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Outside Funding of Community Organizations: Benefiting or Displacing the Poor?


  • Mary Kay Gugerty
  • Michael Kremer


In response to the widespread consensus on the importance of social capital, and to concerns about the scarcity of institutions giving voice to disadvantaged groups, some donors have begun programs designed to strengthen indigenous community organizations. We use a prospective, randomized evaluation to examine a development program explicitly targeted at building social capital among rural women's groups in western Kenya. The program increased turnover among group members. It increased entry into group membership and leadership by younger, more educated women, by women employed in the formal sector, and by men. The analysis suggests that providing development assistance to indigenous community organizations of the disadvantaged may change the very characteristics of these organizations that made them attractive to outside funders.

Suggested Citation

  • Mary Kay Gugerty & Michael Kremer, 2000. "Outside Funding of Community Organizations: Benefiting or Displacing the Poor?," NBER Working Papers 7896, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7896
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Siwan Anderson & Jean-Marie Baland, 2002. "The Economics of Roscas and Intrahousehold Resource Allocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 963-995.
    2. Francis, P.A., 1998. "Hard Lessons. Primary Schools, Community, and Social Capital in Nigeria," Papers 420, World Bank - Technical Papers.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ghazala Mansuri, 2004. "Community-Based and -Driven Development: A Critical Review," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(1), pages 1-39.
    2. Lisa Cameron & Manisha Shah, 2014. "Can Mistargeting Destroy Social Capital and Stimulate Crime? Evidence from a Cash Transfer Program in Indonesia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(2), pages 381-415.
    3. Miguel, Edward A. & Gertler, Paul & Levine, David I., 2003. "Did Industrialization Destroy Social Capital in Indonesia?," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt9kt2m860, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.

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    JEL classification:

    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification


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