We use rigorous evaluation techniques to assess the impact of (1) the selected projects on their beneficiary populations, (2) the Dutch MSF organization on the capacity of the selected southern partners and (3) the selected southern partner organizations on the civil society organizations they have collaborated with. We will focus on estimating causal effects where possible, and complement this with research that adequately addresses questions of attribution using qualitative techniques. We propose to use a variety of instruments, including surveys, secondary data sources, focus groups and artefactual field experiments.
We use a combination of, randomized sampling and careful matching of beneficiaries at community-and household level (enabling difference-in-difference studies). The projects will include extensive baseline surveys and behavioural experiments (to measure variables in an incentive-compatible fashion). To better understand why certain interventions work (or not), and assess the external validity, we propose to randomly assign beneficiaries into sub-treatments (informed by theory, designed to disentangle competing mechanisms), where this is feasible.
The project team consists of members of the Development Economics Group from the Wageningen University, from ETC, as well as members of the Makerere University in Kampala. The main applicant (Professor Bulte) is highly qualified when it comes to impact evaluations in Sub-Saharan Africa and has experience in conducting research in challenging post-conflict settings. During research visits to Uganda in the past, we have established valuable contacts with staff and students of the Makerere University.
ETC will coordinate the evaluation of capacity development and civil society. The evaluation of capacity development and civil society will align with the other country studies, yet ensure the appropriateness of the tools and indicators for the context of Uganda, characterized by a fragile peace with the LRA in the North, inefficient governance, institutional multiplicity and a high concentration of relief-oriented aid.
Several staff members (listed as researchers) will help design the study for the Ugandan context, while students and recent graduates will act as consultants and facilitate the survey implementation and data collection.