Solving Global Poverty

Mission Statement

The Solving Global Poverty Collaborative adopts a qualitative and problem-solving approach to global poverty. We are rooted in sociology, which means we focus on individuals within their social contexts, emphasizing the examination of causal mechanisms, processes, and narratives. We aim to work with academics, policy-makers and community practitioners to develop new strategies of poverty alleviation grounded in the systematic understanding of society. Our commitment to problem-solving entails a comprehensive exploration of poverty’s root causes, identification of potential solutions, and analysis of barriers to implementation of solutions. We advocate a strategic comparative analysis of successful and unsuccessful cases as one way to develop problem-solving initiatives. These initiatives may be of any scale and any level: incremental or revolutionary, from the neighborhood to the globe. We aim to establish a formal organizational presence at Johns Hopkins that connects and supports researchers aligned with this approach. Given the near certainty that global poverty will worsen in the future due to climate crisis, the time to move beyond descriptive qualitative work towards direct intervention is now.  

Please contact Monica Prasad ( to join this group. For questions or suggestions regarding this website, please contact Daniela Campos (

How to Get Involved

1) Sam Cohn ( is leading a group to organize virtual and in-person workshops and conferences to nurture research that adopts this approach.  Please contact him if you'd like to be involved in organizing these or in participating in them. Fill out a preliminary interest form for the spring workshops. 

2) Milena Aranciaba ( is leading a group to work towards an edited volume.  Please contact her directly if you'd like to be involved.

3) Laura Adams ( is leading a group to consider how to disseminate our research to policymakers and broader audiences.  Please contact her if you'd like to be involved.

4) Monica Prasad ( is leading a group to work towards building a program, center, or institute at Hopkins.  Please contact her if you'd like to be involved.  We hope to announce this at the fall 2024 DevSoc Conference.  

5) Rita Jalali ( will lead efforts to organize panels on this approach at the ASA 2025 conference.  Please contact her if you're interested.

6) We need volunteers for other things: planning a problem solving global poverty dinner for the group at ASA 2024; planning a problem solving global poverty dinner at ESS 2024; helping with emailing out updates to this group overall. Please contact Raka Sen ( if you'd like to be involved.

Upcoming Events

October 18-20, 2024, "Solving Global Poverty/10th Annual Sociology of Development Conference"

What would a sociological approach to solving global poverty look like?  The economists suggest randomized controlled trials, but the limits of this approach are well-understood by now.  The philosophers suggest effective altruism, but this approach will only work if global systems are well-functioning but under-capitalized, which does not seem to be the case.

Research shows that many of the challenges that keep people trapped in cycles of poverty are fundamentally social in nature. Therefore there is a critical need for sociologists to join the conversation about solving (not just describing and critiquing) global poverty. What happens if we bring sociological understanding of organizations, systems, governance, and collective action to try to bring about change?

Join us for a conference hosted by the American Sociological Association Sociology of Development Section and Johns Hopkins University.  While the theme is Solving Global Poverty, we welcome submissions on any topic relevant to the sociology of development.

Where? Johns Hopkins University. Washington, DC.

Deadline for submissions: April 2, 2024.

For more information, please go to

Past Events

Monday, June 3, 9 am-4 pm (Eastern), "Solving Global Poverty Virtual Paper Workshop"

Friday, February 23, 2024, 3:30-5 PM (Eastern Time): Virtual Meeting

Virtual meeting to take stock and make plans for meeting at ASA. 

Thursday, November 30 - Friday, December 1, 2023: Solving Global Poverty Workshop

Solving Global Poverty Workshop

Johns Hopkins University

Wednesday, April 26, 2023, 11:30 AM (Eastern Time): Virtual Meeting

Inaugural virtual meeting of the group. The purpose of the meeting is to meet each other, to hear people's initial ideas of the possible sociological approach(es) to solving global poverty, and to brainstorm the logistics of what exactly the group should do and how it should be structured to make it most useful for everyone.