Information campaigns for improved state-society and intergroup relations in fragile states

Published: February 19, 2022

Beneficiaries of foreign aid interventions often lack basic information on development projects in their communities. Lack of credible information can increase the risk that misinformation and rumors nurture perceptions of unfair and clientelist aid distribution. This, in turn, can have adverse consequences on inter-group and state-society relations.

This project investigates if targeted aid information campaigns can improve state-society relations and intergroup relations.

Our analyses rely on a randomized controlled trial among 10,000 respondents in 200 villages of Mali and Niger. Members of the treatment group will receive customized information on ongoing aid projects in their community (e.g., type, volume, and formal rules of project selection). In the mid-line, we repeat this information. In addition, half of the treatment group will have the opportunity to provide anonymous feedback on the project to the government and responsible aid agency. In the end line, we estimate the effects of these interventions on people’s local political engagement and social trust towards outgroups.

We measure state-society relations, Intergroup relations, political efficacy, and distributional fairness.

Implementing partner
Mali, Niger
In-country research partner
Study population
10,000 respondents
Study type
Randomized evaluation
2021 - 2023
Alexander De Juan, Carlo Koos, Paul Hofman