Interdisciplinary Approach to Understanding the Effectiveness of Aid-Funded Programs: Spatial Analysis of Developmental Outcomes

Much of development aid devoted to poorer countries is organized into projects with specific goals. Evaluating the effectiveness of aid projects in the developing world presents a challenge. Credible evaluation plans can be difficult to institute for ethical, logistical, financial and other reasons. When experimental analysis is impossible, it also is difficult to isolate the specific factors that determined success or failure of aid interventions. Moreover, projects can target narrow or broad geographic areas, but evaluation efforts may not match up with the targeted area. A project may work in some areas and not others, or have spillover effects.

This project is designed to collect and analyze subnational data on two general kinds of factors: 1) the effectiveness of aid projects measured at the subnational level; 2) contextual variables also measured at the subnational level.


Kenneth Kollman, Center for Political Studies (PI)
Allen Hicken, Center for Political Studies (Co-PI)
Brian Min, Center for Political Studies (Co-PI)
Eugenio Arima, University of Texas (Co-PI)
Michael Findley, University of Texas (Co-PI)
David Backer, University of Maryland (Co-PI)
Joel Selway, Brigham Young University (Co-PI)

American National Science Foundation (NSF)

Project Period
August 15, 2015 - July 31, 2016