we argue that fairness principles, climate science, and an understanding of globalization and development must be integrated.

Journal Article

Globalization, Vulnerability to Climate Change, and Perceived Injustice

2006-08-18

Bradley C. Parks, J. Timmons Roberts

Journal Article

Globalization, Vulnerability to Climate Change, and Perceived Injustice

2006-08-18

Bradley C. Parks, J. Timmons Roberts

Journal Article

Globalization, Vulnerability to Climate Change, and Perceived Injustice

2006-08-18

Publisher

Society & Natural Resources

Bradley C. Parks, J. Timmons Roberts

As the earth's climate begins to shift into a hotter and less predictable period, there is a basic injustice in who will suffer worst and first. Nations facing rising oceans and drought are those least responsible for the problem, and they have the least resources to cope with them. To evaluate claims of environmental injustice, we examine three cases where the first signs of climate change are being felt worst and first: murderous flooding from Hurricane Mitch in Honduras, rising sea levels swamping entire Pacific Island atoll nations, and devastation from flooding among squatter settlements in Mozambique. In each case these nations are suffering not only because of bad geography or management. Rather, because of their colonial past and current positions in the world economy, they are brutally vulnerable to forces outside their control. We conclude by offering an explanation for generalized mistrust among Southern nations vis-a-vis Northern nations and the Kyoto treaty.

Journal Article

Bridging the Rationalist-Constructivist Divide: Re-engineering the Culture of the World Bank

2006-06-01

Daniel L. Nielson, Michael J. Tierney, Catherine Weaver

Journal Article

Bridging the Rationalist-Constructivist Divide: Re-engineering the Culture of the World Bank

2006-06-01

Daniel L. Nielson, Michael J. Tierney, Catherine Weaver

Journal Article

Bridging the Rationalist-Constructivist Divide: Re-engineering the Culture of the World Bank

2006-06-01

Publisher

Journal of International Relations and Development

Daniel L. Nielson, Michael J. Tierney, Catherine Weaver

In this article, we seek to explain reform patterns at the World Bank. Traditional realist and institutionalist theories say little about the process of change within international organizations ('IOs'). Drawing upon the insights of relatively new rationalist and constructivist approaches, we develop and test a model of IO change that combines insights from rationalism and constructivism. Our explanation integrates the 'top-down' logic of a rationalist principal-agent model – targeting the redesign of organizational structures, hiring procedures and promotional standards, and the 'bottom-up' logic of sociological constructivism – focusing on the transformation of bureaucratic culture. We find that reform outcomes hinge upon the ability of change entrepreneurs to disrupt both the logics of consequence and appropriateness that shape the preferences and behaviour of bureaucratic actors. We evaluate our model by examining four distinct aspects of the World Bank's Strategic Compact (1997-2001), which included attempts to alter project management, organizational culture, and the mission of the institution itself.

Journal Article

Who Ratifies Environmental Treaties and Why? Institutionalism, Structuralism, and Participation by 192 Nations in 22 Treaties

2004-08-01

J. Timmons Roberts, Bradley C. Parks, Alexis A. Vásquez

Journal Article

Who Ratifies Environmental Treaties and Why? Institutionalism, Structuralism, and Participation by 192 Nations in 22 Treaties

2004-08-01

J. Timmons Roberts, Bradley C. Parks, Alexis A. Vásquez

Journal Article

Who Ratifies Environmental Treaties and Why? Institutionalism, Structuralism, and Participation by 192 Nations in 22 Treaties

2004-08-01

Publisher

Global Environmental Politics

J. Timmons Roberts, Bradley C. Parks, Alexis A. Vásquez

International environmental accords have become important mechanisms by which nations make promises to administer natural resources and manage the global environment. Previous studies, relying mainly on single cases or small-n data sets, have shed light on the proximate political causes of participation in these agreements. However, no study has yet systematically explained the deeper social determinants of why nations sign, ignore or resist environmental treaties. We offer a theoretically-sequenced model that exploits complementarities between rational choice institutionalism and world-systems theory. Key variables posited by realists and constructivists are also examined, using a new environmental treaty participation index based on ratifications of 22 major environmental agreements by 192 nations. Cross-sectional OLS regression and path analysis strongly supports the institutionalist claim that credibilityÑthe willingness and ability to honor one's international environmental commit-mentsÑÒmatters.Ó But these measures also lend considerable support to the world-systems hypothesis that state credibility is strongly influenced by a legacy of colonial incorporation into the world economy. Narrow export baseÑour proxy for disadvantaged position in the world-economyÑdirectly and indirectly (through institutions and civil society strength) explains nearly six-tenths of national propensity to sign environmental treaties. A nation's natural capital, its ecological vulnerability, and international environmental NGO memberships had no explanatory power in the path analysis. Our results indicate that new theoretical, methodological and policy approaches are needed to address structural barriers to international cooperation.

Other Publications

Impact Evaluation of the Niger Participatory & Responsive Governance Project: Baseline Report

2017-10-01

Ariel Benyishay, Lisa Mueller, Philip Roessler

Baseline survey findings from a rigorous impact assessment of USAID's participatory and responsive governance project.

Impact Evaluation of the Niger Participatory & Responsive Governance Project: Baseline Report

2017-10-01

Ariel Benyishay, Lisa Mueller, Philip Roessler

Baseline survey findings from a rigorous impact assessment of USAID's participatory and responsive governance project.

Impact Evaluation of the Niger Participatory & Responsive Governance Project: Baseline Report

2017-10-01

Ariel Benyishay, Lisa Mueller, Philip Roessler

Baseline survey findings from a rigorous impact assessment of USAID's participatory and responsive governance project.

Across most development indicators, Niger ranks close to the bottom of global rankings. Over the past three years, it has been second to last on the United Nation’s Human Development Index—just above Central African Republic. At root of the country’s perennial development crisis are unfavorable structural conditions. A second major challenge is the militarization, or securitization, of the state, in which military and security institutions represent the face of the government for many Nigerien citizens and divert resources from public administration. To help mitigate these governance challenges in Niger and bolster stability in one of the world’s most fragile states, USAID is investing in the Participatory and Responsive Governance (PRG) Project. To better understand how the PRG may affect governance in Niger, a team of researchers from AidData at the College of William and Mary have teamed up with the implementing partner, Counterpart International (CPI), to undertake a rigorous impact evaluation of the program. The impact evaluation focuses on the PRG’s multi-stakeholder dialogues that will bring together community leaders, municipal and regional councilors, private sector actors, professionals and citizens. The evaluation employs a randomized design to test this theory of change, in which the 24 communes where targeted activities be held were randomly selected from a broader pool of 48 eligible communes. The baseline surveys are valuable to gauge levels of perceived legitimacy prior to the implementation of the multi-stakeholder dialogues as well as to evaluate statistical balance between the control and treatment communes, highlighting the governance challenges Niger faces and the importance of the PRG program.

Research Summary: China and the Western Donors: More Similar than Different?

2015-10-01

Tanya Sethi

This research summary explores methods and findings from AidData Working Paper 15, "Apples and Dragon Fruits."

Research Summary: China and the Western Donors: More Similar than Different?

2015-10-01

Tanya Sethi

This research summary explores methods and findings from AidData Working Paper 15, "Apples and Dragon Fruits."

Research Summary: China and the Western Donors: More Similar than Different?

2015-10-01

Tanya Sethi

This research summary explores methods and findings from AidData Working Paper 15, "Apples and Dragon Fruits."

A rapid expansion in Chinese“aid”over the last  fifteen years has sparked controversy about Beijing’s underlying motives – in particular, whether it is seeking to acquire natural resources, advance its commercial interests, or purchase the allegiance of political leaders in the developing world. However, much of this is rooted in a failure to distinguish between China’s official development assistance (ODA) and more commercially oriented types of state financing. Using a new database on China’s official financing commitments to Africa from 2000-2013, this analysis suggests that Beijing’s motives may not be substantially different from those shaping the allocation of Western official finance.

Update: A revised version of the paper this research summary covers has been published in International Studies Quarterly.

Research Summary: Aid and Growth at the Regional Level

2015-05-06

Tanya Sethi

This research summary explores methods and findings from AidData Working Paper 9, "Aid and Growth at the Regional Level."

Research Summary: Aid and Growth at the Regional Level

2015-05-06

Tanya Sethi

This research summary explores methods and findings from AidData Working Paper 9, "Aid and Growth at the Regional Level."

Research Summary: Aid and Growth at the Regional Level

2015-05-06

Tanya Sethi

This research summary explores methods and findings from AidData Working Paper 9, "Aid and Growth at the Regional Level."

Standard country-level estimates of economic growth could obscure or miss the impacts of many aid projects experienced by a subset of regions or communities within a country. One way to examine whether the focus on country- rather than regional-level outcomes also explains the absence of robust effects of aid on growth in the empirical literature is to analyze aid effectiveness at the sub-national level. Using project-level data on World Bank aid in 130 countries during 2000-11, the study finds no evidence that this aid causes regional growth as measured by growth in nighttime light intensity.

Update: A revised version of the paper this research summary covers has been published in the Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

Profiles

Profile

Host Country Profiles

2017-06-30

Samantha Custer, Zachary Rice, Takaaki Masaki, Rebecca Latourell, Bradley Parks

This collection of 111 country profiles showcases the distribution of development finance and the top development partners for each country.

Profile

Host Country Profiles

2017-06-30

Samantha Custer, Zachary Rice, Takaaki Masaki, Rebecca Latourell, Bradley Parks

This collection of 111 country profiles showcases the distribution of development finance and the top development partners for each country.

Profile

Host Country Profiles

2017-06-30

Samantha Custer, Zachary Rice, Takaaki Masaki, Rebecca Latourell, Bradley Parks

This collection of 111 country profiles showcases the distribution of development finance and the top development partners for each country.

This publication showcases different dimensions of development partner performance and the distribution of development finance for 111 host countries. Dynamic versions and individual PDFs of each profile are available on the Development Partner and Host Country Profile homepage. A collection of 53 Development Partner Profiles is also available.

These 2-page development partner profiles draw from two complementary sources: AidData's 2014 Reform Efforts Survey and AidData's 2004-2013 Core Database (Research Release 3.1). The 2014 Reform Efforts Survey asked public, private, and civil society leaders in 126 low- and middle-income countries questions about the most pressing problems they face, their top policy priorities, and how aid agencies can partner with them most effectively. Leaders evaluated the degree to which different development partners influenced the policy agenda, provided useful advice, and how helpful each development partner was in implementation. The 2004-2013 Core Database (Research Release 3.1) represents the most comprehensive dataset tracking international development finance.

The John Templeton Foundation and the Smith Richardson Foundation provided generous support for the production of these profiles.

Profile

Development Partner Profiles

2017-06-30

Samantha Custer, Zachary Rice, Takaaki Masaki, Rebecca Latourell, Bradley Parks

Profiling where bilateral and multilateral donors allocate their finance, and how they are perceived by in-country stakeholders.

Profile

Development Partner Profiles

2017-06-30

Samantha Custer, Zachary Rice, Takaaki Masaki, Rebecca Latourell, Bradley Parks

Profiling where bilateral and multilateral donors allocate their finance, and how they are perceived by in-country stakeholders.

Profile

Development Partner Profiles

2017-06-30

Samantha Custer, Zachary Rice, Takaaki Masaki, Rebecca Latourell, Bradley Parks

Profiling where bilateral and multilateral donors allocate their finance, and how they are perceived by in-country stakeholders.

This publication showcases where 53 bilateral and multilateral development partners send their development finance and how they are perceived by in-country stakeholders. Dynamic versions and individual PDFs of each profile are available on the Development Partner and Host Country Profile homepage. A collection of 111 Host Country Profiles is also available.

These 2-page development partner profiles draw from two complementary sources: AidData's 2014 Reform Efforts Survey and AidData's 2004-2013 Core Database (Research Release 3.1). The 2014 Reform Efforts Survey asked public, private, and civil society leaders in 126 low- and middle-income countries questions about the most pressing problems they face, their top policy priorities, and how aid agencies can partner with them most effectively. Leaders evaluated the degree to which different development partners influenced the policy agenda, provided useful advice, and how helpful each development partner was in implementation. The 2004-2013 Core Database (Research Release 3.1) represents the most comprehensive dataset tracking international development finance.

The John Templeton Foundation and the Smith Richardson Foundation provided generous support for the production of these profiles.

Profile

2016 Governance Assessment Profiles

2016-12-01

Takaaki Masaki, Tanya Sethi, Samantha Custer

Collected profiles of 28 governance assessments based on a 2016 GDA Snap Poll of over 500 leaders in 111 low and middle-income countries.

Profile

2016 Governance Assessment Profiles

2016-12-01

Takaaki Masaki, Tanya Sethi, Samantha Custer

Collected profiles of 28 governance assessments based on a 2016 GDA Snap Poll of over 500 leaders in 111 low and middle-income countries.

Profile

2016 Governance Assessment Profiles

2016-12-01

Takaaki Masaki, Tanya Sethi, Samantha Custer

Collected profiles of 28 governance assessments based on a 2016 GDA Snap Poll of over 500 leaders in 111 low and middle-income countries.

The 2016 Governance Data Alliance Snap Poll, designed and fielded by AidData, offers a unique window into how a broad range of governance data is used by public, private, and civil society leaders. These governance assessment profiles are based on the responses of more than 500 policy-makers and practitioners evaluating 28 governance data sources produced by a wide variety of multilateral organizations, bilateral agencies, and civil society groups.

For the full report that presents evidence on the delivery channels, use, influence, and barriers to governance data, see: In the Eye of the Beholder: When is governance data "good enough"?

A-G

The Bertelsmann Stiftung's Transformation Index

The Center for Law and Democracy's Global Right to Information Rating

Freedom House's Freedom in the World Report

Freedom House's Freedom of the Press Index

Freedom House's Freedom on the Net Index

The Global Barometer Survey

Global Financial Integrity's Illicit Financial Flows Report

G-M

Global Integrity's Africa Integrity Indicators

The Global Integrity Report

The Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom

The Ibrahim Index of African Governance

The IMF and the World Bank's Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes

The International Budget Partnership's Open Budget Index

The Millennium Challenge Corporation's Eligibility Criteria and Country Scorecards

N-U

The Natural Resource Governance Institute Resource Governance Index

The Open Government Partnership's IRM Progress Reports

Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability

Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index

Transparency International's Global Corruption Barometer

Transparency International's National Integrity System Assessment

The U.S. Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U-Z

The U.S. Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

The U.S. Department of State's Trafficking in Persons Report

The World Bank's Citizen Engagement in Rulemaking

The World Bank Group's Doing Business Report

The World Justice Project's Open Government Index

The World Justice Project's Rule of Law Index

The World Resource Institute's Environmental Democracy Index

The Worldwide Governance Indicators

Methodology Documentation

Methodology

Estimating Baseline Aid to the Sustainable Development Goals

2017-11-06

Matthew DiLorenzo, Sid Ghose, Jennifer Turner

A methodology to estimate financing to the SDGs via a crosswalk with AidData activity codes and OECD CRS purpose codes.

Methodology

Estimating Baseline Aid to the Sustainable Development Goals

2017-11-06

Matthew DiLorenzo, Sid Ghose, Jennifer Turner

A methodology to estimate financing to the SDGs via a crosswalk with AidData activity codes and OECD CRS purpose codes.

Methodology

Estimating Baseline Aid to the Sustainable Development Goals

2017-11-06

Matthew DiLorenzo, Sid Ghose, Jennifer Turner

A methodology to estimate financing to the SDGs via a crosswalk with AidData activity codes and OECD CRS purpose codes.

Tracking and analyzing funding to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be central to measuring progress, crowding in resources to priority areas, and helping decision-makers make more informed choices. Unfortunately, currently available data do not capture sufficient information on the distribution of financing for the SDGs. The AidData Sustainable Development Goals Estimates attempt to fill this gap by providing project-level estimates of contributions to the SDGs (and their associated targets) using development project descriptions. This methodology lets us see where development financing is targeted, allowing comparisons among SDG goals and individual SDG targets, and was used to assemble the Financing to the SDGs Dataset, Version 1.0, which provides project-level data on estimated Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from 2000 to 2013.

This research note describes an iteration of a methodology for estimating aid contributions to the SDGs throughout the period of 2000 to 2013 that AidData employed for its flagship report Realizing Agenda 2030: Will donor dollars and country priorities align with global goals? We then reflect on some methodological and conceptual issues involved in estimating funding for the SDGs and conclude by discussing our revised, in-progress methodology that we will use in estimating financing for the SDGs in the post-2015 era.

For a full list of methodologies, see Research Methods.

Methodology

AidData's TUFF Methodology, Version 1.3

2017-10-09

Austin M. Strange, Mengfan Cheng, Brooke Russell, Siddhartha Ghose, and Bradley Parks

Updated TUFF methodology that triangulates open-source information to systematically track official finance from opaque donors and lenders.

Methodology

AidData's TUFF Methodology, Version 1.3

2017-10-09

Austin M. Strange, Mengfan Cheng, Brooke Russell, Siddhartha Ghose, and Bradley Parks

Updated TUFF methodology that triangulates open-source information to systematically track official finance from opaque donors and lenders.

Methodology

AidData's TUFF Methodology, Version 1.3

2017-10-09

Austin M. Strange, Mengfan Cheng, Brooke Russell, Siddhartha Ghose, and Bradley Parks

Updated TUFF methodology that triangulates open-source information to systematically track official finance from opaque donors and lenders.

This codebook outlines the set of TUFF procedures that have been developed, tested, refined, and implemented by AidData staff and affiliated faculty at the College of William & Mary. We initially employed these methods to achieve a specific objective: documenting the known universe of officially financed Chinese projects in Africa (Strange et al. 2013, 2017). We have since then employed these methods to track Chinese official finance to five major world regions: Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Central and Eastern Europe (Dreher et al. 2017). Additionally, other social scientists have adapted and applied the TUFF methodology to identify grants and loans from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members (Minor et al. 2014), under-reported humanitarian assistance flows from traditional and non-traditional sources (Ghose 2017), foreign direct investment from Western and non-Western sources (Bunte et al. 2017), and pre-2000 foreign aid flows from China (Morgan and Zheng 2017). However, this codebook focuses specifically on TUFF data collection and quality assurance procedures to track Chinese official finance between 2000 and 2014.

For a full list of methodologies, see Research Methods.

Methodology

Geocoding Afrobarometer Rounds 1-6: Methodology & Data Quality 

2017-06-12

Ariel BenYishay, Renee Rotberg, Jessica Wells, Zhonghui Lv, Seth Goodman, Lidia Kovacevic, Dan Runfola 

This document presents the methodology used to geocode the Afrobarometer database with post-hoc assessments of the quality of the data.

Methodology

Geocoding Afrobarometer Rounds 1-6: Methodology & Data Quality 

2017-06-12

Ariel BenYishay, Renee Rotberg, Jessica Wells, Zhonghui Lv, Seth Goodman, Lidia Kovacevic, Dan Runfola 

This document presents the methodology used to geocode the Afrobarometer database with post-hoc assessments of the quality of the data.

Methodology

Geocoding Afrobarometer Rounds 1-6: Methodology & Data Quality 

2017-06-12

Ariel BenYishay, Renee Rotberg, Jessica Wells, Zhonghui Lv, Seth Goodman, Lidia Kovacevic, Dan Runfola 

This document presents the methodology used to geocode the Afrobarometer database with post-hoc assessments of the quality of the data.

This document presents the methodology used to geocode the Afrobarometer ( www.afrobarometer.org ) database, consisting of public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues in more than 35 countries in Africa. This document is designed to give potential users of the data a transparent view into the methodology followed, as well as post-hoc assessments of the quality of the data produced.

For a full list of methodologies, see Research Methods.

Methodology

Geocoding Methodology, Version 2.0

2017-06-01

AidData Research and Evaluation Unit

This codebook prescribes AidData’s method for geocoding aid data that is made available through a wide range of stakeholder sources.

Methodology

Geocoding Methodology, Version 2.0

2017-06-01

AidData Research and Evaluation Unit

This codebook prescribes AidData’s method for geocoding aid data that is made available through a wide range of stakeholder sources.

Methodology

Geocoding Methodology, Version 2.0

2017-06-01

AidData Research and Evaluation Unit

This codebook prescribes AidData’s method for geocoding aid data that is made available through a wide range of stakeholder sources.

This codebook prescribes AidData’s method for geocoding foreign aid information and programmatic development data that is made available through a wide range of donor, recipient, and other stakeholder-based sources. The main objective of the AidData methodology is to track all locations to which aid dollars are committed or disbursed. Locations that may be expected to benefit indirectly from development finance are not geocoded. The implied mandate for this methodology is to “follow the money.”

For a full list of methodologies, see Research Methods.

Methodology

An Open-Source Methodology for Tracking Natural Resource Concessions in Liberia: Version 1.0

2016-10-01

Harsh Desai, Miranda Zhonghui Lv, Charles Perla, Brad Parks

This methodology describes the data collection and geo-referencing process for the Liberia Consessions Geocoded Research Release in detail.

Methodology

An Open-Source Methodology for Tracking Natural Resource Concessions in Liberia: Version 1.0

2016-10-01

Harsh Desai, Miranda Zhonghui Lv, Charles Perla, Brad Parks

This methodology describes the data collection and geo-referencing process for the Liberia Consessions Geocoded Research Release in detail.

Methodology

An Open-Source Methodology for Tracking Natural Resource Concessions in Liberia: Version 1.0

2016-10-01

Harsh Desai, Miranda Zhonghui Lv, Charles Perla, Brad Parks

This methodology describes the data collection and geo-referencing process for the Liberia Consessions Geocoded Research Release in detail.

In order to further research the conditions by which natural resource concessions contribute to Liberia’s economic growth, AidData has developed a geo-referenced database of more than 500 concession licenses in Liberia between 2004 (the end of the Liberian civil war) and 2015. Each license is geo-referenced as a polygon with more than 40 attributes, making this methodology's associated database (Liberia Concessions Geocoded Research Release, Version 1.0) a first-of-its-kind application of using open-source methods to comprehensively track, capture, and locate activities in the extractives sector. This methodology describes the data collection and geo-referencing process for this database in detail. For the associated AidData Working Paper, see Natural Resource Sector FDI and Growth in Post-Conflict Settings: Subnational Evidence from Liberia

For a full list of methodologies, see Research Methods.

Methodology

AidData’s TUFF Methodology, Version 1.2

2015-09-01

Austin M. Strange, Bradley Parks, Charles Perla, Harsh Desai

TUFF is a systematic, replicable methodology for triangulating open-source information to track opaque donors and lenders.

Methodology

AidData’s TUFF Methodology, Version 1.2

2015-09-01

Austin M. Strange, Bradley Parks, Charles Perla, Harsh Desai

TUFF is a systematic, replicable methodology for triangulating open-source information to track opaque donors and lenders.

Methodology

AidData’s TUFF Methodology, Version 1.2

2015-09-01

Austin M. Strange, Bradley Parks, Charles Perla, Harsh Desai

TUFF is a systematic, replicable methodology for triangulating open-source information to track opaque donors and lenders.

AidData has developed an open source data collection methodology, called Tracking Underreported Financial Flows (TUFF), to collect project-level data from suppliers of official finance who do not participate in global reporting systems. This codebook outlines version 1.2 of the TUFF procedures that have been developed, tested, refined, and implemented by AidData researchers and affiliated faculty at the College of William & Mary and Brigham Young University. 

We first employed these methods to achieve a specific objective: documenting the "known universe" of Chinese official finance projects in Africa from 2000 to 2011. Since the launch of that pilot dataset (version 1.0), we have applied the data collection procedures outlined in this document to track project-level development activities sponsored by four Gulf Cooperation Council donors and Venezuela, and created an updated dataset of Chinese official finance in Africa (version 1.1). These data collection exercises have demonstrated that TUFF can be successfully applied to other official finance suppliers.

Since the release of the 1.1 version of the TUFF methodology in January 2014, AidData has continued to refine the methodology by identifying new sources of primary data and identifying systematic sources of bias that can be corrected or minimized. This 1.2 version of the methodology reflects the following changes: 

  • Expanded universe of information repositories scraped by TUFF, including aid information management systems, Economic and Commercial Counselor websites, and more academic sources.
  • Improved data standardization by merging project fields with the potential to be coded non-systematically (specific to “Chinese Official Finance to Africa” project).
  • Developed project templates for recurring Chinese aid activities.
  • Created automated coding rules related to specific funding agencies and project types, and developed methods for identifying projects which violated these coding rules.

For a full list of methodologies, see Research Methods.

Methodology

AidData's TUFF Methodology, Version 1.1

2013-12-01

Austin M. Strange, Brian O’Donnell, Daniel Gamboa, Bradley Parks, Charles Perla

Methodology

AidData's TUFF Methodology, Version 1.1

2013-12-01

Austin M. Strange, Brian O’Donnell, Daniel Gamboa, Bradley Parks, Charles Perla

Methodology

AidData's TUFF Methodology, Version 1.1

2013-12-01

Austin M. Strange, Brian O’Donnell, Daniel Gamboa, Bradley Parks, Charles Perla

AidData has developed a set of open source data collection methods to track project-level data on suppliers of official finance who do not participate in global reporting systems. This codebook outlines the version 1.1 set of TUFF procedures that have been developed, tested, refined, and implemented by AidData researchers and affiliated faculty at the College of William & Mary and Brigham Young University. 

In the first iteration of this codebook, AidData's Media-Based Data Collection Methodology, Version 1.0, we referred to our data collection procedures as a “media-based data collection” (MBDC) methodology. The term “media-based” was misleading, as the methodology does not rely exclusively on media reports; rather, media reports are used only as a departure point, and are supplemented with case studies undertaken by scholars and non-governmental organizations, project inventories supplied through Chinese embassy websites, and grants and loan data published by recipient governments. In the interest of providing greater clarity, we now refer to our methodology for systematically gathering open source development finance information as the Tracking Underreported Financial Flows (TUFF) methodology. This codebook outlines the set of TUFF procedures that have been developed, tested, refined, and implemented by AidData staff and affiliated faculty at the College of William & Mary and Brigham Young University. We initially employed these methods to achieve a specific objective: documenting the known universe of Chinese development finance projects in Africa from 2000 to 2011. However, the data collection procedures outlined in this codebook can be applied to any supplier of development finance that does not publish its official, project-level data.

For a full list of methodologies, see Research Methods.

Methodology

China's Development Finance to Africa: A Media-Based Approach to Data Collection

2013-04-29

Austin Strange, Bradley Parks, Michael J. Tierney, Andreas Fuchs, Axel Dreher, Vijaya Ramachandran

This paper also discusses the challenges of quantifying Chinese development activities, introduces AidData’s Media-Based Data Collection (MBDC) methodology, provides an overview of Chinese development finance in Africa as tracked by this new database, and discusses the potential and limitations of MBDC as a resource for tracking development finance.

Methodology

China's Development Finance to Africa: A Media-Based Approach to Data Collection

2013-04-29

Austin Strange, Bradley Parks, Michael J. Tierney, Andreas Fuchs, Axel Dreher, Vijaya Ramachandran

This paper also discusses the challenges of quantifying Chinese development activities, introduces AidData’s Media-Based Data Collection (MBDC) methodology, provides an overview of Chinese development finance in Africa as tracked by this new database, and discusses the potential and limitations of MBDC as a resource for tracking development finance.

Methodology

China's Development Finance to Africa: A Media-Based Approach to Data Collection

2013-04-29

Austin Strange, Bradley Parks, Michael J. Tierney, Andreas Fuchs, Axel Dreher, Vijaya Ramachandran

This paper also discusses the challenges of quantifying Chinese development activities, introduces AidData’s Media-Based Data Collection (MBDC) methodology, provides an overview of Chinese development finance in Africa as tracked by this new database, and discusses the potential and limitations of MBDC as a resource for tracking development finance.

How big is China’s aid to Africa? Does it complement or undermine the efforts of traditional donors? China releases little information, and outside estimates of the size and nature of Chinese aid vary widely. In an effort to overcome this problem, AidData, based at the College of William and Mary, has compiled a database of thousands of media reports on Chinese-backed projects in Africa from 2000 to 2011. The database includes information on 1,673 projects in 50 African countries and on $75 billion in commitments of official finance. This paper describes the new database methodology, key findings, and possible applications of the data, which is being made publicly available for the first time. The paper and database offer a new tool set for researchers, policymakers, journalists, and civil-society organizations working to understand China’s growing role in Africa. The paper also discusses the challenges of quantifying Chinese development activities, introduces AidData’s Media-Based Data Collection (MBDC) methodology, provides an overview of Chinese development finance in Africa as tracked by this new database, and discusses the potential and limitations of MBDC as a resource for tracking development finance.

Update: A revised version of this paper was published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution.

Methodology

AidData’s Media-Based Data Collection Methodology, Version 1.0

2013-04-01

Austin M. Strange, Brian O’Donnell, Daniel Gamboa, Bradley Parks

This document details the first pilot of what is now AidData's Tracking Underreported Financial Flows methodology.

Methodology

AidData’s Media-Based Data Collection Methodology, Version 1.0

2013-04-01

Austin M. Strange, Brian O’Donnell, Daniel Gamboa, Bradley Parks

This document details the first pilot of what is now AidData's Tracking Underreported Financial Flows methodology.

Methodology

AidData’s Media-Based Data Collection Methodology, Version 1.0

2013-04-01

Austin M. Strange, Brian O’Donnell, Daniel Gamboa, Bradley Parks

This document details the first pilot of what is now AidData's Tracking Underreported Financial Flows methodology.

The "market" for global development finance is changing rapidly: while several large multilateral development banks and Western governments once acted as the primary sources of development assistance, the landscape now features a wide variety of actors with diverse interests and capabilities. Donors like China, Venezuela, Russia, and Iran together reportedly provide tens of billions of dollars of development finance each year, but do not participate in existing global reporting systems, making it difficult to gauge the nature, scope and impact of their activities and fueling uncertainty and speculation about the intentions of these non-Western donors.

In an attempt to help address this issue, in January of 2012 AidData conducted a pilot initiative using media-based data collection (MBDC) methods to track project-level Chinese development finance to Africa. The goal of AidData researchers was to to test whether MBDC methods can be a viable way to accurately gather and standardize project-level development finance information, specifically regarding bilateral and multilateral agencies that are unwilling or unable to disclose their data. We concluded—after sixteen months of developing, testing, and fine-tuning a pilot methodology—that MBDC methods can indeed be a valuable tool for gathering and standardizing project-level development finance information

This codebook outlines the set of procedures that were developed, tested, refined, and implemented by AidData staff and affiliated faculty at the College of William and Mary and Brigham Young University during the MBDC China pilot. We initially employed these methods to achieve a specific objective: documenting the "known universe" of Chinese development finance projects in Africa from 2000 to 2011, as detailed in China’s Development Finance to Africa: A Media Based Approach to Data Collection. The procedures in this codebook constitute a flexible methodology that can be applied to broader research questions, and to track other development finance flows from donors outside the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (better known as “Non-DAC donors”).

For updated versions of this pilot methodology, see AidData's TUFF Methodology, Version 1.1, AidData’s TUFF Methodology, Version 1.2, or AidData’s TUFF Methodology, Version 1.3.

For a full list of methodologies, see Research Methods.