Age, Organization, and Accountability: Evidence from the DRC
This project explores the extent to which age sets, a traditional social structure in many African societies, can be exploited to improve local oversight, governance, and the provision of public goods. Age sets are initiation rituals that create cohesive groups of men of approximately the same age. A consequence is that the younger age sets in a village, because of their cohesion and allegiance to each other, provide a check on the balance of the village elite, including the chief, who belongs to a different and older age set. We are interested in whether programs that provide public goods are better managed by the village elite when age sets are present. Researchers are also interested in better understanding whether public goods provision can be improved if programs are adapted to account for the presence of age sets in a village.