12 Oct 2020

New researcher at CMI: Peter Hangoma

Our new post doctoral researcher Peter Hangoma aspires to grow untapped and unsupported talent in sub-Saharan Africa by forming strategic research collaborations.

Peter has a PhD on household welfare and health from the University of Bergen. He is also a senior lecturer at the University of Zambia, and has widespread experience in randomized evaluations of public programs and specific interventions.

What are your main research interests and background?
-My main research interest is in the field of global development where I study household behavior and tools/interventions needed to improve health and financial wellbeing in low resource settings.

My recent work has focused on health, social insurance, child development, household finance, and household technology adoption. I study things such as how to improve cognitive, health, and nutritional outcomes in childhood, how to use behavioral and financial interventions to improve technology adoption in health, agriculture, and educations, and how to improve household financial inclusion and insurance--through community driven initiatives such as village savings groups. I also examine the costs and impact of health other interventions to determine feasibility for scale-up.

At CMI, I hope to work with great minds to develop these research areas further. I also hope to spend a better part of my research at CMI evaluating the impact of health interventions in Ethiopia, Zanzibar, and Malawi on household welfare.

What got you into this field of research?
-The desire to do research that makes a difference for poor households. Although I grew up in a very rural poor household myself, I had forgotten the struggles of poverty, disease, and not having a pencil for writing, which gave zero chance of thriving for people that were more talented than me.  A combination of luck, privilege, and a little bit of talent helped me get to University. Once there, I forgot about my childhood struggles partly because I focused on Monetary Economics (not household poverty) after winning a lucrative scholarship by the central bank of Zambia. All changed when I visited a rural community on a health research project and saw how development research was changing the lives of people who were growing up in the similar conditions I grew up in; I changed my focus to development and the rest is history.

Why CMI?
-To me, CMI had the thinking to keep me engaged. It had the talent to help me grow. Its approach to blend theory and empirics in development research inspired and excited me.  I also heard that CMI has nice people, has a nice working environment, and is good for family. I am sure my expectations will be met 😊

What are your professional goals?
-To be contribute in conducting high quality research that will provide tools for implementing partners and policy makers to improve the health and living conditions of people in low resource settings.

To contribute in growing the talent that is untapped and unsupported in sub-Saharan Africa (and I think other low resource settings) through forming strategic research collaborations.

How can your research contribute to solve global challenges?
-By contributing to finding interventions/tools that work to improve household health and welfare and finding way of taking these interventions to scale (through implementation research-including feasibility and costs assessments)

Would you like to share a fun-fact about yourself?
-My sweet tooth is to blame. Whenever I go in a grocery store, I only see fruits and dates (daddel). Bad part is that a few times I am asked to help with grocery, I end up buying more fruits than groceries…….and dates would be half empty before I get home. But maybe I need that for all the running I do (lame excuse 😊)