MINERVA project

Aiding Resilience – The Impact of Foreign Assistance on the Dynamics of Intrastate Armed Conflict

Project duration:

Principal Investigators:
Paul Huth (Professor of Government; Director, CICDM)
David Backer (Assistant Director, CIDCM)
Kevin Jones (Research Scholar, CISSM)

Partner Institutions:
University of Maryland (US)
College of William & Mary (US)
Institute of Development Studies (UK)
Graduate Institute Geneva (CH)
Development Gateway (US)


Project Description:
The project was funded through a Minerva research grant awarded to the Center for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM) at the University of Maryland and with sub-awards at the various partner institutions.

Does development aid affect resilience to intrastate armed conflict—and if so, where, when, and why? The aim of this project was to evaluate the association between types, locations, timing, and amounts of development aid and the likelihood, escalation, severity, spread, duration, and recurrence of violence, spanning the phases before, during, and after conflict.

The research design combines cross-national, subnational, and micro-level empirical analysis using spatial econometrics. This is complemented by computational modeling to further probe the micro-level relationship of the disbursement of development aid and (local) armed conflict. In addition, computational modeling was used to explore a number of policy relevant “what-if” counterfactuals.

A core  deliverable of the project were new geo-coded data on aid projects. These data have been generated in close collaboration with the team of AidData at the College of William & Mary. Further products include a range of publications, as well as an interactive online tool that provides public access to explore extensive geo-referenced data on aid and conflict and to study and visualize their relationship.