Photograph of a midwife working in the Tanzanian health sector.
Focusing on the low or inadequate uptake of reproductive health services in sub-Saharan Africa, which directly influences the health and survival prospects of women and their children, as well as their economic participation and poverty.

This research project addresses the overarching research question: What factors shape pathways into and out of poverty and people's experience of these, and how can policy create sustained routes out of extreme poverty in ways that can be replicated and scaled up? 

Picture shows a farmer and his wife with their store of maize crops - they have 7 children and 5 grandchildren. The maize is a drought tolerant variety.
This research seeks to generate robust, urgently needed evidence to address the critical knowledge gaps in order to inform policy debates and thinking on the further development of the Older Persons Cash Transfer Programme in Kenya.

Community management of handpumps has been the accepted mode of thinking for rural water supply over three decades in Africa. However, despite billions invested in rural handpumps one in three handpumps do not work in rural Africa. This represents a huge wasted investment and is associated with high but avoidable health, welfare and livelihood costs. Encouragingly, the risk of handpump breakdown bears all the hallmarks of an insurable risk.

credit flickr Photo: Erik Törner
The University of Birmingham (UoB) and Sightsavers International invited researchers and academics from leading institutions working in the areas of early childhood development and education (ECDE) and special educational needs and disability (SEND), educational psychology, applied anthropology, and epidemiology in Malawi, the UK and the USA to co-design and conduct an innovative three-year study.
Building upon a successful mobile phone-based education pilot program in Niger (Aker et al 2012), this research will assess the impact of a mobile phone-based adult education program in Niger in an expanded population.

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.

Photograph shows a group of men preparing potatoes in Malawi. In Malawi, 90 percent of the labour force works outside the formal economy, leaving the majority of the country without job security or social services such as pension funds.
Youth poverty is important, not least because of its implications for the future, yet rural youth poverty in particular has received little attention from researchers or policy makers. The recent innovation in policy responses to poverty in sub-Saharan Africa has been social cash transfer (SCT) schemes.
The sugar cane fields of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa
Land reform remains a key element in efforts to redress South Africa’s legacy of historic injustice, but is an arena of intense debate about the impact of farming scale on agricultural productivity and rural incomes.
Inauguration of AMA Classroom Block, Ghana
The research, which is being conducted in Ghana, will inform an evaluation of two closely related policy questions: firstly, how any expansion of education should be effected; and secondly, how this expansion should be funded.

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