Poverty and Power Research Initiative

About this Program

In a world with substantial partnership and commitment from the international community to eradicate global poverty, it appears antithetical that, in many countries, levels of poverty remain stagnant or are worsening. Therefore, PPRI is a policy-oriented student research initiative that investigates the hypothesis that poverty is often a product of distorted national governance structures where decision making powers are unequally distributed within a society. The Poverty and Power Research Initiative (PPRI) began under the 2007/2008 Education for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship (EPIIC) colloquium on Global Poverty and Inequality. Under the guidance of a 2007/2008 IGL/PJTT INSPIRE Fellow Jose Maria Argueta, President of the Institute for Central American Strategic Studies and former Guatemalan Ambassador to Peru and Japan, a group of seven Tufts undergraduate and graduate students began examining the relationship in Guatemala between poverty and inequality as manifested through national decision making processes. The students researched Guatemala’s attempt to qualify for a new US foreign assistance program, the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA), which uses an incentive and rewards system of aid conditionality to encourage democratic reform in developing countries. PPRI’s research on MCA qualification process in Guatemala and other countries is both an academic and a practical exercise. By producing research reports based on in-person interviews with government officials, journalists, private sector representatives, academics, and civil society leaders, PPRI members identify implementable strategies to make decision-making activities more inclusive and more conducive to poverty alleviation. Their efforts are intended to contribute information to inform the US, international, and foreign country’s policymaking and academic communities through publication and strategic dialog. The program welcomes the feedback and criticism of outside researchers, professionals, and organizations. P2 is open to partnerships with graduate students, US and foreign academic institutions, research groups, and policymaking organizations.

More about this program