Accountability for Informal Urban Equity (ARISE)

Over half of the world’s population lives in cities, and one in three of city-dwellers live in informal settlements in low- and middle-income countries. Inadequate access to services, and limited opportunities to shape the environment lead to a wide range of physical and mental health risks and overall wellbeing for persons living in informal urban settlements.

Accountability for Informal Urban Equity (ARISE)  is a consortium of interconnected and interdisciplinary research hubs across Africa, South Asia and the UK. The hub aims to address the intractable development challenges of ill-health, inequity, and insecurity in informal urban settlements in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).  It also aims to support marginalised people to claim their health rights, and build government accountability and capacity through evidence-based research, so as to inform policy change at all levels.


The aim of ARISE is to support marginalised communities in claiming their rights to health, in amplifying their voices, and in building government accountability and capacity, so as to facilitate security and services for marginalised communities.

The ARISE hub at The George Institute (TGI) is focusing on waste picking and wastepickers in urban spaces.

Research Methodology:

Participatory Action Research - The ARISE team has started undertaking in-depth observations, interviews, and meetings with the communities in focus to gain an in-depth understanding of the perspectives, use of state and private systems, and the lived realities of the waste picking communities. In more advanced phases of the project, strategies developed collaboratively among the researchers, community members, and community organisation stakeholders will be piloted and evaluated at the action sites. Lessons drawn from this work will inform policy recommendations.

The ARISE team comprises a diverse set of research organizations across Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Sierra Leone, and an international federation of slum dweller organizations. By sharing experiences across these countries, we hope to shape the national and global policies and follow the best locally sensitive and context-specific practices.

Current Status:

The ARISE Hub was officially launched in February 2019 by the APHRC and LVCT Health in Nairobi, Kenya. The consultation brought together ARISE members from the partner countries to build networks and alliances, formulate a theory of change for the consortium, and develop a work plan for 2019. The launch that took place in Kenya gave all the participants a chance to learn more about the priorities of Kenyan stakeholders, to better understand and plan collaborative action for the future.

In India, the ARISE Hub has identified certain key stakeholders, and initiated a scoping exercise. An advisory group has been constituted and its first meeting was held in the last week of February 2019. Research team personnel have been identified, and further recruitment of research assistants is planned. An in-depth literature review, policy landscaping, and key informant interviews are planned to be conducted over the next 6 months.


United Kingdom Research and Innovation Great Challenges Research Fund (UKRI GCRF)


  1. Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
  2. James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University
  3. African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC)
  4. College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS)
  5. LVCT Health
  7. The George Institute for Global Health, India
  8. Institute of Development Studies
  9. University of Glasgow
  10. Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre (SLURC)

Visit the official website for the ARISE project 

Read UKRI Announcement on ARISE hub