Research page

Development Aid and Social Dynamics

Project Coordinator: Jean-Louis Arcand
Principal Collaborators: Tu Chi Nguyen, Bastiaan Quast and Matthias Rieger




This research project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) investigated the causal impact of development aid on local social dynamics. In particular, it focused on a national community-driven development (CDD) program in Morocco (INDH being its French acronym), in which the local populations at the commune level decide on how to use the block grant they receive to address the development needs of the community (e.g. building a school or improving local water services).
Development aid, and in particular CDD programs, has a significant social dimension (in terms of the mobilization of the "treated" villages), whence the importance of understanding social dynamics. We studied the impact of such aid on social capital, such as public goods provision, trustworthiness, altruism, or the willingness to contribute to one's community, as well as on social networks.


Project Outcomes


The work built on household survey data already collected in 2008 and 2011 for the impact evaluation of the program in collaboration with the Moroccan government. In 2014, a working paper was finalized.

Community-driven Development and Social Capital: Evidence from Morocco. Authors: Tu Chi Nguyen and Matthias Rieger

Bastiaan Quast worked, in collaboration with doctoral candidate Matthieu Stigler, to standardize the R scripts which were used for the previous analysis (published as a joint paper by Nguyen and Rieger). This resulted in two open-source R packages (rddtools and diagonals) that have been published on the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN) website.