Fr. Dowd Wins Grant to Study Link Between Public Health and Democracy in East Africa

Fr. Bob Dowd, CSCPolitical scientist Rev. Robert Dowd, C.S.C., received a $75,000 grant from USAID to study the link between public health, good governance and democratic politics in East Africa.

Fr. Dowd and and University of Virginia economist Molly Lipscomb are building on a project already underway in western Uganda to examine whether citizens view local leaders who promote public-health initiatives as more popular and effective than other leaders.

“What is in the best interest of politicians is not always in the best interest of the public in the developing world,” said Dowd. “We want to see how good public service delivery can also be good politics at the local level.”

The project stems from interdisciplinary research collaborations developed at the Kellogg Institute, where Fr. Dowd is a faculty fellow and directs the Ford Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity. Lipscomb and Fr. Dowd’s collaboration dates to her time as a Kellogg faculty fellow, before moving to the University of Virginia in 2012.

Selected from a pool of 103 proposals, the USAID grants are issued through the Democracy Fellows and Grants Program implemented by the Institute of International Education. The research findings will inform the field programs of USAID’s Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance, which is integrating human rights, accountability and civil society issues throughout its core development work.

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