Mark T. Buntaine
Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
Department of Political Science
University of California, Santa Barbara
CV (updated: November 2020)
My research investigates the political economy of governance and environmental management in developing countries. One area of my research investigates the effects of transparency on governance and environmental outcomes. I am leading or co-leading several field experiments that investigate when information about the programmatic performance of local politicians changes vote choice, whether citizen-sourced data on public services improves the governance of urban public services, how transparency encourages citizens to seek accountability from governments, why national-level transparency rating programs affect the actions of local governments in authoritarian contexts. All of these field experiments are designed and implemented in partnership with implementing agencies around the world. My work in this area has been published in journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Another area of my research addresses the ways that foreign donors can support better environmental management in low- and middle-income countries. My book Giving Aid Effectively examines when and why member states and civil society groups can make the multilateral development banks, which manage approximately half of all international development finance, responsive to their environmental performance when implementing projects locally. Other recent projects investigate when foreign aid catalyzes private sector investment in emerging technologies, when externally-financed institutions persist over time, and how remotely sensed data can be used as part of geospatial impact evaluation of development interventions like securing community land tenure. My work in this area has been published in outlets such as Oxford University Press, International Studies Quarterly, and World Development.