Development economist Erwin Bulte is to receive 1.6 million euros from the ministry of Foreign Affairs to measure the impact of development projects.
In collaboration with the Disaster Studies chair group and the Centre for Development Innovation (CDI), he will collect data in villages in Liberia and the Congo where Dutch aid organizations Novib and Cordaid run projects. The researchers will seek data on, for example, how many children go to school, how much poverty there is in the village and what the villagers' income level is. They will collect the same data in a number of 'control villages' which do not come under the development projects. By doing this, Bulte aims to measure the impact of the projects.
The Netherlands spends almost five billion euros a year on development aid. One quarter of the funding is channelled through aid organizations such as Novib, ICCO, Hivos and Cordaid. The grant money will be used to appoint one PhD researcher to do research in the Congo. A lot of money will go to students at universities in Liberia and the Congo, who will collect data in hundreds of villages.