20181122 SITE Project The Donor Footprint Image

The Donor Footprint: Placement and Impact of Aid Projects

The research project analyses two related questions. What determines the within-country allocation of aid projects? How does the presence of aid projects at the community-level affect female empowerment and democratic values? Evaluations of individual aid-financed projects are often much more positive than country-level studies, a conundrum referred to as the “micro-macro paradox”. Common explanations refer to data and methodological challenges in trying to identify a causal effect at the aggregated level, and positive selection bias in terms of which projects are evaluated at the micro-level. A literature on geo-spatial impact evaluation of foreign aid is currently emerging based on new data on geo-coded aid projects. With this data, it is possible to analyse the placement and impact of aid at the community level, i.e. more disaggregated than cross-country analysis but also beyond just the impact of individual projects on direct beneficiaries.

This project proposes a new methodological approach to further our understanding of the two research questions asked above: to better understand the patterns of within-country aid allocation in order to be able to address questions of motivation, effectiveness and representativeness; and to estimate the community impact of aid presence on two important objectives of foreign aid, female empowerment and democratic values.

The project will run from 2019 to 2020 with financial support from Vetenskapsrådet.

For more info, contact Maria Perrotta Berlin, maria.perrotta@hhs.se or Anders Olofsgård, anders.olofsgard@hhs.se.