Long-Run Effects of Aid: Forecasts and Evidence from Sierra Leone

Katherine Casey, Rachel Glennerster, Edward Miguel, Maarten Voors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We evaluate the long-run effects of a decentralised approach to economic development called community-driven development—a prominent strategy for delivering foreign aid—by revisiting a randomised community-driven development program in Sierra Leone 11 years after launch. We estimate large persistent gains in local public goods and market activity, and modest positive effects on institutions. There is suggestive evidence that community-driven development may have slightly improved the communities’ response to the 2014 Ebola epidemic. We compare estimates to the forecasts of experts from Sierra Leone and abroad, working in policy and academia, and find that local policymakers are overly optimistic about the effectiveness of community-driven development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1348-1370
JournalThe Economic Journal
Issue number652
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2023


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