The Making of a (Vice-) President: Party Politics, Ethnicity, Village Loyalty and Community-Driven Development

Published on 19 December 2006

What determines the choice of local political leaders in Africa, within the context of nominally democratic institutions? And does the identity of these leaders matter in terms of development policy, particularly with respect to the attribution of projects that are the bread and butter of Community-Driven Development (CDD) programs?

Using a unique dataset stemming from an important CDD program in Senegal, this paper attempts to shed light on these two important questions. In particular, we show that the village of origin of democratically-elected leaders at the local level is a significant determinant of which villages get projects and which do not, and that leaders are chosen largely on the basis of geographical loyalties, party politics and various individual characteristics, though not on account of their ethnicity.


Jean-Pierre Tranchant

Research Fellow


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