Does Community Participation Produce Dividends in Social Investment Fund Projects?
Social investment funds, a widely used tool of development efforts, aim to support and strengthen local capacity for effective implementation of social and economic infrastructure projects through participatory, community-driven approaches. This working paper investigates whether these participatory methods improve the outcomes of education projects and community members' perceptions of their effectiveness using data from an impact evaluation of the third phase of the Fondo Hondureño de Inversión Social (FHIS). The study also makes an important contribution with more carefully defined and explicit measures of individuals' participation in community projects. In regards to the outcome, the authors do not find statistically significant effects of the education projects on academic outcomes of school-aged youth, but they do observe positive, statistically significant relationships between the use of participatory methodologies and household opinions of the projects, as well as between households' level of participation and their opinions of the projects.