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Huafeng Zhang


Zhang Huafeng has a background in economics, and has extensive skills in statistics, econometrics, survey data collection, analysis, and sampling design. She has much experience in data collection, monitoring data quality and complex data analysis and has been project leader of several large-scale household surveys in China, Africa and Middle East. Her academic research work focuses on internal labor migration in China, poverty and impact analysis. She has published on various social issues in China, such as labor discrimination, education and poverty, household economic vulnerability in disaster and so on.


M.Sc. in Environmental and Development Economics, University of Oslo

Area of work

Current projects

Education outcome variability in children with disabilities: Structure, Institution or Agency

The project develops knowledge for more equitable education for children with disabilities in primary schools in Ghana and Niger. It has four integrated components: one empirical/theory generative, one methodological, one assessing current tools for disability assessment and one on policy.

Fafo publications

Other publications

Completed projects

Living conditions after the Sichuan earthquake

A major earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale hit Wenchuan County of Sichuan province on 12 May 2008. Its strength and its catastrophic impact made it among the strongest earthquakes recorded in the history of China as well as in the world.  In order to inform the planning of post-earthquake restoration and reconstruction, Fafo and its partner institution Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development (CASTED) were entrusted to conduct a rapid needs assessment of the affected population immediately after the earthquake, and to do three follow-up studies of living conditions in disaster areas in 2009, 2011 and 2017.

Long-term impact of Wenchuan Earthquake and natural disaster in China
CASTED and Fafo jointly conduct a survey to study living conditions, perceptions and socio-economic development in the affected areas ten years after the Wenchuan earthquake.
Education, skills, work experiences and work preferences of Syrians in Jordan (2017-2018)
The project aimed at collecting and analysing original survey data on Syrian refugees in Jordan, concentrating on living conditions and livelihoods, thereby supporting well-informed policy formulation on the part of the Jordanian government and other stakeholders.
Socio-economic Impact of Afghan Refugees on Pakistan

The overall objective of the project is to produce a study on socio-economic impacts of Afghan refugees on Pakistan.

Eritrea Population and Health Survey 2010

The major objective of the 2010 Eritrea Population and Health Survey was to collect and analyze data on fertility, mortality, family planning, and health.

Methodology training and technical support for CASTED, phase I

The project aims to explore new survey methods and provide training and technical support to CASTED (Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development).

Chinese Perceptions of Distributive Justice

The research project “Towards a Chinese Welfare State: Chinese Perceptions of Distributive Justice” focuses on how Chinese citizens’ experiences, perceptions, norms and values relate to the development of China’s social security regime.

World Development Report 2013: Good jobs

The Perceptions of Good Jobs study has been conducted in order to better understand and explain how jobs are perceived in a number of selected countries. The report is primarily targeted to provide inputs towards the WDR 2013 and is part of a series of studies conducted on perceptions of good jobs in four countries: Colombia, China, Egypt and Sierra Leone. The main emphasis has been to explore the nature of jobs that affect living standards and enhance social cohesion.

Sustainable Development Indicators

The purpose of the project "Sustainable development indicators in China" was to strengthen policy formulation and governance through developing indicators of social and environmental sustainability in China.

Monitoring Social and Economic Development of Western China

Monitoring Social and Economic Development of Western China (MEDOW) is a large scale survey of living conditions for households in Western China. The project is financed by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry and developed and implemented as a part of the long-standing cooperation between the National Center for Science and Technology for Development (NRCSTD) based in Beijing, China and Fafo Institute of Applied International Studies in Oslo, Norway.

Camp Improvement Ein El-Hilweh

This project aimed at contributing to the identification of realistic camp improvement programs in the Ein El-Hilweh camp for Palestinian refugees in southern Lebanon. The project made use of both qualitative and quantitative research methods to assess the livelihoods of the refugee camp population. Community participation was a crucial aspect of the assessment. Data were collected in 2007.

The project was a collaboration between UNRWA and Fafo and was financed by a grant from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Sichuan Earthquake Victim Survey

The project is a rapid assessment of the situation, characteristics and coping strategies of the population in Sichuan following the May 12, 2008 earthquake. A survey of about 4000 households is fielded the 40 most-affected counties. The project was carried out in cooperation with the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development.