Dean Yang

Poverty and Resilience in the Aftermath of Disaster

Research Project Description
Dean Yang, Tanya Rosenblat, James Riddell IV

How do disasters affect poverty and food security? Do disaster impacts operate, at least in part, through changes in economic preferences and psychological factors? Can community health and development programs improve resilience in the aftermath of disasters? If so, via what mechanisms? We study a major disaster that struck in the midst of a randomized evaluation of a community development program in Mozambique. Previously, in 2017-2018, this study team had administered a baseline survey of 4,700 households, and had facilitated random assignment of the program, Forca a Comunidade e Criancas (FCC). Half of 76 communities were randomly assigned to the treatment group. The program delivers interrelated health, educational, and economic interventions, connecting households to community support networks, providing health information, facilitating use of public health clinics, supporting child education, and implementing microfinance programs. In March 2019, Cyclone Idai, the most destructive cyclone ever recorded in Africa, struck some study areas. We study how the disaster affects poverty and food security; mechanisms through which those impacts occur; whether the FCC program helps mitigate disaster impacts; and the mechanisms through which any protective effects operate.

United States Agency for International Development
(subcontract: A20-1825-S007)

Funding Period: 5/15/2020 to 9/30/2020

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