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2007 AEC - Does Community Driven Development Work? Evidence from Senegal


Community Driven Development (CDD) programs are an extremely important component of the World Bank’s portfolio in the developing world, representing close to $7 billion in 2003, yet solid empirical evidence on their impact is relatively scarce, especially for Subsaharan Africa. In this paper, we consider the impact on access to basic services, household expenditures and child anthropometrics of the PNIR (Programme National d’Infrastructures Rurales) CDD project in Senegal using a unique multidimensional panel dataset on rural households that we followed over a two-year period. Using a variety of estimation procedures, including instrumental variables, and working at different levels of aggregation, we find statistically significant and quantitatively important effects of the program on access by villagers to clean water and health services, as well as on standard measures of child malnutrition. The latter effects are particularly important for children in poor households. We also find that it is completed incomegenerating agricultural infrastructure projects, as well as enhanced primary educational opportunities, that significantly increase household expenditures per capita, whereas health and hydraulic projects do not, suggesting that completed projects in this CDD program improve child health in part through income effects. The identification strategy we adopt in order to assess the impact of completed projects on beneficiary welfare highlights the importance of the role played by village chiefs and sub-regional politics in determining which eligible villages receive projects and which villages do not.

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