Keren Zhu talked with us about her research on the socioeconomic impacts of the Belt and Road, specifically with regard to Kenya's Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). She provides background and analysis on the SGR, she and Eric discuss their personal experiences riding the railway, and more! Much of the conversation centers around Keren's recent work with co-authors Ben Mwangi and Lynn Hu, published in the article Socioeconomic impact of China's infrastructure-led growth model in Africa: A case study of the Kenyan Standard Gauge Railway (2022). We also draw on her piece, "Addressing the Impact Evaluation Gaps in Belt and Road Initiative Projects in Africa."
Keren Zhu is a Global China Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Boston University Global Development Policy Center. She holds a Ph.D. in Policy Analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School, and an M.Sc. in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on the BRI, global infrastructure, international development, and program evaluation.