Can the design of community-driven development reduce the risk of elite capture? Evidence from Indonesia
World Development 35(8): 1359-1375.
Community-Driven Development (CDD) projects have motivated both large amounts of funding from international development agencies and a number of general critiques centering on the potential susceptibility of decentralized projects to local elite capture. Drawing on case analysis and surveys fielded in 250 Indonesian sub-districts, this paper subjects the design logic of a CDD project to close empirical testing. Results suggest that while CDD projects can help create spaces for a broader range of elite and non-elite community leaders to emerge, elite control of project decision-making is pervasive. However, its effects can be influenced by project-initiated accountability arrangements, such as democratic leadership selection.