Getting in or missing out? Understanding the poor’s interactions with market systems and international programming

Feinstein International Center is one of the partners of the Apolou consortium, led by Mercy Corps, in Karamoja, Uganda. The goal of the Apolou program is to achieve a food secure future in the Karamoja sub-region of Uganda through community level governance, sanitation and hygiene, sustainable livelihoods, and prevention of chronic malnutrition.

Feinstein’s work as part of the Apolou project seeks to understand the impacts over time of a shift to an increasingly cash-based economy on different wealth, livelihood, and demographic groups. The Feinstein team is also exploring how changes in livelihoods and aspirations differ according to the intensity of external interventions in different locations. Karamoja has experienced rapid commodification and monetization over the past 10-15 years. Trade has greatly increased, capital has expanded, markets have grown exponentially, and—after long being a no-go region due to insecurity—the area is seen as one with economic and investment potential. Through a mix of qualitative and quantitative research in four districts of Karamoja, Feinstein seeks to shed light on who is doing well in this expanding economic setting, who is not, and why.

Publications are forthcoming.