EMPOWERING THE MARGINALIZED THROUGH THE ARISE PROJECT: A new project to improve accountability for health in urban informal settlements
More than half of the world’s people live in cities. One in three city dwellers in low- and middle-income countries live in informal settlements (sometimes known as slums) and face the challenges of ill-health, inequity and insecurity.
People living and working in informal settlements face a range of physical and mental health risks and they have inadequate access to services and few opportunities to shape decisions about their environment. They are often invisible and left out of urban planning and development processes. Despite this, informal settlement dwellers are resourceful and innovative in working towards improving their lives.
About the ARISE project
The GCRF Accountability for Informal Urban Equity Hub (ARISE) will support precarious and marginalised people to claim their right to health. It will build government accountability and capacity to provide citizens with security and services. ARISE brings together ten partners who will work with disadvantaged people in informal settlements and government in Sierra Leone, Bangladesh, Kenya and India.
The team will carry out research to understand their experiences of daily life, health and well-being, and efforts to access services and influence policies, working with them to identify their priorities for action. At the same time, they will develop better ways of measuring health and well-being for people living in informal settlements which can make their experiences more visible to governments and NGOs.
The interdisciplinary partnership includes 2 universities from the UK in addition to LSTM: The Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex and the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow, along with input from Pamoja Communications (UK) on research uptake and communication. ARISE also comprises of seven partners in Low and Middle-income countries, including, along with SDI, the James P Grant School of Public Health at BRAC University in Bangladesh, the African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC) and LVCT Health in Kenya, the George Institute in India, the Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre and the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (CoMAHS), also in Sierra Leone.
LVCT Health is a Kenyan NGO that conducts research and carries out programs at community level targeting the vulnerable and marginalized. LVCT Health is a pioneer in HIV, sexual reproductive health, gender based violence and community health programming. We aim to increase equitable access to quality health services through innovative, integrated, comprehensive and high impact services and programs that can be delivered at scale. In the words. As articulated by Dr. Lilian Otiso, Director Programs at LVCT Health, “LVCT Health is proud to be a partner in ARISE. Informal urban dwellers make up over 60%of the urban population, yet have limited access to health and other social services. ARISE aligns with LVCT Health’s mission of working with vulnerable groups in society for equitable access to health care. We look forward to working with the slum dwellers to generate evidence for equity and accountability.”