Recipients of PSC Small Grant Awards
Family matters and foreign aid in Malawi
My research is progressing nicely and I now have three papers regarding the relationship between foreign aid and family matters in Malawi. While I was in Malawi thanks to the funding your grant provided to me, my priority was to visit many foreign aid projects and to meet the people at the agencies who ran these projects. I focused on projects whose goal it was to change Malawians’ attitudes about how many children to have, the merits of contraception, and the justification of intimate partner violence. It was apparent that some projects were largely successful at achieving their goals while others generally failed for various reasons. I have conducted subsequent quantitative analyses since returning home and have found that these foreign aid projects as a collective group have had a cumulative impact in Malawi; they are associated with a reduction in Malawians’ ideal family size, an increase in their acceptance of contraception, and a decrease in their acceptance of violence against women. This suggests that even though some foreign aid projects fail to achieve their goals, foreign aid generally is contributing to gradual cultural change in Malawi.
Funding Source: The Marshall Weinberg International Travel Fund