Poverty traps in Africa

Research project

Short description

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.


Adel Daoud, senior lecturer, project leader, Department of sociology and Work Science, email:

Fredrik Johansson, Researchfellow at the Data Science and AI division, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Chalmers, email:

PhD candidate, avdelningen för Data Science och AI, Institutionen för data- och informationsteknik. Chalmers