This Research Paper, based on three studies, provides a framework for identifying where Dignity misalignments may occur.
Jack Okoth, Alex Neymar. ©The Dignity Project/Calvin Ochieng
Dignity is frequently held up as an important value by those delivering and receiving global development aid. Yet, the content and delivery of development efforts often disrespect the dignity of those it seeks to help. Despite the stated commitment to dignity, there have been few sustained attempts to examine how the present global development aid equilibrium regards dignity and whether there is room to be more respectful.
In this paper, we develop a conceptual framework of dignity – the dignity chain–across the global development sector and, then, empirically assesses components related to the funding, design, and development outcomes of receivers through three experiments:
Recipients of aid may desire to be treated respectfully, and people working in the non-profit sector may desire to treat them respectfully—but donors are unwilling to pay for additional costly efforts to this end. This suboptimal equilibrium could be explained by misaligned incentives and beliefs, leading those in the non-profit sector to support only superficial actions that are inadequate to build a more respectful development.
Read the open-access version of the research paper.
© Tom Wein, Heather Lanthorn, Torben Fischer
29 September 2023
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