January 2009-present

Program on Poverty and Governance


Principal Investigator
Senior Fellow
  • Professor, Political Science
Senior Fellow
  • Professor, Political Science
Larry Diamond hs
Senior Fellow
  • Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
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Stanford University
Senior Fellow
  • Associate Professor, Medicine (CHP/PCOR)
ADiaz website
University of California, San Diego
Senior Fellow
  • Professor, by courtesy, Political Science
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Senior Fellow
  • Senior Fellow
  • Professor, Pediatrics (CHP/PCOR)

The Program on Poverty and Governance at Stanford's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law seeks to understand how effective public action and good governance are essential to eliminate poverty.

Launched in 2010, the Program on Poverty and Governance (PovGov) conducts policy-oriented research on the factors that affect good governance and poverty alleviation in developing countries, with a special focus on Mexico, Brazil and Latin America.

Poverty relief requires active government involvement in the provision of public services such as drinking water, healthcare, sanitation, education, roads, electricity and public safety. Failure to deliver public services is a major impediment to the alleviation of poverty. 

Led by political scientist and FSI Senior Fellow Beatriz Magaloni, with key collaborators from across Stanford, PovGov serves as a critical training ground for doctoral students, undergraduates and post-doctoral scholars. The research team at PovGov brings together experts from across the disciplines of political science, economics, law, medicine and education to increase understanding of the complex causal linkages between political institutions, the quality of governance, and the capacity of developing societies to meet basic human needs.

The program employs a multi-method research strategy that incorporates statistical and spatial analyses using observational data, experimental designs and in-depth qualitative ethnographic fieldwork. PovGov has conducted numerous research projects partnering with researchers at local universities, government agencies, and NGOs who seek advise and expertise in the design, implementation, or evaluation of particular government interventions designed to improve governance and well-being.     

The PovGov Program collaborates with the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies to provide undergraduate field research internships through the Dachs Fund for Undergraduate Research. Interns travel to Guatemala to examine issues of maternal and children's health and the impact of local governance on health outcomes. Professor Beatriz Magaloni who serves as a faculty mentor to the Dachs Undergraduate Research Internship.  

The Program also includes an active outreach program of conferences and workshops in the U.S. and abroad.

PovGov's research agenda is organized around four research areas, which include:

 Updated: Dec 2013


Oscar Parra Castellanos
-Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá, Colombia
Rob Chapman
-U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)