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Extreme Poverty, Infrastructure, and Climate

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By 2030, eight out of every ten people living in extreme poverty will be members of rural households in sub-Saharan Africa who practice smallholder farming. These families’ heavy reliance on rainfed agriculture makes them particularly vulnerable to changing climatic conditions, like increased rainfall variability and rising mean temperatures.

The Extreme Poverty, Infrastructure, and Climate (EPIC) initiative seeks to shed light on how infrastructure investments can spur poverty alleviation, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. The initiative will explicitly consider the effects that a changing climate is likely to have on the links between infrastructure and poverty alleviation in this region. 


  • To improve understanding of the extent to which, the conditions under which, and the pathways by which road and water infrastructure investments affect the well-being of households living in extreme poverty in Uganda;
  • To identify the types and features of infrastructure investments most likely to benefit key subpopulations of low-income households, given expected changes in climate;
  • To test these hypotheses using quasi-experimental research designs in each country; and
  • To build a diverse community of faculty, students, and trainees at Stanford whose research informs and is informed by key decision makers in policy, funding, and implementing institutions.

Faculty Leads


For more information about EPIC, please contact King Center Executive Director Jessica Leino at