8 research outputs found

    The Demand for Aid and the Supply of Development

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    Though citizens in developing countries are the ostensible beneficiaries of international development, projects and policies are designed well above those on the ground. This dissertation collects three papers on the consequences of international development from the perspective of these intended beneficiaries. In the first paper, I argue that citizens in societies inundated with foreign aid have preferences for different types aid projects, favoring certain donors, certain sectors, and certain implementation styles over others. I develop a model in which the political returns to satisfying voter preferences motivate the distribution of aid by a recipient government. The results of this model correspond to the optimal distribution of aid projects given citizen demand. I estimate the demand for many types of aid projects using a conjoint experiment fielded in Uganda and compare this demand to the observed allocation of aid. In the second paper, I focus on the unintended political consequences of internal displacement during civil war, a decision prioritized by domestic governments but made possible with the help of international donors. Using a randomized response experiment, I show that returned internally displaced peoples in Northern Uganda are often the targets of vote buying in post-conflict elections and suggest that the removal of citizens from their land causes a severe economic shock, making the displaced particularly susceptible to vote buying. In the final paper, I explore the unintended economic consequences of government fragmentation. While the creation of new subnational administrative units intends to bring the government "closer to the people", I argue that many fragmented units lack the requisite administrative capacity to fulfill the provision of public goods. Combining remote-sensed development data in Burkina Faso with a difference-in-differences design, I show that communities within newly created units are often left behind

    Replication Data for: Government Fragmentation, Administrative Capacity, and Public Goods: The Negative Consequences of Reform in Burkina Faso

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    Replication data and code for Government Fragmentation, Administrative Capacity, and Public Goods: The Negative Consequences of Reform in Burkina Fas

    Visualizing trends in food security across Africa, 2009–2020: Data and animations at a grid-cell level

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    The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) has been appraising food security in numerous countries around the world since 1985. Multiple times per year, FEWS NET reports scores for current situation assessments and future projections of food security. The scores are measured on a five-level index scale and gauged for the geographic units of livelihood zones. These zones vary in size and do not remain static, which complicates comparison of food security within and across countries and over time. To facilitate such analysis and interoperability with other sources, we transformed available raw data to the units of geospatial grid-cells that have a uniform, static resolution of 0.5° × 0.5°, a common format of data used in research across diverse disciplines. FEWS NET provides public online access to shapefiles reflecting reports back to 2009. Separate shapefiles capture assessments and projections, with further delineation by the index score. Each shapefile can comprise a complex (multi)polygon, without clear differentiation among livelihood zones. Overlaying a geospatial grid allows disaggregation of the (multi)polygons to standard units. We performed the transformation to grid-cells on the shapefiles for all 25 countries (including Yemen) that FEWS NET tracked within regional groupings of East, Southern, and West Africa from July 2009–October 2020. For each report cycle, each grid-cell was assigned scores of the assessment and near-term and medium-term projections, based on the raw data for the corresponding livelihood zone. In addition, we calculated a value of bias in medium-term projections relative to subsequent assessments, which can be used as a metric for validation of accuracy. This article provides access to the grid-cell data on assessment and projection scores and bias values. In addition, we present time-lapse animated maps as tools to visualize historical patterns and trends in these indicators across Africa. Our related research article employed the grid-cell data to evaluate the accuracy of FEWS NET projections, including as a function of variation in humanitarian assistance, climate conditions, and violent conflict (Backer and Billing [1]). Researchers can likewise use the grid-cell data to conduct further validation of food security projections and to examine the relationship of assessments and projections to potential drivers and consequences. The data and animations are also valuable to stakeholders throughout the international community seeking to learn and disseminate knowledge about the tendencies of food security projections on a broad scale