2005: Examining International Aid for Watershed Projects

Portia Ross (Economics) College of William and Mary

The Purpose of this study was multifaceted. The first objective was to determine how much aid is given by major donor countries to watershed projects between the years 1991 and 1999, and what factors, ecological and sociopolitical, contributed to the amount of watershed aid a recipient country receives. Another aim of this project was to classify what portion of watershed aid went towards commercial projects as opposed to environmental projects, and what factors contributed to the giving of aid to projects of either type. The last objective was to look at the United States specifically and see how its donation patterns compared to those of other donor countries. Data collection began with running a series of queries through the Project Level Aid database that has been developed at the College of William and Mary along with BYU. The result of the queries was a total of 1400 watershed projects that were sorted by donor, year, and type of project (environmental or commercial). This information was then incorporated into a data set with vital stats on recipient countries for all donor pairs from 1991-1999, regardless of if the recipient received watershed aid. The data set was then run through the Stata modeling program using a Cragg (hurdle) model. Shares of environmental and commercial aid were the dependant variables. GDPPP, population, organic water emissions, land use, government effectiveness, trade, and whether or not the recipient was a former colony of the donor country were the independent variables. It was found that the factors that made a county likely to receive environmental watershed aid were population, organic water emissions and government effectiveness. Once a country received some positive amount of environmental aid the factors that determined how much aid they received were organic water emissions and government effectiveness. When dealing with commercial watershed aid all factors except for land use contributed to the recipient being likely to receive some amount of aid, and trade was the primary factor for determining the amount of aid received. Results for just the US showed that they were most likely to give environmental watershed aid to countries with stable governments. However, none of the independent variables was shown to affect the amount of aid that was given. Also, none of the independent variables were shown to have any significant effect on what made a recipient more likely to receive commercial water shed aid from the US or affect the amount of aid that the country received.

For additional documentation Portia Ross provided a PowerPoint Presentation entitled "Examining International Aid for Watershed Projects" provided here in PDF form.