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Community-Driven Reconstruction in Lofa County: Impact Assessment


About this resource

Resource type:Evaluation reports
Keywords:Capacity development, Community-led, Development & humanitarian aid, Evaluation-related, Impact assessment, Response and recovery
Agency:DFID - Department for International Development (UK), IRC - International Rescue Committee
Author(s):Fearon, J., Humphreys, M., and Weinstein, J.
Date published:December 2008
Publisher:New York: International Rescue Committee

This is an exemplary and innovative evaluation of a community-driven reconstruction (CDR) programme in post-conflict northern Liberia. The CDR project had a multiplicity of goals: to improve material well-being, reinforce democratic political attitudes, and increase social cohesion. The evaluation provides powerful evidence that the program was successful in increasing social cohesion, some evidence that it reinforced democratic political attitudes and increased confidence in local decision making procedures, but only weak evidence that material well]being was positively affected. A Randomised Control Trial (RCT) was built into the project from the start. The villages were selected to receive CDR through public lotteries. Survey data suggest that the program reduced social tension, increased the inclusion of marginalised groups, and enhanced individuals' trust in community leadership. Measures of cohesion are generated by examining the actual behaviour of almost 2,000 community members in collective action problems facing their communities in both program and comparison areas. The results provide strong evidence that the CDR program did alter patterns of social cooperation and reinforced support for democratic practices, even after the program's conclusion.

Summary: This report describes the findings from an impact evaluation of a community-driven reconstruction program, funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) and implemented by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), in Lofa County, Liberia. The CDR program, implemented in 42 communities between September 2006 and February 2007, aimed to improve welfare, local governance, and community cohesion. This evaluation examines whether the program was successful in achieving these objectives. The evaluation was implemented by researchers from Columbia University and Stanford University, with assistance from the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) and the National Ex-Combatant Peacebuilding Initiative (NEPI) in the field.

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