Organization of Disaster Aid Delivery: Spending Your Donations

Journal Article

Published By

Economic Development and Cultural Change, Vol. 63

July 2015

economic development cultural change cover

This article examines how different organizational structures in disaster aid delivery affect house aid quality. We analyze three waves of survey data on fishermen and fishing villages in Aceh, Indonesia, following the 2004 tsunami. We categorize four organizational structures based on whether and to whom donors contract aid implementation. Compared to bilateral contracting between donors and implementers, donors that vertically integrate and do their own implementation offer the highest-quality housing as rated by village heads and have fewer counts of faults, such as leaky roofs and cracked walls, as reported by fishermen. However, they shade in quality as they lose dominance as the leading aid agency in a village. Domestic implementers and the government agency that was responsible for significant portions of aid delivery provide significantly lower-quality aid. We also examine how the imposition of shared ownership, the primary social agenda for boat aid agencies, affects boat aid quality. We find that village and fishing leaders steer poor-quality boats toward those whom shared ownership was imposed upon, often lower-status fishermen.

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