IDP Professor Daniel Posner and UCLA graduate student win joint USAID research grant
Daniel N. Posner, James S. Coleman Professor of International Development at UCLA. (Photo: UCLA Department of Political Science).

IDP Professor Daniel Posner and UCLA graduate student win joint USAID research grant

Posner and co-investigator George Ofosu will study the impact of election observers in Malawi.

UCLA International Institute, May 8, 2014 — Daniel N. Posner and George Ofosu of UCLA have been awarded a grant from the Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance (DRG) of the United States International Agency for Development (USAID).

Posner is the James S. Coleman Professor of International Development in the department of political science and a faculty member of the UCLA International Institute, where he teaches in the International Development Studies Interdepartmental Degree Program.

George Ofosu A graduate of the University of Ghana, Ofosu is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at UCLA. He has worked at the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development and as an election monitoring consultant in Sub-Saharan Africa with the National Democratic Institute of Washington, D.C.

One of nine USAID partnership grants awarded to U.S. universities ranging in value from $40,000 to $250,000, the joint grant will fund research on the impact of election observers on electoral fraud, political representation and accountability in Malawi.

Posner and Ofosu are co-investigators of the project, which is an extension of a 2012 project that Ofosu led in Ghana with another group of researchers. Ofosu is already on the ground in Malawi conducting research. Their findings will be shared with the DRG Center to strengthen USAID's field missions.

Posner's research focuses on ethnic politics, research design, distributive politics and the political economy of development in Africa. His most recent co-authored book, Coethnicity: Diversity and the Dilemmas of Collective Action (Russell Sage, 2009) utilizes experimental games to probe the reasons behind the poor provision of public goods in ethnically diverse communities.

The work of the UCLA professor has garnered several awards, including the Luebbert Award for best book in Comparative Politics (2006, 2010), the Heinz Eulau Award for best article in the American Political Science Review (2008), the Michael Wallerstein Award for the best article in Political Economy (2008) and the best book award from the African Politics Conference Group (2006).

Posner received his B.A. from Dartmouth College and his Ph.D. from Harvard University; he joined the UCLA political science department in 1998.

Recent articles by Posner include:
“Does Information Lead to More Active Citizenship? Evidence from an Education Intervention in
Rural Kenya,” World Development 60 (forthcoming August 2014): 69–83, with Evan Lieberman and Lily Tsai 

“Who Benefits from Distributive Politics? How the Outcome One Studies Affects the Answer One Gets” Perspectives on Politics 11, no. 2 (June 2013): 461–74, with Eric Kramon

Co-authored article on Ofusu's Ghanian project:
"Election Observers and Electoral Fraud," presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (August) by George Ofusu,  Joseph Asunka, Sarah Brierley, Miriam A. Golden and Eric Kramon

This article was originally published on May 8, 2014; it was subsequently revised and updated on May 19, 2014.

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