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Understanding Community Participation to Make Services Work

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  • Elizabeth Beasley
  • Elise Huillery

    (Département d'économie)

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    Abstract

    Increasing beneficiary participation to improve public services has become increasingly popular during the last twenty years. Results from previous studies on the impact of such programs is mixed and inconsistent. We propose a simple model which explains some of those mixed results by predicting that returns to participation will vary by community characteristics. We use data from a randomized pilot project in Niger to test the model in the context of education, and support for some of the predictions. We need that parents are generally ready to participate in ways that support the teachers or help them carry out management tasks. However, only parents with high authority are able to participate in ways that oppose the teachers, in particular in monitoring teacher attendance. We also show that demand for education (measured by enrollment) increased in response to the pilot program, and we present evidence that this increase is partly explained by the practice of participating itself, rather than by improvements in quality.

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    File URL: http://spire.sciencespo.fr/hdl:/2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09iatqiagpl/resources/huillery2011.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Sciences Po in its series Sciences Po publications with number info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09iatqiagpl.

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    Date of creation: Nov 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09iatqiagpl

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    1. Benjamin A. Olken, 2007. "Monitoring Corruption: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 200-249.
    2. Martina Björkman & Jakob Svensson, 2009. "Power to the People: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment on Community-Based Monitoring in Uganda," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 735-769, May.
    3. Ritva Reinikka & Jakob Svensson, 2004. "Local Capture: Evidence From a Central Government Transfer Program in Uganda," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 678-704, May.
    4. Sylvie Moulin & Michael Kremer & Paul Glewwe, 2009. "Many Children Left Behind? Textbooks and Test Scores in Kenya," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 112-35, January.
    5. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 1999. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," NBER Working Papers 7155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2006. "Addressing Absence," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 117-132, Winter.
    7. Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Working papers 95-8, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    8. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    9. Miguel, Edward & Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2005. "Ethnic diversity, social sanctions, and public goods in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2325-2368, December.
    10. Galiani, Sebastian & Gertler, Paul & Schargrodsky, Ernesto, 2008. "School decentralization: Helping the good get better, but leaving the poor behind," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2106-2120, October.
    11. Nazmul Chaudhury & Jeffrey Hammer & Michael Kremer & Karthik Muralidharan & F. Halsey Rogers, 2006. "Missing in Action: Teacher and Health Worker Absence in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 91-116, Winter.
    12. Jacob L. Vigdor, 2004. "Community Composition and Collective Action: Analyzing Initial Mail Response to the 2000 Census," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 303-312, February.
    13. Pranab Bardhan, 2002. "Decentralization of Governance and Development," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 185-205, Fall.
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