Fighting poverty

Saving lives and finding ways to boosting growth

What are the causes of poverty and what can be done about it? What was it that brought Sweden out of poverty, and how can it be that our prosperity was, in fact, largely built in rural areas and not in cities? 

Doctor examining a child. Photo:

The infant mortality rate in Sweden 100 years ago is still the case in many countries. Using comprehensive historical overviews of connections and with faith in new technology, our researchers participate in projects to facilitate access to knowledge that can save lives and raise the standard of living in a way that provides a better life for more people.

How do you boost growth and dynamics?

“We want to see how we can use historical examples to find different development paths; explaining why something might be good for one country, but not for another. What are the underlying mechanisms? Some countries have implemented structural reforms, while others have come halfway, and some have not yet started. What are the opportunities for catching up and for launching an agricultural transformation, increasing the productivity and income in the sector, or finding other financial activities? How do you boost growth and dynamics?”

So says senior lecturer in economic history Tobias Axelsson who, together with Martin Andersson, associate professor of economic history, is also the editor of a book, published by Oxford University Press, in which the main question concerns what opportunities poor countries have to break away from poverty and, in the long run, be able to approach the level of prosperity of industrialised countries.

The book: Diverse Development Paths and Structural Transformation in the Escape from Poverty

Fighting infant mortality

The primary focus of a project on digital health apps in Malawi has been to find a way to reduce infant mortality with as simple means as possible through work that can continue even after the research project has been completed.

“People living in rural areas have to travel far to access healthcare, but through basic local clinics that can quickly identify which treatment is needed, we can prevent children from dying from pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria,” says Sven Carlsson, professor of Informatics.

Learn more about the project: Supporting LIFE