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Title Foreign Aid's Impact on the Demand Side of Civil Society
Post date 02/01/2019
C1 Background and Explanation of Rationale This pre-analysis plan presents a study that seeks to identify how citizens of countries with a history of foreign support for their civil societies relate to civil society organizations that are foreign in a variety of ways. Civil society has been theorized as being a crucial component of democracy and a crucial actor in democratic and economic development. However, we do not know how citizen attitudes toward civil society may have been altered by foreign aid. The democracy assistance literature has looked at the impact of donor preferences and funding patterns on nongovernmental organizations in recipient countries --- the supply side of foreign aid. A significant interest of the foreign aid literature has been to investigate the relationship between citizens’ views of their government’s legitimacy and the receipt of foreign aid, pulling into focus the impact of foreign aid on the demand side in terms of governance. This project seeks to unite these two strands of the literature by turning to the demand side of civil society, and how it is impacted by foreign aid. I posit that the more foreign aid recipients perceive a civil society organization as being, the less likely they will be to want to engage directly with it, although they may expect the organization itself to be better suited to bringing developments to their community. I test this theory using a conjoint survey experiment carried out on Malawian market vendors who are the target of a large-scale USAID intervention. The findings will have important implications for how foreign aid might impact citizen engagement in a way that has not been captured before.
C2 What are the hypotheses to be tested?

The more foreign an organization, the more likely an individual will be to assess the organization positively. At the same time, the more foreign an organization, the less likely an individual will be to express a desire to interact with that organization actively.

An organization that is more foreign along multiple dimensions will seem particularly foreign to individuals, and therefore the interaction between different organization characteristics will sharpen the effects in the previous hypothesis.

Individuals who are already in community organizations will be less likely to want to participate in more foreign organizations, and their evaluations of foreign organizations will be lower.

Individuals who demonstrate apathy about their own role in achieving desirable outcomes because of the work that other, non-local organizations do on their behalf will as a whole be more ambivalent about engagement with organizations. These individuals will be more likely to see more foreign organizations as being of higher quality.

C3 How will these hypotheses be tested? *

The hypotheses will be tested via a conjoint survey experiment. Analysis of the conjoint will be done via logit and OLS. A causal ANOVA estimator developed by Egami and Imai (2018) will be used to test for interaction effects. Subgroup analysis based on respondents’ answers to two different survey questions will be done as well.

Please see pre-analysis plan for more details.

C4 Country Malawi
C5 Scale (# of Units) Approximately 2,560
C6 Was a power analysis conducted prior to data collection? No
C7 Has this research received Insitutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee approval? Yes
C8 IRB Number 18-2303; Office of Human Research Ethics – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
C9 Date of IRB Approval 10/05/2018
C10 Will the intervention be implemented by the researcher or a third party? Innovations for Poverty Action
C11 Did any of the research team receive remuneration from the implementing agency for taking part in this research? No
C12 If relevant, is there an advance agreement with the implementation group that all results can be published? not provided by authors
C13 JEL Classification(s) not provided by authors