“ARISE offers a precious chance to ‘do research differently’ by learning from and with each other across countries, and between the global South and North. It’s a privilege to work with such a dedicated group of partners, including organisations of informal settlement dwellers. Together we are committed to conducting research that will make a real difference to the underlying influences on health and wellbeing for disadvantaged and marginalised people.”
Dr Rachel Tolhurst, LSTM, ARISE Research Director
Sally Theobald is a Chair in Social Science and International Health with a disciplinary background of geography and development studies and a PhD in Gender, Health and Development. She is a social scientist with over 25 years’ experience of collaborative research projects focusing on health systems strengthening in different contexts (including in fragility and in informal urban settlements) in Africa and Asia. She is interested in gender equity and the application of participatory and qualitative research methods.
Rachel Tolhurst is a social scientist with a background in gender, development and health. Her research interests and experience centre on qualitative research on gender and equity in health systems strengthening and the social determinants of health. Her research has included a focus on a range of health areas including maternal and child health, sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender-based violence, antimicrobial resistance and communicable and chronic disease (including malaria, tuberculosis, lung disease and HIV). Her research currently focuses particularly on urban informal settings. Rachel is the Research Director for the ARISE Hub. She is also Social Sciences lead for the NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Lung Health and Tuberculosis in Africa at LSTM (IMPALA) (2017-2021), and for the Drivers of Antimicrobial Resistance (DRUM) consortium (GCRF) (2018-2021). This work focuses respectively on strengthening health systems to promote equity and patient centredness in chronic lung disease management in Uganda, Tanzania and Sudan, and analysing the structural drivers of antibiotic use in the context of antimicrobial resistance in Malawi and Uganda. Rachel also leads the gender equitable careers theme of the DELTAS Learning research programme (2016 – 2020).
Faye Moody works as the Project Coordinator for the Community Health Systems Research Group and Gender and Health Group. Faye has over ten years of experience within the department of International Public Health of LSTM working on multiple projects spanning countries throughout Africa and Asia. Faye provides project coordination across this portfolio in achieving its research objectives through contributing to and supervising the provision of research, managerial and logistical support. In addition to this Faye is the Coordinator for the Health Systems Global Thematic Working Group on ‘supporting and strengthening the role of community health workers in health system development’ and working group member for the Healthcare Information for All Community Health Workers discussion forum.
Beth Hollihead works as senior Project and Capacity Development Manager within the Health Systems Research Centre of LSTM. Beth provides strategic project management services across this portfolio, with responsibilities including the legal, contractual, financial and administrative management of consortia; developing the appropriate processes and procedures for managing projects; providing smooth financial control and ensuring clear and accurate communications both within research consortia and with funders. Beth manages a team who provide project administration and coordination across the portfolio, and together they support the generation of strategic new proposals for funding as well as the accurate and timely reporting of current outputs and expenditures. Beth previously worked for LATH, the consultancy company of LSTM, providing programme coordination and project management for a portfolio of over £5,000,000 of long and short term global health initiatives, including a large World Bank project with the Ministry of Health in South Sudan. She has a wide range of experience and background in management systems, IT and finance, working with donors such as EU, USAID, UNITAID, DFiD, the Global Fund and DANIDA
Rosie Steege is a social scientist with five years’ experience of research and capacity building in health systems strengthening. Prior to this Rosie gained four years’ experience working within the private healthcare sector. Rosie’s research utilises qualitative methods and focuses on health systems, gender, equity and intersectionality. Rosie has experience working within large multi-country consortium and producing collaborative outputs researching the equity, effectiveness and efficiency of community health worker programmes – serving marginalised populations in informal dwellings in urban, peri-urban and rural settings across Africa and Asia. Rosie’s PhD focuses on Community Health Workers (CHWs) and how gender impacts their ability to perform their roles – working with CHWs to develop policies important to hold governments accountable to gender equitable approaches in community health service delivery. In Ethiopia Rosie explored how m-Health technology can improve accountability of community health workers to local governance structures with a gender equity focus. In Mozambique, Rosie used qualitative methods to produce strategies to improve the gender balance of the community health worker cadre in line with government targets and to effectively meet the healthcare needs of the population.
Penelope Phillips-Howard is a public health epidemiologist at LSTM. She worked on malaria prevention and control, and surveillance methodologies for 20 years. She has expanded her interests to sexual and reproductive health, and gender equity, and has recently been exploring the consequences of menstrual hygiene management (MHM) on the health, wellbeing, and equity of adolescent girls and women, with active field studies in Kenya and India. Her research is translational, building an evidence-base to support program strategies, policies and guidelines. She provides guidance on research and programmes in numerous countries in Africa and Asia. She is PI on a trial examining the effect of menstrual cups, or cash transfer on incident HIV, HSV-2 and school dropout among ~4000 Kenyan schoolgirls, and co-investigator on a study lead by University of Illinois Chicago evaluating the effect of menstrual cups and sexual debut on the vaginal microbiome, STIs and HIV transmission. She sits on various international panels responsible for global strategy and advocacy for MHM internationally, and on research steering committees.
Imelda Bates established the expanding and vibrant Centre for Capacity Research (CCR) in 2011, which is now at the forefront of research into how to design, measure and evaluate programmes to strengthen research capacity and laboratory systems in low- and middle-income countries. Her team has become a global leader in research capacity strengthening implementation science. They have pioneered innovative design and evaluation models, contributing towards evidence-informed research capacity strengthening guidelines, and collaborated with leading UK and international funding and implementing partners. Imelda teaches on many of LSTM’s courses including Diploma and Master’s programmes and she has supervised many successful PhD and Master’s students, providing mentorship for many individuals in haematology and capacity strengthening. For 14 years she was Course Director for the innovative and highly successful Diploma in Project Design and Management which was established in Ghana in 2003 to increase multi-disciplinary institutional research capacity. She is currently Chair of the Global Haematology group of the British Society for Haematology and has a research focus on anaemia and blood transfusion systems in low- and middle-income countries, particularly on evidence to improve the supply and use of blood for transfusion.
Kim Ozano is a social scientist with a public health background in qualitative research and capacity strengthening in a variety of contexts including the UK, Africa and Asia. She has designed, delivered and evaluated health projects and programmes at the community, sub-national and national level. She is an advocate of using community based, action-oriented, participatory research as a means of optimising opportunities to learn from each other and to translate knowledge and experience for social change. Her PhD applied a participatory action research approach in Cambodia with community health workers as co-researchers to identify their public health priorities using photovoice and assess how they can act as agents of change in their communities. Kim has a keen interest in capacity development of institutional partnerships with experience in designing and delivering training and accompanying tools. After spending a year working within a district level health department in South Sudan to strengthen capacity she understands the potential for public health governance and accountability in a challenging setting. In the UK, she has worked within the National Health Service as a Public Health Commissioner developing, implementing, managing and monitoring a range of health providers with the strategic aim of reducing the health inequality gap. She currently works as a Research Associate within the COUNTDOWN consortium to inform the effective and sustainable scaling-up of integrated neglected tropical disease control initiatives. In Nigeria, this is being delivered using a participatory action research approach to strengthen health systems delivery. Kim is a member of the UK Network for Participatory Researchers and the International Collaboration for Participatory Health Research.
Laura Dean is a social scientist with ten years’ experience of research, capacity strengthening, and partnerships for community-led development and health systems strengthening in Africa and Asia. Laura’s research uses qualitative and participatory research methods and focuses in the areas of health systems, intersectionality, gender, equity, chronic disease and disability. Most of her work has been on Zambia, India, Malawi, Sudan, Nigeria, Liberia, and the UK (Liverpool). Laura has conducted work in informal settlements in Gujarat, India, in collaboration with women living with disability and local organisations, to co-create strategies that may support women living with disability in attaining their sexual and reproductive rights. In Zambia, Laura utilised participatory methodologies to co-develop home-based care packages that could be delivered by community health workers to communities living in peri-urban environments and informal dwellings. Laura’s current work focuses on the use of intersectional approaches to explore chronic disease experience including impacts on mental ill-health and health systems responses in Liberia; as well as understanding how routine health interventions can adapt to ensure equity in programme delivery in urban and emerging contexts across Liberia and Nigeria. Laura has been involved in the leadership, design, development and delivery of social science themes within several large multi-partner, multi-disciplinary research consortiums. Laura is also a recent graduate of the Emerging Voices for Global Health programme and is committed to raising the profile of young research scientists, predominantly from the global south, within global health and health systems research.
Lana Whittaker is a social scientist, with a disciplinary background in geography. She has eight years’ experience conducting mixed-methods research in South Asia on inequalities and the interventions and policies intended to address them. Lana’s PhD research used quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the realisation of the right to food in India. Specifically, she examined the design and implementation of India’s school lunch programme (the Midday Meal Scheme) from a rights-based perspective. Prior to joining LSTM, Lana was a Research Associate in the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester, where she worked on a large-scale impact evaluation of livelihood interventions and forest outcomes in Nepal.
Joseph Kimani is trained community organizer and holds a Masters Degree in Community Economic Development from the Open University of Tanzania. Kimani has worked with the Civil Society Organizations for the last 16 years first in the Human rights sector where he trained community human rights defenders, conducted peace trainings, theatre for development and later joined the development sector as an employee of Pamoja Trust.
Whilst in Pamoja, Kimani was instrumental in initiating and coordinating a number of projects that have continued to be feasible in the informal settlements today. Some of these projects are; the youth programme (Mwamko wa Vijana), individual household water connections in Mathare, establishment of a children’s mentoring programme through sports and cultural activities, waste management projects in Mathare, Dagoretti and Korogocho. Kimani was also very useful in leading the social process during the Huruma slum upgrading and in facilitating major community forums and slum dwellers conventions.
After his term at Pamoja Trust Joseph Kimani worked for the Kenya Slum Dwellers Federation’ secretariat known as Muungano Support Trust as a Project Manager in-charge of providing oversight role in the development of new projects, facilitating the implementation of projects initiated by the government and communities within the municipalities, ministries and water companies. In 2014 Joseph Kimani joined Umande Trust as a Program Manager in-charge of Community Partnership as well as the Nairobi Regional Manager where he provided leadership and support to community organization programmes, Human Rights, Advocacy and Justice related projects. In 2015 he rejoined Slum Dwellers International (SDI) Kenya as a programme manager where he is currently overseeing the implementation of projects and programmes at the community level.
Jane Weru is a lawyer by profession and holds a Master’s Degree in NGO Management from the London School of Economics. From 1993 to 2001, she worked with Kituo Cha Sheria, a legal aid and human rights organization in Nairobi, first as head of legal services and then as Executive Director. Most of her work focused on public interest litigation on behalf of poor communities threatened with forceful evictions and violent demolitions. In 2001, she helped found Pamoja Trust, a nonprofit organization that mobilized and supported grassroots movements of the urban poor by providing technical, legal and financial support. From 2006 to 2010, Jane has served as a Board Member of the Slum/Shack Dwellers International (SDI), an international organization of slum dwellers federations with affiliates in 37 countries of the global south. In 2010, Jane served as Team Leader for the Kenya Railway Relocation Action Plan for the Ministry of Transport supported by the World Bank for the resettlement of 10,000 households currently sitting on the railway reserve in Kibera and Mukuru. She is currently the Executive Director and founder member of Akiba Mashinani Trust (AMT), a non-profit organization working on developing innovative community led solutions to housing and land tenure problems for the urban poor in Kenya. AMT is the Financing facility of the Kenya Federation of Slum Dwellers (Muungano wa Wanavijiji). Jane is currently an Ashoka Fellow and is also serving as a member of the National Task Force for the preparation of the Community Land Bill and the Evictions and Resettlement Bill.
Kilion Nyambuga is a Graduate Urban and Regional Planner from the University of Nairobi. Since 2013, Kilion has been working as a Programme Officer in charge of Data Management and Planning for the Slum Dwellers International – Kenya. During this period, Kilion supported the SDI network (which includes 17 countries in Africa) in its historic transition from analogue to digital data collection and management. Kilion has also supported peer-to-peer learning exchanges (which is SDI’s primary knowledge transfer) with community members and his professional peers in 17 cities in Kenya and 5 SDI countries, including notably Liberia, Senegal, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and Uganda. As Programme officer at SDI-K, Kilion has focused on ensuring access to accurate data on slums for planning. His current project management portfolio includes working with Nairobi City County and Mukuru Community members to help develop a Mukuru Integrated Development Plan whose implementation will address the unique development challenges and opportunities faced by the settlement.
Joseph Muturi is a social activist and leader of Muungano Wa Wanavijiji, the national federation of slum dwellers in Kenya. Muungano is the largest social movement in Kenya, which for 20 years has campaigned against forced evictions and in support of secure tenure and improved services for poor communities in Kenya, as well as with other federations in East and West Africa. Muturi has been extensively involved in government and city-led projects that affect urban poor communities in Kenya, working with donor agencies and academia to help build strong relationships between such programmes and the residents for which they are intended. Muturi has for many years worked to assist communities to build consensus on strategy, budgeting, planning, and actual implementation of projects. He sits on SDI’s international management committee and council and is part of SDI’s global advocacy team.
Jack Makau is director of SDI Kenya, the support NGO to Muungano wa Wanavijiji, the Kenyan Slum Dwellers Federation, affiliated globally to SDI. Over the course of his career, Mr. Makau has been involved in informal settlement enumeration and mapping processes that have registered more than 300,000 households in more than 140 settlements. He has also taken part in baseline surveys in more than 400 informal settlements in cities across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Ghana, and Bukina Faso. These processes have included: The citywide enumeration of Kisumu city, Kenya – Cities Without Slums program; Development of a Railway Resettlement Action Plan in Kibera and Mukuru, Kenya – a World Bank/ Government of Kenya project; the Land, Services & Citizenship (LSC) projects in Ghana and Uganda – a Cities Alliance project; Development of Open Title GIS mapping software, Ghana; Piloting of the Social Tenure Domain Model in Uganda – a GLTN/SDI project; and the Mukuru Special Planning Area, an innovative and groundbreaking collaborative urban development project in Nairobi’s largest informal settlement, Mukuru. Mr. Makau’s involvement in these processes has variously included research design, tool development, training, research implementation and coordination, analysis and reporting.
Wairutu Jane Kirumu is a Program Officer at SDI-Kenya. Previously she worked at Pamoja Trust and Muungano Support Trust as a Program Officer and has been involved in innovating and implementing tools for community-led advocacy to secure land tenure in informal settlements in Kenya through community-led data collection. She has been able to lead in training and conducting profiling and enumeration in over 70 settlements in Kenya and several SDI affiliate countries. She has also been a Project Officer in generating tools for developing, auditing and reporting community-led projects that affect the urban poor in Kenya.
Jane was pivotal in assisting communities to build consensus on strategy, budgeting, planning and management of the Kenyan Federation (Munngano Wa Wanavijiji) projects and programmes. Youth inclusion through empowerment has also been her passion in all programmes and projects at the community level. Her current portfolio includes working with the county Government of Nairobi on the Mukuru Integrated Development Plan by coordinating the Health Consortium and Development Sector Plan. She is the Project Officer in the ARISE consortium representing SDI-Kenya.
Sabina Faiz Rashid is the Dean and Professor at the BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University. She is also leading two Centre of Excellences at the school – the Centre for Gender, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (GSRHR) and the Centre for Urban Equity and Health (CUEH). Sabina is a social science researcher with specialization in ethnographic and qualitative research. Her research interests are gender, SRHR, sexuality and the well-being of adolescents, young women and men, use of social media/digital technology, changing gender relationships, power dynamics, urban poverty, governance, and health services in urban informal settlements. Sabina is a member of several international and national organizations including the Coalition for Bodily and Sexual Rights, the Academic Advisory Group of Sexuality and Development of Institute of Development Studies of University of Sussex, WHO Secretariat – Health Systems and Policy Analysis, the annual Abortion Panels – IUSSP organized by the Guttmacher Institute, Global group – Learning Collaborative: Measurement Community on Adolescents, Institute for Reproductive Health of Georgetown University and to the South Asia Regional Community of Practice: Strengthening Regional Work on Normative Change for Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health, and the National Working Group – Bangladesh Health Watch are some of them. Sabina did her PhD in Medical Anthropology and Public Health from The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
Bachera Aktar is working as a Senior Coordinator at James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University (BRAC JPGSPH). She is coordinating the ARISE project. Bachera has ten years of experience of working in both implementing public health programmes and research in both urban and rural Bangladesh. Her areas of interest include maternal and child health and nutrition, adolescent health and nutrition, health system research, implementation science, and healthcare in humanitarian settings. She has been involved in qualitative, quantitative and mixed method research and managed WHO and Dutch government funded research projects. Apart from being an integral part of the research team at the School, she is also actively involved with teaching and mentoring the Masters of Public Health (MPH) students at the school as their faculty and thesis supervisor. Prior to joining the School, she worked with the BRAC Health, Nutrition and Population Program as a Program Manager and oversaw several large and small scale community-based public health projects funded by DFID, DFATD Canada, DFAT Australia, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Bachera has double Master’s – M.Sc. in Food and Nutrition from the University of Dhaka and a Master of Public Health from JPG School of Public Health, BRAC University.
Nadia Farnaz is a Research Associate at James P Grant School of Public Health with a focus on public health. She researching public health among displaced refugees migrating to coastal Bangladesh as well as teaching the curriculum for the Master in Public Health degree. Before joining the School, she was working as a Research Associate at EEP/Shiree, a DFID funded programme aimed at eradicating extreme poverty. Her prior experience in the development arena also includes Research Officer roles in several projects administered by Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS). Nadia completed her Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Masters in Development studies, both from BRAC University. She wants to be a pioneer in the field of economic research by broadening her current horizon of knowledge through academic studies and extensive research.
Samiha Ali is currently working as a Research Assistant at James P Grant School of Public Health after completing her Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences from the Asian University for Women. At present, she is coordinating and conducting a research project looking into women’s experiences of childbirth at a midwifery-led centre in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and is currently in the process of writing a manuscript of the research findings for publication. She has previously also worked in research projects investigating the Barriers in Accessing Healthcare Services of Person with Disabilities and understanding the causes and consequences of Early Child Marriage in Urban Informal Settlements in Dhaka. In her capacity as a Research Assistant, she has also worked as a Teaching Fellow in the MPH program at the School. Her specific research interests include understanding the interplay between gender and SRHR and identifying markers of well-being and improving healthcare in urban informal settlements.
Pusphita Ray is working as a Research Associate at James P Grant School of Public Health. She is an adept qualitative researcher and is currently working in a WHO funded implementation research project on the sexual and reproductive health of the Rohingya refugee population living in the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. She completed her post-graduation from Jahangirnagar University in Anthropology followed by graduation in the same concentration. Prior to working with the School, she worked as a Research Officer at ICDDR, B (International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh) in a research project investigating the prevalence of violence against women and girls in South Asian countries and has also worked with Helen Keller International (HKI) as a Data Collection and Management Officer in a “Formative Research on Gender Analysis under SUCHANA project”.
Abdul Awal is working at James P Grant School of Public Health as a Senior Research Assistant. Since joining the School, Abdul has worked in a WHO funded implementation research project on the sexual and reproductive health of Rohingya refugee population living in the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh and also mentored Master of Public Health (MPH) programme students. He completed his post-graduation from the University of Dhaka in Applied Statistics followed by graduation in the same concentration. His previous work experience includes working as a Data Management Assistant at ICDDR, B (International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh) where he worked with multidrug resistance and bacterial contamination in milk data.
Wafa Alam is currently employed as a Research Associate in James P Grant School of Public Health. She completed her Master’s of Public Health from the same institution in January 2019. Before this, she worked as an A’level biology teacher at Sir John Wilson School, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has an undergraduate degree in Biotechnology from Monash University, Malaysia, where she was also involved in a project in the field of environmental microbiology.
Sadia Rahman is currently working as an Assistant Manager in the Finance and Accounts team at the James P Grant School of Public Health. She joined the School in 2015. She completed her Bachelors degree in Business Administration from North South University doing a double major in Economics and Finance and Accounting. She completed her Masters in Development Management and Practice from BRAC University.
Blessing Uchenna Mberu is a Senior Research Scientist and Head of the Urbanization and Wellbeing Research Program at APHRC. He is an Honorary Professor of Demography and Population Studies, at the School of Social Sciences, in the Faculty of Humanities, of University of Witwatersrand. He earned MA and PhD degrees in Sociology, with specialization in demography from Brown University in 2004 and 2008 respectively. Prior to Brown, he trained in Sociology and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology in 1987 from then Imo State University Okigwe, now Abia State University, Uturu and M.Sc. degree in Sociology from the University of Ibadan. Blessing joined APHRC in 2008 as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Population Dynamics and Reproductive Health Program. His research covers migration, urbanization, urban livelihood challenges and urban health in sub-Saharan Africa. Blessing taught Sociology between 1988 and 2002, rising from a Graduate Assistant to a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Abia State University. Blessing has authored and co-authored several peer-reviewed scholarly papers in leading social science and public health journals, book chapters, university referred textbooks in Sociology, and technical reports across his areas of research interests. He is a member of the International Advisory Board of Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre in Freetown and in the Executive Board of the International Society for Urban Health.
Haja Ramatulai Wurie is a Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry and the head of the Biochemistry Department at COMAHS, University of Sierra Leone. She is also a multi-disciplinary health researcher involved in a range of health systems strengthening and capacity building research projects. She was the Research Coordinator and Research Uptake Officer for the ReBUILD Research Consortium in Sierra Leone and was been centrally involved in ensuring that the programme’s research and dissemination activities have informed policy and practice in support of a resilient and responsive health system.
Haja is at the forefront of institutional research capacity building at COMAHS, working to change the research landscape. She was the Principal Investigator on the recently concluded RECAP project which focused on institutional capacity development at COMAHS, for multi-disciplinary health research to support the health system rebuilding. She is part of the team that has developed a research centre within COMAHS that serves as a research coordinating centre, and lead on health systems research and capacity strengthening within Sierra Leone to deliver credible, relevant research for effective policy making and practice.
Haja also has a research focus on non-communicable diseases and mental health in fragile and conflict affected states. She is a member of the editorial advisory board of the Sierra Leone Biomedical Journal and a reviewer for the journal. She is very active within the health systems research space, at national and international level and was named one of the top 300 Women in Global Health in 2014.
Samira Sesay is a researcher with a background in Epidemiology and Health Statistics. She is currently working as a Research Assistant at COMAHS, University of Sierra Leone (USL). She has worked with an Options Consultancy Programme, E4A-Mamaye Sierra Leone, on maternal and child health in communities. She also worked with young people on advocacy for the prevention of drugs and alcohol dependency, NCPA, the National Council in Sierra Leone. She completed her Masters of Public Health in 2018 from Zhengzhou University in Henan, China, where she did a research on Childhood Leukaemia, and her Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences from Fourah Bay College, USL. Samira has an area of interest in health system research, maternal and child health and nutrition, and medical laboratory scientific research on infectious and non-communicable diseases.
Samuel Saidu is a Sierra Leonean and a registered pharmacist with over four years’ work experience. He also holds a Master of Public Health degree from the BRAC James P. Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University in Bangladesh. He has worked for the United States Center for disease control and prevention (USCDC), eHealth Africa Sierra Leone, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) in Sierra Leone, CAJ Pharmaceuticals Sierra Leone and the University of Sierra Leone. Samuel is a winner of the Sir Hassan Fazle Abed award for best leadership role and also Best Poster award both at MPH BRAC JPGSPH. He is interested in developing under privileged communities through public health which is why he has decided to join the ARISE consortium for the next five years as a research assistant working in informal settlements.
John Smith is a Pharmacy graduate from the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, University of Sierra Leone (COMAHS-USL). Throughout his studies and varied work experience, he served as a teacher, mentor, inspirational speaker, public figure, Head of Communications and Public Relations and Education Manager in a number of different organisations. He is currently the CEO of the National Alliance Against Hepatitis Sierra Leone and the Brain Association for Education and Research Sierra Leone (BEAR-SL) His expertise has been demonstrated in various fields of work especially health research and communications. John joins the ARISE team as a research assistant/communication lead.
Lilian Otiso is the Director of Programs at LVCT Health, where she leads teams to implement HIV, gender based violence and community health programmes reaching over 1 million people in rural and informal urban settings annually. She is a fellow of the inaugural Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa 2018 program. She is a medical doctor with an MBA in Health Care Management with over 12 years’ programming and research experience in government and NGOs at senior management level. She is passionate about strengthening health systems for primary health care and believes in involving the beneficiaries and communities in developing and implementing programmes. She is a member of national and international technical working groups on community health, HIV and quality improvement with a good reputation among government, donors and other implementing partners. She has contributed to Kenyan and global WHO policies and guidelines.
Robinson Karuga is a public health specialist with a passion for conducting health systems and policy research. He has conducted health systems research and policy advocacy since 2007 in several research studies. He currently is a Research Fellow at LVCT Health and is a doctoral candidate at The Amsterdam Vrije Universiteit. Robinson’s research interests are in governance in community health systems, social accountability and on how to embed quality improvement approaches in primary health care services. He has vast experience in implementing and building capacity of community members on how to exact accountability in delivery of health services using citizen score cards in rural and marginalized parts of Kenya. Robinson works closely with the Ministry of Health and county governments by providing technical support in embedding quality improvement in community health, design and implementation of surveys using Lots Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) methods and capacity development. Robinson joined LVCT Health as a research manager where he oversaw projects in HIV prevention, gender based violence and health system strengthening. He has previous experience in managing a maternal health research consortium at Family Care International and managing research projects at the Aga Khan University. Robinson graduated with Bachelors in Biomedical Sciences (Egerton University) and a Master of Public Health (Debrecen University) with several professional courses in Bioethics (Georgetown University), Health Systems Research (KIT, Amsterdam) and biostatistics (University Of Nairobi). Robinson is an alumnus of the Emerging Voices in Global Health and is a member of the global technical working group on community health workers.
Ms. Nelly Muturi is a public health researcher with over six years’ experience in public health research and programme implementation with a focus on health system strengthening, HIV, sexual and gender-based violence. She is a MSc. Public Health graduate and has vast experience in implementing research within multi-country research projects. As a research officer in LVCT Health, Nelly has been a part of a multi-disciplinary team involved in the conceptualization and implementation of quality improvement approaches in community health, with a main focus in capacity building County and Sub-County teams in quality improvement and supportive supervision. She has also been involved in the development of the quality improvement and supportive supervision curricula in the Kenya community health strategy. Nelly is a member of the National Community Health and Development Unit – Operations Research Technical Working Group and the Health Systems Global Technical Working Group. She is keen to ensure all stakeholders embrace the use of quality data to make informed decisions on health programming in Kenya.
Ms. Lynda Keeru is a communications specialist based at LVCT Health. In her role as a Communications Officer, she supports a range of programmes on community health, HIV and gender-based violence. Her interests include analysis of research findings to inform policy and she has outstanding documentation and capacity building skills. She is passionate about using story telling as an advocacy tool to empower and educate the vulnerable in society to make informed health decisions and choices for themselves particularly in the context of community health. She considers herself a voice for the vulnerable.
Linet Okoth is a Senior Technical Advisor, Community Health at LVCT Health. She has vast experience in policy engagement at National, County, Sub-county and community levels and provides leadership, direction and technical oversight to the USAID SQALE program which focusses on implementation of Quality Improvement at community level. She is a Clinical Officer with a Degree in Psychology and is currently pursuing an MPH – Epidemiology. She has over ten years’ experience in HIV/AIDS, TB/HIV, Nutrition, reproductive health, family planning, malaria, maternal, newborn and child health programming. She is passionate about making the voice of the community members heard and involved in decision making. She is a member in the QI, Community Health and RMNCAH technical working group and contributed to the development of the Quality of Care Standard Operating Procedure guideline as well as facilitators manual for QI for level 1
Sheela Patel is the founder Director of the Society for Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC), an NGO that has been working since 1984 to support community organizations of the urban poor in their efforts to access secure housing and Basic amenities and seek their right to the city. Sheela is widely recognized – nationally and internationally – for seeking urgent attention to the issues of urban poverty, housing and infrastructure onto the radar of governments, bilateral and international agencies, foundations and other organizations. She is a founder amongst many of Slum Dwellers International, a transnational social movement of the urban poor, whose Board she Chairs presently.
Vinodkumar Rao Armed with degree in electronics engineering, Vinod has experience of working in the IT industry for over eight years. After a successful stint in the IT, Vinod quit and joined SPARC, and began working on supporting a network of slum dwellers. He pursued his Masters in Sociology and continued to work on housing, sanitation and research projects at SPARC, and has been working on them since 2012.
Monalisa holds a Masters in Applied Geography with a specialization in Regional and Town planning from Ravenshaw College, Cuttack, Odisha. She has worked extensively in the development sector for about two decades, beginning with research and development projects at Utkal University, Bhubaneswar in 1990 to SIDA (Swedish International Development Agency) sponsored Gender sensitization policy and training projects in Odisha till 1994. She has been associated with many projects and consultancies e.g. DANIDA, UNICEF, CIDA. She also served as Regional Representative for the Canadian Cross Roads International (CCI, Canada) while serving briefly in the Department of Women Studies at the University of Winnipeg, Canada. Monalisa led the urban programme of DAWN (Development Alternatives for Wider Network) until 2007 and founded UDRC (Urban and Development Resource Centre) in 2008 with the clear mandate of setting up a platform for the urban poor in Odisha. The UDRC-SPARC alliance in Odisha have been awarded, among many other honours, the Ashoka Change Maker’s award in 2006-7 and placed as one of the finalists at the World UN Habitat awards in 2013.
Surekha Garimella has a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition, a Master of Science in Nutrition and Food science, a Master of Philosophy in Applied economics , and a PhD in Public Health, Gender and Work. Her research interests are in gender, women, work and political economy; gendered health systems and accountability; feminist theory and practice and ethics of research practice. She has worked in implementation and research in gender, nutrition, health and wellbeing among women, children and adolescents in informal urban settlements in Delhi and Tamil Nadu as well as researched on the health and wellbeing experiences of women workers in urban informal settlements in Delhi.
Josyula K. Lakshmi has a Bachelor’s degree in Homoeopathic Medicine and Surgery, a Master of Science in Health Promotion, and a PhD in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and Gerontology. Her research and teaching interests are in health promotion; health governance in a pluralistic medical society; the workforce engaged in traditional, complementary and alternative medicine; road safety; communication; environmental health; physical activity; nutrition; and ageing. She has participated in a desk review and a consultation workshop on the health of the urban poor in the WHO SEAR, and has and is engaged in studies which include work in communities in informal urban settlements.
Shrutika Murthy possesses an inter-disciplinary background, having graduated with a Bachelors in Economics from Symbiosis International University, Pune and a Masters in Politics with specialisation in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She has studied development economics, public administration and policy, environmental economics, minorities in world politics and political economy of south Asia. Her work and research interests have been on issues pertaining to public health, slum rehabilitation, health systems and policy.
Prasanna Subramanya Saligram has a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, an MBA equivalent, and a Master of Science in Global Health and Public Policy. His interests include the political economy of health, globalization, health systems governance, and private sector regulation. He is associated with the All India Drug Action Network advocating for free access to medicines and was a communications officer with the Global People’s Health Movement. Prasanna has been involved in the orientation and training of self-help women’s groups on health issues, and in raising awareness among waste picking communities on health and healthcare systems in the urban areas of Bangalore and Mysore. He is a co-founder of ‘Vismaya Kalike’ – an after-school learning centre for the urban poor.
Jaideep Gupte is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, where he co-leads the Cities Cluster and co-convenes the MA in Poverty and Development. He is currently seconded part-time to lead the Cities and Sustainable Infrastructure portfolio of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). Jaideep’s research is on urban violence, poverty and development. His other research interests and expertise include urban inclusion, justice/security in informal settlements, and using GIS/GPS aided mobile data collection platforms for spatial research. He is currently the Principal Investigator on ‘Smart Data for Inclusive Cities’ funded by the European Commission; Jaideep’s research has received the Global Development Network Medal for Outstanding Research, Category: Rule of Law. He was formerly Fellow of the Urban Design Research Institute, Mumbai. Gupte has conducted primary research in South Asia (India, Bangladesh, Nepal) and sub-Saharan Africa (Sudan, Nigeria).
Jerker Edström is a development social scientist primarily focused on gender equality, men and masculinities, gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health and rights. He has a longer history of working in HIV prevention, children and youth affected by AIDS, participation, civil society support and international health. He has skills in inter-disciplinary community-based research, research synthesis and evidenced-based policy formulation, plus proven assessment, planning and programme development skills. He has extensive experience in organisational management, team building, leadership and development. Throughout his 30-year career in international development he has experience from a diverse range of over 30 countries and has over ten years of engagement in post-graduate teaching and research. He also has direct work experience from working in nine development and health organisations.
Hayley MacGregor originally trained as a medical doctor in South Africa, she pursued further studies in Social Anthropology, completing a PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2003. This doctoral research pursued an interest in medical anthropology, in particular mental illness and mental health service provisioning in post conflict and low-income settings. A subsequent period at the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa broadened her work to address changes in social security provisioning in the event of illness, and the politics of ‘disability’. Current research interests include the dynamics of poverty and illness/disability, human rights discourses and citizen mobilisation in the context of health provisioning, and the ethnography of biomedical research and health technologies. Her research to date has been situated in Africa. Parallel to these anthropological concerns, she retains an interest in clinical psychiatric practice.
Linda Waldman’s work has been on diverse dimensions of poverty, and the related issues of gender, racial classification, ethnicity and identity.
She obtained her Ph.D. in social anthropology at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, where her research focused on indigenous identity and nationalism amongst the Griqua of South Africa. She has also worked on farm workers, gender, environmental policy processes, health and social housing and aid architecture with research experience in Africa, India and the UK. As a member of the STEPS Centre, her research has focused on the comparative study of asbestos-related diseases and on peri-urban sustainability. Linda is Director of Teaching and Learning at IDS and co-convenes the IDS PhD Progamme with Deepta Chopra.
Alex Shankland is a social scientist who has worked for more than two decades on health systems, indigenous and minority health, civil society, accountability, political representation and local governance, particularly in Brazil and Mozambique. His current research interests centre on theories and practices of democratic representation, accountability and citizen-state engagement, with particular reference to the political strategies of indigenous peoples and other marginalised minorities engaging with health and development policies, and to the role of unruly politics in a context of closing civil society space. Alex is currently Principal Investigator of the ESRC/DFID funded project Vozes Desiguais/Unequal Voices: the Politics of Accountability for Health Equity in Brazil and Mozambique and co-convenes the Accountability for Health Equity Programme. In addition to ongoing research on the health system in Mozambique, Alex has worked extensively on Mozambican social accountability and democratic governance initiatives, including Diálogo, the Citizen Engagement Programme (CEP), and several projects under the Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) research programme. Alex has also worked extensively on the roles of Brazil and other rising powers in reshaping international development cooperation, and co-founded the IDS Rising Powers in International Development research programme, which is now being taken forward with colleagues from across the University of Sussex campus under the umbrella of the Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development. An experienced manager of international and interdisciplinary research and consultancy programmes, prior to completing his DPhil Alex was IDS Research Manager for the DFID-funded Development Research Centre on Citizenship, Participation and Accountability and Coordinator of the IDS-led consortium responsible for the redesign of Brazil’s health system for indigenous peoples.
Dolf te Lintelo is a Research Fellow and Co-leader of the Cities Cluster at IDS. His research interests concern the politics of public policy processes; the participation of state and non-state actors in policymaking and implementation; and advocacy, collective action and power in these.
Dolf’s research explores the governance and micro-political processes shaping formal/informal relationships in cities and the ways in which these affect poverty and wellbeing outcomes. His work includes analysis of: policy and everyday forms of regulation of street vendors in India; the wellbeing of informal workers in urban informal settlements in Bangladesh; and the ways in which modalities of reception in cities in Jordan and Lebanon shape wellbeing outcomes for Syrian refugees and host communities.
Dolf has also led the development of innovative international metrics for government political commitment to address hunger and malnutrition (www.hancindex.org), working closely with African and South Asian civil society partners to support evidence-based policy advocacy and accountability for nutrition. Additional research interests include the urban nutrition transition, social protection and young people in policy processes.
Annie Wilkinson is an applied health systems researcher with expertise in: zoonotic disease; epidemic preparedness and control; drug resistance; diagnostics and disease surveillance; and innovation in low resource health systems. She has over a decade of research and policy experience in the UK and developing countries, especially Sierra Leone and Bangladesh, working as part of international and interdisciplinary collaborations, and within emergency humanitarian response. With a background in anthropology, she is primarily a qualitative and participatory researcher but has carried out systematic reviews and metaanalysis, and quantitative observational methodologies. Underpinning her research is an interest in equity, political economy, and the integration of disciplinary perspectives to address global health challenges. To this end, she co-founded the Ebola Response Anthropology Platform during the West African Ebola epidemic which provided rapid response advice and research into critical social and political dimensions of the epidemic and received the ESRC’s International Impact Prize in 2016. She was a member of the social science sub-group of the UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group in Emergencies for the West African Ebola epidemic. She currently co-leads the ‘Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform’, an initiative with UNICEF, which mobilizes research networks to integrate insights from social science into emergency preparedness and response.
Sadaf Khan previously practiced as an architect in Karachi, Pakistan and completed a PhD in urban morphology and contested urbanism from UCL’s Bartlett School of Architecture. She is currently a post-doctoral researcher at IDS in the Cities Cluster. The main streams within her work have been the socio-spatial investigation of the migrant experience and its manifestations and impacts on the urban environment and, the implications of rapid urbanisation on the spatial form and processes of growth and development of developing cities. Sadaf has to-date worked on research projects based in South Asia, East Africa and Europe. Her work uses GIS mapping tools and space syntax analysis to explore urban processes and, due to the sparsity of data in the environments in which she has worked in; she has learnt to develop alternative data sources to describe the environments she was focusing on. This has involved using data drawn from newspaper reports, on-site mapping and the layering and correlating of multiple official dataset to describe the phenomena she was studying.
Jill Pell is the Director of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing and Henry Mechan Professor of Public Health at the University of Glasgow. She is trained in both general practice and public health. Jill has championed the use of routine data and record linkage as a resource for epidemiology and health services research for more than 20 years. She is a member of the British Heart Foundation’s Programme Grants Committee and the Medical Research Council. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. She was awarded the CBE in 2017 for services to public health research.
Alastair Leyland is Associate Director of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Science Unit and Professor of Population Health Statistics at the University of Glasgow. He is Director of the NIHR Global Health Research Group on Social Policy and Health Inequalities, which has received £2m to evaluate the impact of two major welfare programmes in Brazil. Alastair is a fellow of the Faculty of Public Health, a Chartered Statistician and a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. He has been an editor of the European Journal of Public Health since December 2009, serves on the Governing Board of the European Public Health Association (EUPHA), is the advisor to the Research pillar of EUPHA and chaired the European Public Health Conference when it was held in Glasgow in 2014. Alastair heads the research programme Measuring and Analysing Socioeconomic Inequalities in Health (core funded by the Medical Research Council and the Chief Scientist Office) and his research interests include the application of multilevel modelling to health data, particularly concerning its use as a tool for exploring inequalities, and expanding the uses of routinely collected and linked hospital discharge, mortality and register data.
Linsay Gray is a Senior Investigator Scientist at the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Science Unit co-leading a workstream on enhancing cohort, survey and routine data sources. She is Vice President of the European Public Health Association’s Public Health Epidemiology section, sits on the Scottish Government project board of the Scottish Health Survey, on the Royal Statistical Society’s International Conference programme board and was recent chair of local group committee. Linsay graduated from the University of Glasgow with a BSc (Hons) in Statistics and thereafter undertook the MSc in Medical Statistics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She was appointed as a research fellow and completed her PhD at ICH Population, Policy and Practice, University College London. She also holds Chartered Statistician (CStat) and Chartered Scientist (CSci) accreditations. Linsay leads and participates in a variety of international collaborations with specific interest and expertise in the development and application of statistical methodology for addressing bias induced by non-participation in population-based studies. She utilises health surveys and major cohort studies to assess health inequalities, and explores lifecourse epidemiology and novel usage of record-linked data. In recent years Linsay has been a Visiting Scholar at the Epidemiology Department of Columbia University, New York. Linsay convenes the University of Glasgow postgraduate level Global Health in Social Context course.
Ross Forsyth is a research project manager, based in the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow. Ross has been working in the field of Public Health for the past 10 years, in a combination of NHS, third sector and university posts. His current portfolio of work includes the evaluation of the Scottish Government’s policy on the minimum unit price of alcohol and an evaluation of social policy and health inequality in Brazil.
With a Masters in Public Health and a BSc (Hons) in Physiology, Ross is particularly interested in research projects which aim to understand and address inequality in health. Ross has a particular interest in non-communicable disease prevention, intervention development, and the impact of social networks on population health.
Ross has also acted as an Associate Producer on the Netflix documentary “The Divide”. This documentary is an interpretation of Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson’s book “The Spirit Level”, which explores the impact of inequality on society.
In his spare time, Ross is a photographer and videographer and enjoys documenting projects that explore inequality and health.
Joseph M. Macarthy holds a PhD in Urban Planning and Management from Newcastle University (UK). He is an urban research expert and a full-time lecturer in the Institute of Geography and Development Studies (IGDS), Njala University. His teaching activities which involve a number of responsibilities build not only on his research experience but also on his interest in searching for bridges between community development problems and academia. Apart from lecturing, Joseph has in the last three years, codirected the Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre (SLURC) which is a £933,638 Comic Relief (UK) and DFID funded project. Throughout this period, Joseph took part in a number of research activities either as Co-Investigator or as a Principal Investigators. Quite recently, Joseph has been elevated to the position of Executive Director at SLURC. Outside of SLURC, Joseph has held a number of managerial positions including serving as a local consultant (urban planner) to the EU-funded Urban Planning Project for Freetown (in 2013) as well as providing volunteer service to the UNDP as a member of the National Steering Committee (NSC) of the Small Grants Programme (SGP) in Sierra Leone.
As an innovative urban planner and a well-established scholar, Joseph’s research interest focuses on inequalities associated with urban development, health and wellbeing, housing and climate change adaptation with a specific focus on informal settlements. He has co-authored a number of research articles including “Understanding Freetown’s Urban Development” (2017) and “Health impacts of the living conditions of people residing in informal settlements in Freetown” (2018). Joseph has also published widely on urban development, including a book chapter on the politics of urban management and planning in African cities in the Routledge Handbook. Joseph additionally has strong networks amongst both local and international scholars of urban planning and development and with municipal and national government and civil society in Sierra Leone.
Helen Elsey is Associate Professor of Global Public Health in Department of Health Sciences, the University of York. Her research focuses on urban health in low income countries, in particular issues of gender and equity in relation to health risk and behaviour and the development and evaluation of complex public health interventions to improve the health of disadvantaged populations. Current work includes testing novel survey methods to improve the representation of the urban poor and understandings of urban poverty; systems research to strengthen the role of city governments to address health inequities and developing interventions to improve health and reduce injuries in urban slums. Helen is engaged in work with people with tuberculosis in South Asia, developing interventions for tobacco cessation and to improve psycho-social well-being.
Dr Sumit Mazumdar is a Research Fellow in global health economics at the Centre for Health Economics, University of York, United Kingdom. His work primarily focuses on health care financing in low-and-middle-income countries, impact evaluation of health system interventions and political economy aspects of health system reforms. He has earlier worked on inequality in health behaviours and outcomes, particularly those related to non-communicable diseases, has been involved in preparation of Human Development Reports for several states in India and has rich experience of working closely with several government and multilateral development agencies in South Asia. Sumit holds a PhD in Health Economics from the International Institute of Population Sciences, Mumbai.
Daniel Bob Jones lives in CKG – which is combination of three contiguous settlements (Crab Tong, Kolleh Tong and Grey Bush). It is both a coastal and hillside landscape, which makes it susceptible to both seasonal/tidal flooding and mud slides or rock falls. He is the chairperson of community health workers and serves as the CDMC Chairman at CKG and of the Western Area CDMC Chairman. A member of FEDURP and influential community stakeholder.
Issa Turay lives in Moyiba Community, a hillside settlement in the central part of Freetown. He is FEDURP local network chairperson. He is a respected community mobiliser with strong relationship with key community stakeholders.
Kadiatu Turay lives in Cockle Bay Community, a waterfront community. She is the deputy community chairperson which is an electable position in which the entire community votes for. She is also the women’s wing vice chairlady and a local network member of FEDURP. She is a dedicated community mobiliser and respected community stakeholder.
Nancy Sesay lives in Susan’s Bay, a waterfront community. She is a member of FEDURP local network and an influential community stakeholder. Nancy is seen by her peers as a dedicated community mobiliser whose actions has inspired a lot of young women in her community.
Hassan T. Sesay lives in Kissy Brook community in the east end of Freetown. He is the CDMC chairman and member of the FEDURP. He is a dedicated community mobiliser and respected stakeholder.
Mohamed Smith lives in Firestone community in the central part of Freetown. He is the CDMC chairman and member of FEDURP. He is a dedicated community mobiliser and respected community stakeholder.
Margaret Baryoh lives in Dworzack community and a trained community nurse serving at the community health centre. She is a founding member of FEDURP and serves in the following capacities – local network chairman at Dworzack, national welfare officer, head of group mobilisation, and national women’s leader. She is a dedicated and respected community stakeholder.
Yirah Oryanks Conteh is the National Chairman of FEDURP. He is a trained electrical technician and now pursuing BA in Community Development Studies. He is a fearless community advocate with impeccable integrity. His leadership style and the zest to serve his people has injected life and exuberance in the Sierra Leone federation, in which he commands great respect and admiration among his peers. This has also earned him respect and recognition among a broader spectrum of state and non-state actors.
Richard Bockarie is the Learning, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at CODOHSAPA. He holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Northern Cyprus and also Higher Diploma in Data Processing from Njala University. He has five years professional experience in Computer System Development, Data Collection, Management, Analysis, Mapping and Project Monitoring. Richard has facilitated several mapping exercises in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ghana.
Augustine Nyakeh Kamara is the Finance and Admin Officer at CODOHSAPA. He has BSc Hons in Business Administration and MSc in Business and Finance from the Institute of Public Administration and Management, University of Sierra Leone. He leads on all finance and admin support to all programmes and management operations of CODOHSAPA and does part-time teaching in a number of business and finance institutes.
Samuel Sheka Sesay is the Programmes Coordinator at CODOHSAPA. He has 11 years of working experience with the urban poor in Sierra Leone. He holds a Diploma and BA General in Community Development Studies, an MSc in Rural Development and is currently pursuing a MA in Sustainable Development with an option in Environmental Sustainability.
Francis Anthony Reffell is the Founder and Director of CODOHSAPA. He holds a BA in Geography and Sociology and Masters in Rural Development Studies and several other professional training experiences attained in-country and abroad. He is Social Justice and Community Development professional and the pioneer of the SDI federation processes in Sierra Leone that led to the establishment of FEDURP CODOHSAPA.