The National Solidarity Program: Assessing the Effects of Community-Driven Development in Afghanistan
18 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016
Date Written: September 18, 2015
Over the past two decades, community-based approaches to project delivery have become a popular means for governments and development agencies to improve the alignment of projects with the needs of rural communities and increase the participation of villagers in project design and implementation. This paper briefly summarizes the results of an impact evaluation of the National Solidarity Program, a community-driven development program in Afghanistan that created democratically elected community development councils and funded small-scale development projects. Using a randomized controlled trial across 500 villages, the evaluation finds that the National Solidarity Program had a positive effect on access to drinking water and electricity, acceptance of democratic processes, perceptions of economic wellbeing, and attitudes toward women. Effects on perceptions of local and national government performance and material economic outcomes were, however, more limited or short-lived.
Keywords: Conflict and Fragile States, Social Development & Poverty, Inequality
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