Development Aid, Information and State-Citizen Interactions in Mali and Niger (RCT)

Summary

Beneficiaries of foreign aid interventions often lack basic information on development projects in their communities. Lack of credible information can increase the risk that misinformation and rumors nurture perceptions of unfair and clientelist aid distribution. This, in turn, can have adverse consequences on inter-group and state-society relations. This project investigates if targeted aid information campaigns can improve state-society relations and intergroup relations via two causal channels: political efficacy and distributional fairness. Our analyses rely on a randomized controlled trial among 10,000 respondents of a three-wave panel survey in 200 villages of Mali and Niger. Members of the treatment group will receive customized information on ongoing aid projects in their community (e.g., type, volume, and formal rules of project selection). In the mid-line, we repeat this information. In addition, half of the treatment group will have the opportunity to provide anonymous feedback on the project to the government and responsible aid agency. In the end line, we estimate the effects of these interventions on people’s local political engagement and social trust towards outgroups.

General information

Study area
Mali, Niger

Researchers
Alexander De Juan, Carlo Koos

Methods
RCT in 200 villages, 10,000 respondents at baseline

Outcomes
State-society relations index, Intergroup relations index, Political efficacy, Distributional fairness

Partners
Government of Mali and Niger, GeoPoll

Time frame
2020-2022

Funding
KfW Development Bank