Conditional effects of development aid on political perceptions: mixed-methods evidence from North-East Afghanistan

Published on 2019-11-12T13:06:29Z (GMT) by
<div><p>Can aid create political trust in conflict-affected states? International aid organizations often argue that supporting states in providing basic services can contribute to strengthening state–society relations. Previous studies in international development have indicated that the provision of basic services can indeed improve people’s attitudes towards state institutions. We take this research a step further: in addition to analysing the impact of aid on political trust, we assess how violence influences this effect. We argue that aid can create opportunities for constructive state–society interactions. As violence increases, however, development-related interactions are crowded out by security-related ones. Violence also fosters corrupt aid governance, which undermines the positive effects of aid on public perceptions. We analyse this hypothesis with a mixed-methods research design that combines original opinion survey data with qualitative interview material systematically collected in 252 villages of northeast Afghanistan. Based on a combination of (a) quantitative analyses, (b) a comparison of most-similar villages, (c) a systematic comparison of qualitative survey response patterns across levels of insecurity, and (d) an in-depth analysis of interview material on aid and trust in highly insecure areas, we show that violence negatively impacts the relative relevance as well as the quality of aid-related state–society interactions. These findings indicate that international aid agencies should refocus from mainly output-oriented project appraisal, design, and monitoring to a stronger process orientation that maximizes state–society interaction and prevents elite capture in areas exposed to high levels of violence.</p></div>

Cite this collection

De Juan, Alexander; Gosztonyi, Kristóf; Koehler, Jan (2019): Conditional effects of development aid on political perceptions: mixed-methods evidence from North-East Afghanistan. SAGE Journals. Collection. https://doi.org/10.25384/SAGE.c.4735250.v1