Dan Honig

Assistant Professor of International Development, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University

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About Dan

Honig's research focuses on the relationship between organizational structure, management practice, and performance in developing country governments and organizations that provide foreign aid.  His current book project (under contract, Oxford University Press) focuses on the optimal level of autonomy in foreign aid intervention delivery and the role political authorizing environments and measurement regimes play in circumscribing that autonomy. Outside of the academy, Honig served as a special assistant, then advisor, to successive Ministers of Finance (Liberia); ran a local nonprofit focused on helping post-conflict youth realize the power of their own ideas to better their lives and communities through agricultural entrepreneurship (East Timor); and has worked for a number of local and international NGOs (e.g. Ashoka in Thailand; Center for Jewish-Arab Economic Development in Israel).


Navigation by Judgment: Why and When Top Down Management of Foreign Aid Doesn't Work (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

Argues that high-quality implementation of foreign aid programs often requires contextual information that cannot be seen by those in distant headquarters. Concludes that aid agencies will often benefit from giving field agents the authority to use their own judgments to guide aid delivery.

"Evidence from Lagos on Discrimination across Ethnic and Class Identities in Informal Trade" World Development 96 (2017): 520-528.

Investigates the determinants of price discrimination in the rice market in one neighborhood of Lagos, Nigeria. Suggests that the boundaries of group identity appear to be at least partially defined by class in the informal economy.

"Reforming Donors in Fragile States: Using Public Management Theory More Strategically," (with Nilima Gulrajani), The Overseas Development Institute, April 2016.

Identifies ways in which donors can be more effective in fragile and conflict-affected states by exploiting theories and concepts drawn from public management.