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Do NGOs Make a Difference? A Case Study of Rural Rajasthan by Shirley Johnson-Lans (July 2008)

An empirical analysis of effects of NGO interventions on health and education of women and girls in rural Rajasthan employs an original micro data set to address criticisms of NGO effectiveness. Isolating the effects of the NGO’s programs from personal and household characteristics (caste, religion, income, wealth, landowning status, family composition and literacy) and from village fixed-effects, significant positive effects on women and girls of several indicators of health, knowledge about health, fertility and literacy rates are found. Substitution effects between governmental and NGO services are minimal. The paper also evaluates the cost-effectiveness of the NGO programs.

Key Words: Development, Health, Human Capital, Women, India, Asia JEL Classifications: F35, F53, F55, O19

Working Paper (168K, PDF)