How does funding from foreign aid shape public opinion toward development pro- grams? Existing research suggests that citizens of recipient countries prefer aid-funded programs, particularly if they view the domestic government as corrupt and ineffective. However, these studies have been implemented in contexts where major donors are relatively popular. We extend this literature by analyzing attitudes toward foreign aid in the Arab world, where Western donors are often polarizing and disliked. A survey experiment conducted in Egypt provides some evidence that respondents approve less of public health programs when they are funded by the US or French development agencies instead of the Egyptian government. We find that this effect is driven by dis- trust of Western donors’ motives. Descriptive survey data from the Arab Barometer reinforces the experimental findings by illustrating the importance of anti-Americanism and perceptions of donor motives in heightening opposition to aid. This research note contributes to a growing literature on public opinion toward foreign aid in recipient countries.

Where’s the money from? Attitudes toward donor countries and foreign aid in the Arab world

Singh, Renu
;
Williamson, Scott
2022

Abstract

How does funding from foreign aid shape public opinion toward development pro- grams? Existing research suggests that citizens of recipient countries prefer aid-funded programs, particularly if they view the domestic government as corrupt and ineffective. However, these studies have been implemented in contexts where major donors are relatively popular. We extend this literature by analyzing attitudes toward foreign aid in the Arab world, where Western donors are often polarizing and disliked. A survey experiment conducted in Egypt provides some evidence that respondents approve less of public health programs when they are funded by the US or French development agencies instead of the Egyptian government. We find that this effect is driven by dis- trust of Western donors’ motives. Descriptive survey data from the Arab Barometer reinforces the experimental findings by illustrating the importance of anti-Americanism and perceptions of donor motives in heightening opposition to aid. This research note contributes to a growing literature on public opinion toward foreign aid in recipient countries.
2022
Singh, Renu; Williamson, Scott
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11565/4050505
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