research paper


In this course, we are interested in efforts to alleviate poverty and inequality, specifically how these efforts have evolved, and what are the results of such efforts. One phenomenon we are interested in is that of the project – a short-to-medium term effort organized by an institution or actor

to make a change on a condensed level. The term project has been used to refer to anything from efforts by international development agencies to build community farming collaboratives (Ferguson 1994), from NGOs working on housing the unhoused, to state health bodies vaccinating communities against a specific disease. Projects are comprised of people, require funding, planning, and often, marketing. Finally, while donors and project-organizers often produce flashy websites and reports to show their project's success, the reality is often not so clear cut.

In this paper, your task is to: (1) identify a poverty alleviation and/or development project that has sought to achieve a specific goal; and (2) to analyze the make-up and outcomes of the project.

To do so, you must first choose one of the following three categories of poverty alleviation, identify a project that fits within this category, and have your project approved by your GSI. This first component – identifying the project – may take time, so make sure to start early!

(1) Environment


Potential themes:

  • Disaster response
  • Climate change
  • Urban housing
  • Agriculture and food systems
  • Water access

(2) Health

Potential themes:

  • Viral outbreaks and disease
  • Community hospitals

• Medical missions • Nutrition

(3) Commodities/Trade

Potential themes:

• Global value chains

• Agribusiness • FinTech

Next, you will spend the semester researching the project to move beyond the headlines of the project. You will write a critical analysis of how the initiative/project actually works in practice by answering – at a minimum – the following questions:

  • Where does the project take place?
  • What are the origins of the project/initiative? Does it respond to an existing need?
  • Who are the donors? Who are the beneficiaries?
  • What are the goals of the project?
  • Did/does it achieve what it set out to do?
  • On which theory of development is the project/initiative based?
  • How did the project contribute to reducing or increasing inequality, including, but not
    limited to, poverty? (note: in some cases, a project might both contribute to reducing inequality in one area, but increasing it in another)

In order to properly analyze the project, you will need to consult a range of sources. You must do so, to understand better the details about the location (including demographics, population, history, etc.), the donor/organizer, the community where the project is taking place, and the need that the project is responding to. See below for a further discussion about sources.


  • Paper length: 8-10 pages (2000-2500 words) in 12 point, Times New Roman font with 1” margins, double spaced
  • Use at least three (3) academic humanities and social science journal articles outside the reader and at least three (3) texts written by authors with academic affiliations from the reader
  • The paper must be properly cited, and all sources noted. Please refer to your section syllabus for your GSI's preference on citation style, submission format and use of sources
  • Plagiarism will not be tolerated. This includes all writing and spoken material, including texts, lecture videos, and slides. All papers to be scanned with Turnitin and any student suspected of plagiarizing material may receive a reduced or failing grade. It may also be reported to the Center for Student Conduct per UCB policy.
  • Turnitin has been enabled for this assignment. If you wish to check your Turnitin score or learn more about this process, upload a draft of your paper to the “Turnitin Check” assignment on bCourses. Make sure that any highlighted sections of your paper that show up in the Turnitin report are properly cited.  
  • Submit your paper by the due date (November 17th at 2p PST) via the main bCourses site for GPP 115 (not your section site)
  • 9 days ago
  • 120

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