Aftermath of the fire at Sat'tola slum at Mohakhali, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Urbanisation is the defining feature of global population distribution. Until at least 2050, city growth will be concentrated in developing countries and most of that growth will come from migration from rural areas. Many poor, rural migrants will end up in the poorest neighbourhoods of these cities.

Urban areas in sub-Saharan Africa are growing rapidly. While there has been considerable attention paid to the challenges of African mega-cities, the experiences of smaller urban areas have been relatively neglected. Secondary cities, with populations of less than half a million, are absorbing two-thirds of all urban population growth in Africa.

Despite infrastructure being the dominant expenditure category of most governments in the developing world (as well of multilateral and bilateral development organisations), we have a very limited understanding of whether and how infrastructure investments affect poverty and development. Two projects focused on India and East Africa will attempt to fill this key gap in our knowledge.

Through case studies in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia, this project explores to what extent land redistribution in southern Africa is achieving objectives of poverty reduction and livelihood improvement.

Tatenda, age 8, Chipo, age 9, and Trish, age 8 (left to right), share a story book during class at Matau Primary School in Zimbabwe.
This study aims to explore how schools in Africa can help HIV-affected children cope with disease and poverty, developing a model of the 'HIV competent school' as a resource for education professionals and policy makers.

This study used data from a field experiment and a quasi-experiment to investigate group formation for collective action in nineteen African villages. The field experiment involved a game that mimicked situations in which development agencies, non-governmental organisations, or government bodies invite villagers to form groups rapidly in order to address a shared problem.

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