Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Fall 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Barbara Neuby


The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that were officially established by the United Nations in 2000 following the adoption of the United Nations’ Millennium Declaration. The aim of these goals is to free humanity from extreme poverty, hunger, illiteracy and disease by 2015. By signing the Millennium Declaration, Burundi has pledged to improve policies and governance, and increase accountability to its citizens. Burundi relies heavily on foreign aid and has experienced a significant increase in aid flow in recent years; however, the high external assistance has not yet translated into high and sustainable growth rates and improvement.

The purpose of this study is to find out whether foreign aid is effective at alleviating poverty in Burundi, one of the poorest countries in the world. The paper examines whether foreign aid helps Burundi in reaching the three MDG goals: eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, and reducing infant mortality by 2015. The whole approach of this study is intended to give readers an understanding of the relationship between foreign aid and poverty. The study is an in-depth examination of the total bilateral and total net official development assistance aid flows to Burundi. Results show that foreign aid has a positive and significant impact on child mortality and primary education. Also, this paper brings light to how improvement can be made in Burundi to eliminate poverty, a major social issue that can and should be controlled and eradicated by improving the economic conditions of the country.