Organization of Disaster Aid Delivery: Spending Your Donations
This paper analyzes how different organizational structures between funding and implementing agencies affect the quality of aid delivered and social agendas pursued across neighboring villages in a set disaster context. We model the implied objective functions and trade-offs concerning aid quality, aid quantity, and social agendas of different types of agencies. We analyze three waves of survey data on fishermen and fishing villages in Aceh, Indonesia from 2005-2009, following the tsunami. Different organizational structures result in significantly different qualities of hard aid, differential willingness to share aid delivery with other NGOs in a village, and differential promotion of public good objectives and maintenance of village religious and occupational traditions. This is the first time these aspects have been modeled and quantified in the literature. Some well known international NGOs delivered housing with relatively low rates of reported faults such as leaky roofs and cracked walls; others had relatively high rates. For boats, some had very high rates of boat "failure", boats that sank upon launch, were not seaworthy, or fell apart within a month or two. We also document how a social agenda of particular agencies to promote greater equality can be thwarted and distorted by village leaders, potentially increasing inequality.
We gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation (SES 0416840) and the National Institute of Health (R01 HD057188). We thank Ari Kuncoro, Ifa Isfandiarni, Zakir Machmud, and Hamdan Bintra of the University of Indonesia for their efforts in supervision of the survey. Shiva Koohi contributed excellent research assistance, as did Tiago Freire and Manabu Nose in earlier stages of the project. The work in early stages benefited from helpful comments by seminar participants at LSE, Berkeley, and Minnesota. We thank Andrew Foster and Ross Levine for helpful comments on a draft version of the paper. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
J. Vernon Henderson & Yong Suk Lee, 2015. "Organization of Disaster Aid Delivery: Spending Your Donations," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(4), pages 617 - 664. citation courtesy of