Poverty traps in Africa
About 900 million people—one-third in Africa—live in extreme poverty. Operating on the assumption that life inimpoverished communities is fundamentally so different that it can trap people in cycles of deprivation (‘povertytraps’), major development agencies such as the World Bank have deployed a stream of development projects tobreak these cycles (‘poverty targeting’). However, scholars are currently unable to answer questions such as inwhat capacity do poverty traps exist; to what extent do these interventions release communities from such traps—as they are held back by methodological challenges. The aim in this project is to identify to what extent African communities are trapped in poverty and explain how competing development interventions alter these communities’ prospects to free themselves from deprivation.