Two Approaches to Community Development
Decades of unaccountable leadership, conflict and underdevelopment have limited the reach of the state into rural Sierra Leone and left communities with a dearth of public services. This project explores two distinct mechanisms to bridge the gap between communities and the government. The first is an evaluation of the long run effects of a participatory community driven development (CDD) program, which devolved financial and implementation control over public services to communities themselves, accompanied by intensive social facilitation. The second assesses a low cost technocratic alternative that identifies and supports high competence community members to take better advantage of development programs offered by the government. It leverages local talent, addresses information barriers, and augments existing managerial capital with basic training in project management. A third component elicits expert beliefs about the efficacy of these two approaches, assesses their forecast accuracy, and evaluates whether beliefs change in response to new information.