Google Scholar Profile


My dissertation focuses on Tanzania, where nearly half of the population languishes without access to a clean and safe source of drinking water despite massive investments in this sector in recent years. In order to make sense of this disconnect, I analyze finely-grained, novel data on spending and infrastructure construction for water provision, contextualized by public opinion surveys, interviews and focus group discussions. I find that Tanzania's strategy of decentralizing water provision to local governments has largely failed to improve access, primarily due to political favoritism at the local level. Communities aligned with the dominant party receive a disproportionate amount of new water infrastructure, as do those that are wealthier and better connected. Decentralization has thus failed to promote responsiveness by local governments, since many of the country's neediest communities lack the resources to effectively express their demands.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Money Flows, Water Trickles: Understanding Patterns of Decentralized Water Provision in Tanzania. 2017. World Development 93: 16-30.

The Open Budget Index: An Innovative Tool for Measuring Budget Transparency. (with Jan Siefert and Elena Mondo) 2013. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis 15(1): 87-101.

Improving Transparency and Accountability in the Budget Process: An Assessment of Recent Initiatives. 2013. Development Policy Review 31(s1): s49-s67.

Budget Transparency Around The World: Results From The 2008 Open Budget Survey. (with Paolo De Renzio, Warren Krafchik And Vivek Ramkumar.) 2009. OECD Journal on Budgeting 9(2): 1-17.

Working Papers

"New Perspective on Local Government Efficiency: Determinants of Value for Money in Tanzania's Rural Water Sector."

"Unpacking `Good Governance': Exploring Subnational and Cross-Sectoral Variation in the Quality of Governance in Malawi" (with Kristen Kao, Pierre Landry, Ellen Lust and Lise Rakner).

"Transparency for Whom? Types of Transparency and the Provision of Public Goods" (with Monika Bauhr).

Policy Reports and Short Pieces

Beyond the State: Measuring Governance at the Community Level. (with Adam Harris, Kristen Kao, Pierre Landry, Ellen Lust and Lise Rakner) June 2017. APSA Comparative Democratization Newsletter 17(2): 26-29.

"Identifying and overcoming binding constraints to rural water services for the B40 in Tanzania." June 2017. WASH Poverty Diagnostic commissioned by the World Bank.

"The Users" in Technology-for-Transparency-and-Accountability Initiatives: Assumptions and Realities. (With Rosemary McGee.) October 2013. Learning study commissioned by Hivos.

Raising The Stakes: The Impact of HakiElimu's Advocacy Work on Education Policy and Budget in Tanzania. (With Rosemary McGee.) 2013. International Budget Partnership Case Study No. 12.