Organization of Disaster Aid Delivery: Spending Your Donations

52 Pages Posted: 31 Dec 2011 Last revised: 2 Jan 2012

See all articles by J. Vernon Henderson

J. Vernon Henderson

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Yong Suk Lee

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: December 2011

Abstract

This paper analyzes how different organizational structures between funding and implementing agencies affect the quality of aid delivered and social agendas pursued across neighboring villages in a set disaster context. We model the implied objective functions and trade-offs concerning aid quality, aid quantity, and social agendas of different types of agencies. We analyze three waves of survey data on fishermen and fishing villages in Aceh, Indonesia from 2005-2009, following the tsunami. Different organizational structures result in significantly different qualities of hard aid, differential willingness to share aid delivery with other NGOs in a village, and differential promotion of public good objectives and maintenance of village religious and occupational traditions. This is the first time these aspects have been modeled and quantified in the literature. Some well known international NGOs delivered housing with relatively low rates of reported faults such as leaky roofs and cracked walls; others had relatively high rates. For boats, some had very high rates of boat "failure", boats that sank upon launch, were not seaworthy, or fell apart within a month or two. We also document how a social agenda of particular agencies to promote greater equality can be thwarted and distorted by village leaders, potentially increasing inequality.

Suggested Citation

Henderson, J. Vernon and Lee, Yong Suk, Organization of Disaster Aid Delivery: Spending Your Donations (December 2011). NBER Working Paper No. w17707, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1977758

J. Vernon Henderson (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

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London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Yong Suk Lee

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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