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Where we work

The contexts where ARISE works were selected based on the following criteria:

  • The strength of partnerships and partners’ capacity, including a wide range of different disciplines and institutional types.
  • High levels of urbanisation and/or informal urban settlements. Examples include Dhaka – the world’s fastest growing megacity – and Sierra Leone where there is a significant level of need and yet little research conducted to date.
  • Diversity of contexts. This includes geographical representation from East and West Africa and South Asia. In addition, we were looking for a range of existing knowledge and work on accountability. This is relatively high in India and relatively low in Sierra Leone, which will enable capacity building and sharing of experiences and knowledge. Contexts also vary in terms of the strength of the state, democratic processes and civil society. The state is relatively strong in India and Kenya compared to Sierra Leone and Bangladesh. Finally, we sought diversity in health systems: Bangladesh is largely NGO-led, whereas India is characterised by a weak public sector and two-tier system; the health system is weak in Sierra Leone; and devolution is underway in Kenya.
  • Various types of fragility: Sierra Leone is post-conflict, and Kenya, Bangladesh and India all experience some political and social fragility.



“BRAC JPG School of Public Health are delighted to be a founding member of ARISE. It is a project which will build on, and and strengthen, our ongoing work in urban areas and enables sharing with new countries and partners which will be immensely valuable.”

 Sabina Faiz Rashid, Dean, BRAC JPG School of Public Health


“As a global network of slum dwellers, one of SDI’s key roles in ARISE will be to ensure the perspectives, experiences, and priorities of the urban poor living in informal settlements are central to the conceptualisation of problems, solutions and interventions within India and the broader partnership.”                 

Sheela Patel, Chair, Slum/Shack Dwellers International (SDI)


“APRHC is thrilled to be part of this initiative. We look forward to bringing our long-standing research experience in urban informal settlements in Kenya to the table and forging new partnerships for a better understanding of life in informal settlements and solutions.”

Catherine Kyobutungi, Executive Director, African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC)

Sierra Leone

“We are very excited about this Hub. This partnership aligns directly with our work in knowledge co-production, aiming to build the research and analysis capacity of urban stakeholders in Freetown, prompting evidence-based dialogue with stakeholders at different levels and sectors to increase accountability for informal settlement dwellers.”               

Joseph Macarthy, Director, Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre (SLURC)