Guest speaker Ruth Carlitz

Exporting Politics? Using Natural Language Processing to Understand How Politics Conditions Foreign Aid Effectiveness

1:00pm - 2:00pm / Wednesday 8th May 2024 / Venue: Lecture Theatre 2 Rendall Building
Type: Seminar / Category: Department
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When foreign aid is provided for political vs. altruistic interests, aid effectiveness is expected to suffer. However, evidence for this relationship -- and the mechanisms through which it operates -- is limited. This is due in large part to the fact that politicization tends to be operationalized quite bluntly. In addition, most studies of aid project effectiveness exclude the world’s largest donor (the United States Agency for International Development, USAID), since USAID does not rate project effectiveness on a common numerical scale. However, the agency does make project evaluations publicly available through the agency's Development Experience Clearinghouse (DEC). This talk will discuss an ongoing interdisciplinary attempt to apply natural language processing techniques to extract information on politicization and project effectiveness from DEC reports.
Ruth Carlitz is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam, where she is part of the Political Economy and Transnational Governance (PETGOV) program group. Her research focuses on the politics of public goods provision in low-income countries, from the perspectives of both governments and citizens. Her regional expertise lies primarily in East Africa, and she has conducted fieldwork in Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, and South Africa.

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