Measuring Foreign Aid Effectiveness: Elite Capture of Foreign Aid Funds

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Ortiz, Alyssa M
International Relations
project description
In an attempt to better understand where foreign aid is most effective for developmental purposes and poverty alleviation, this study takes a focused look at the correlation between democracy and corruption. High democratization is tested alongside corruption in foreign aid usage to determine if an inverse relationship exists. The implication is then that low levels of foreign aid corruption will be tied to increased effectiveness of development interventions. This increased effectiveness will then result in an increase of overall development. The research examines three African countries – Ghana, Zambia, Swaziland – through comparative case studies to test the democratic institutions and values that create a mechanism through which corruption is stopped, including the proper ministries and agencies to increase accountability as well as elections and open press for transparency. Understanding the necessary but not sufficient role democracy plays in impeding corruption can then help create conditionalities for foreign aid moving forward.