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Initial Conditions Matter: Social Capital and Participatory Development

Author

Listed:
  • Cameron, Lisa A.

    (University of Melbourne)

  • Olivia, Susan

    (Monash University)

  • Shah, Manisha

    (University of California, Los Angeles)

Abstract

Billions of dollars have been spent on participatory development programs in the developing world. These programs give community members an active decision-making role. Given the emphasis on community involvement, one might expect that the effectiveness of this approach would depend on communities' pre-existing social capital stocks. Using data from a large randomised field experiment of Community-Led Total Sanitation in Indonesia, we find that villages with high initial social capital built toilets and reduced open defecation, resulting in substantial health benefits. In villages with low initial stocks of social capital, the approach was counterproductive – fewer toilets were built than in control communities and social capital suffered.

Suggested Citation

  • Cameron, Lisa A. & Olivia, Susan & Shah, Manisha, 2015. "Initial Conditions Matter: Social Capital and Participatory Development," IZA Discussion Papers 9563, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9563
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Avdeenko, Alexandra & Gilligan, Michael J., 2015. "International Interventions to Build Social Capital: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Sudan," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 427-449, August.
    2. Dean S. Karlan, 2005. "Using Experimental Economics to Measure Social Capital and Predict Financial Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1688-1699, December.
    3. repec:pri:rpdevs:gamespaper.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Hammer, Jeffrey & Spears, Dean, 2013. "Village sanitation and children's human capital : evidence from a randomized experiment by the Maharashtra government," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6580, The World Bank.
    5. Cameron, Lisa & Shah, Manisha & Olivia, Susan, 2013. "Impact evaluation of a large-scale rural sanitation project in Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6360, The World Bank.
    6. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
    7. Paul Gertler & Manisha Shah & Maria Laura Alzua & Lisa Cameron & Sebastian Martinez & Sumeet Patil, 2015. "How Does Health Promotion Work? Evidence From The Dirty Business of Eliminating Open Defecation," NBER Working Papers 20997, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. S. Franceschini & G. Marletto, 2017. "The dynamics of social capital during public participation: new knowledge from an on-going monitoring," Working Paper CRENoS 201706, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    2. Emla Fitzsimons & Bansi Malde & Marcos Vera-Hernández, 2016. "Spillovers of Community-Based Health Interventions on Consumption Smoothing," Studies in Economics 1611, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    3. Cameron, Lisa & Olivia, Susan & Shah, Manisha, 2019. "Scaling up sanitation: Evidence from an RCT in Indonesia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 1-16.
    4. Zuin, Valentina & Delaire, Caroline & Peletz, Rachel & Cock-Esteb, Alicea & Khush, Ranjiv & Albert, Jeff, 2019. "Policy Diffusion in the Rural Sanitation Sector: Lessons from Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS)," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 1-1.
    5. Jessica Tribbe & Valentina Zuin & Caroline Delaire & Ranjiv Khush & Rachel Peletz, 2021. "How Do Rural Communities Sustain Sanitation Gains? Qualitative Comparative Analyses of Community-Led Approaches in Cambodia and Ghana," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(10), pages 1-23, May.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    sanitation; social capital; participatory development; economic development; Indonesia;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O22 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Project Analysis
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development

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