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The impact of aid on health outcomes in Uganda

Tonny Odokonyero, Robert Marty, Tony Muhumuza (), Alex T. Ijjo and Godfrey Owot Moses

Health Economics, 2018, vol. 27, issue 4, 733-745

Abstract: The health sector has attracted significant foreign aid; however, evidence on the effectiveness of this support is mixed. This paper combines household panel data with geographically referenced subnational foreign aid data to investigate the contribution of health aid to health outcomes in Uganda. Using a difference‐in‐differences approach, we find that aid had a strong effect on reducing the productivity burden of disease indicated by days of productivity lost due to illness but was less effective in reducing disease prevalence. Consequently, health aid appeared to primarily quicken recovery times rather than prevent disease. In addition, we find that health aid was most beneficial to individuals who lived closest to aid projects. Apart from the impact of aid, we find that aid tended to not be targeted to localities with the worse socioeconomic conditions. Overall, the results highlight the importance of allocating aid close to subnational areas with greater need to enhance aid effectiveness.

Date: 2018
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