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International Interventions to Build Social Capital : Evidence from a Field Experiment in Sudan

ACCOUNTABILITY AVERAGE PERSON CAPACITY BUILDING CAUSAL EFFECTS CAUSAL IMPACT CITIZEN CITIZEN PARTICIPATION CITIZENS CIVIC CULTURE CIVIC EDUCATION CIVIL SOCIETY CIVIL WAR COLLECTIVE ACTION COMMUNITIES COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS COMMUNITY BUILDING COMMUNITY COHESION COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTIONS COMMUNITY DECISION MAKING COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY LEADERS COMMUNITY MEETINGS COMMUNITY MEMBERS COMMUNITY MONITORING COMMUNITY NETWORKS COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION COMMUNITY-DRIVEN DEVELOPMENT CORRUPTION DEMOCRACY DESCRIPTION ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT EQUALITY FACILITATORS FAMILIES FAMILY MEMBERS FAMILY NETWORKS FAMILY RELATION FEMALE FEMALES GENDER GENDER EQUALITY GOVERNANCE INSTITUTIONS HOUSEHOLDS INCLUSION INCOME INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT INTERVENTIONS LIFE CYCLE LOCAL GOVERNANCE LOCAL INSTITUTIONS LOCAL SOCIAL CAPITAL LOCALITIES MARGINALIZED GROUPS NEIGHBORHOOD NETWORK MEMBERSHIP PARTICIPATORY DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP POLITICAL ATTITUDES POLITICAL CHANGE POLITICAL ECONOMY POLITICAL PROCESSES PROCUREMENT PUBLIC SERVICE DELIVERY RECIPROCITY RURAL AREAS SELF-HELP SOCIAL ACTION SOCIAL ACTIVITIES SOCIAL BEHAVIOR SOCIAL CAPITAL SOCIAL CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT SOCIAL CAPITAL IMPACTS SOCIAL COHESION SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT SOCIAL INTERACTION SOCIAL INTERACTIONS SOCIAL NETWORKS SOCIAL NORMS SOCIAL PROTECTION SOCIAL RELATIONS SOCIAL RELATIONSHIP SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY TRANSPARENCY VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT VILLAGE LEVEL VILLAGES VIOLENCE YOUTH YOUTH GROUPS
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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Sudan
2014-03-18T20:24:23Z | 2014-03-18T20:24:23Z | 2014-02

Over the past decade the international community, especially the World Bank, has conducted programs to increase local public service delivery in developing countries by improving local governing institutions and creating social capital. This paper evaluates one such program in Sudan to answer the question: Can the international community change the grassroots civic culture of developing countries to increase social capital? The paper offers three contributions. First, it uses lab-in-the-field measures to focus on the effects of the program on pro-social preferences without the confounding influence of any program- induced changes on local governing institutions. Second, it tests whether the program led to denser social networks in recipient communities. Based on these two measures, the effect of the program was a precisely estimated zero. However, in a retrospective survey, respondents from program communities characterized their behavior as being more pro-social and their communities more socially cohesive. This leads to a third contribution of the paper: it provides evidence for the hypothesis, stated by several scholars in the literature, that retrospective survey measures of social capital over biased evidence of a positive effect of these programs. Regardless of one's faith in retrospective self-reported survey measures, the results clearly point to zero impact of the program on pro-social preferences and social network density. Therefore, if the increase in self-reported behaviors is accurate, it must be because of social sanctions that enforce compliance with pro-social norms through mechanisms other than the social networks that were measured.

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