Are donors targeting the greatest health needs? Evidence from mining sites in the D.R.Congo

S. Lordemus AidData at William & Mary (2019) CC
I examine the effectiveness of donors in targeting the highest burden of malaria in the Democratic Republic of Congo when health information structure is fragmented. I exploit local variations in the burden of malaria induced by mining activities as well as financial and epidemiological data from health facilities to estimate how local aid is matching local health needs. Using a regression discontinuity design, I find significant but quantitatively small variations in aid to health facilities located within mining areas. Comparing local aid with the additional cost of treatment and prevention associated with the increased risk of malaria transmission, I find suggestive evidence that local populations with the highest burden of the disease receive a proportionately lower share of aid compared to neighbouring areas with reduced exposure to malaria infection. The evidence of disparities in the allocation of aid for malaria supports the view that donors may have inaccurate information about local population needs.