Case study: Niger (pronounce: Ni - zyer)niger.jpg

Over the next few lessons, we will be using the sub-saharan country of Niger as a "case study". Doing a case study means that you are focussing on one particular example to study a wider problem. We are going to study the complex web of factors that contribute to poverty in Niger.
There will be an assessment task at the end of this case study.

On this Niger Case Study page you will find:

Below are some useful sites about Niger which you can use while working on this case study:


Make the following heading in your workbook:

Niger: causes of poverty (in-class activity)

Last lesson you worked on compiling a list of factors which contribute to poverty. You can find the list here.
Today you will work in a group to sort these factors into groups and you will use Niger as your case study.

For this activity you will need the following:
  • A group of three people
  • A pair of scissors
  • Your computer.

You will receive the following:
  • An A3 sheet
  • Cut out factors which contribute to poverty
  • Sticky tape or glue
  • For those who don't have their computer: A print-out of the CIA world fact book and a print out of the Wikipedia article

What do to:
  • You must decide on how you sort / group these factors. For instance, you could make a group of politically related factors, or climate related factors. There is no right or wrong: you decide. Some factors may fit under several headings; get creative and draw lines between them.
  • Write "NIGER" in the middle of your sheet.
  • After you have grouped the factors, stick the pieces of paper on the A3 sheet (in their groups)
  • Now you will "annotate" your sheet >> "to annotate" = to add labels, to add notes and explanations. Find information about Niger using the internet (see links above). Add this information about Niger to your sheet.
    Be creative, draw lines from some of the factors to some information which may be related to it. (For instance, Niger suffers from high rates of Malaria and other diseases (see CIA world factbook), you can write that in a little textbox or balloon next to Health related or Disease related factors)


Make the following heading in your workbook:


According to the HDI, Niger is classed as one of the poorest countries in the world.
Watch the following clips on You Tube to discover two very different views about why Niger is experiencing such poverty.

Before watching, write the questions down in your workbook and then answer the questions in your workbook.

CLIP 1: Niger- Living on the edge of survival:

  1. At what age is the average woman married in Niger?
  2. How many children on average does a woman have in Niger?
  3. The population growth continues to rise despite a high infant mortality rate, and what other factor?
  4. What year did the famine occur?
  5. Name 3 factors that made it difficult for food to be produced in Niger.

CLIP 2: World Bank Famine in Niger

  1. The views in this clip believe that Niger’s crisis is due to what factor?
  2. Why do you think that the government of Niger denied that there is a famine in Niger?
  3. In a bid to raise the amount of money earned in Niger, the Government focused food production on export of cash crops.
  4. How did this affect the price of food in Niger?
  5. Despite there being enough food produced in the country, why did millions still starve?

  1. Now that you have watched both clips, reflect on what you have seen and heard.
  2. Which do you believe to be the true story of what is happening in Niger and why?
  3. Do you believe there is any bias involved in any of these video clips? Give reasons for your answer.

Exploring Niger


This task will assess your knowledge and understanding of the causes and consequences of poverty. Over the past weeks you have been learning that poverty is based on a complex web of factors. These factors should be displayed within your presentation.

Your task:
You are going to make a presentation using an existing slide show made by Jim McFarlane, a photographer from “The Age”.
You will provide your own commentary which links the images of the slide show to your understanding of the problems faced by the people of Niger.

Read the article and then click on “multimedia”:

What to do:
• Put yourself in the shoes of the photographer.
• Describe what you experienced and reinforce this with relevant information about the underlying causes of poverty in this region.
• Use information from past lessons and do your own research if necessary.
• Make sure your presentation is about Niger specifically.
• Your presentation should last for the duration of the slide show – 2.45 minutes: no more, no less.
• You do not have to comment on or describe every image.
• You do not have to comment on every problem or consequence that you have learnt in class or through your personal research.
• You have to rehearse your presentation to make sure the timing is right.
• You can read it out in class or you can try to record your presentation at home. (Speak to me if you want to record it, I'll tell you about a good program)
• Make sure you read the assessment criteria (see below) so that you know what you will be assessed on.

How to do it:

Assessment criteria




Understanding of the causes of poverty (10 marks)
Inclusion of Niger specific info (5 marks)
Ability to sift and prioritise info (5 marks)
Timing of presentation (5 marks)
Use of voice and tone (5 marks)

TOTAL / 30

Using your computer to record your narration:
In order to save your file as an MP3, you will need an extra piece of mini software. (lame.dll) Will put it on soon.
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