Methodological notes – Effects of a flood on the social capital in the Niger Delta

Gaël Giraud recently published in Oxford Development Studies an article coauthored with Cécile Renouard (ESSEC Business School) and Hélène L’Huillier (Université Lille 1) : « Crisis and relief in the Niger Delta (2012–13): assessment of the effects of a flood on relational capabilities« .

The article is about the effects of a flood that affected villages of the Niger Delta (Nigeria) located in the influence zone of a major oil company. The article shows that the flood improved internal trust in the communities but also deteriorated « bridging » social capital, which connect people who do not know each other. The oil company provided emergency aid to some of the affected people. However, the aid was not distributed equitably, but mainly on the basis of people’s social status. The aid partly compensated for the loss of bridging social capital for the persons who received it. These findings highlight how a natural disaster can affect the social fabric, addressed through a « Relational Capability Index » (RCI).

We present here the methodological notes supporting the article. They include a map of the area, tests on the hypotheses, detailed results and the questionnaire that was used.