Accountability for Informal Urban Equity (ARISE)


Over half of the world’s population lives in cities, and one in three city-dwellers live in informal settlements in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Inadequate access to services, and limited opportunities to shape the environment, lead to a wide range of physical and mental health risks and overall well-being 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 in the context of complex and often dysfunctional governance arrangements.

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


We seek to support marginalised communities in claiming their health rights, amplifying their voices, and building government accountability and capacities through evidence-based research, to facilitate security and services, and inform policy changes for these marginalised communities.

The focus of The George Institute team in ARISE is on waste workers in four cities of India including Bengaluru (Karnataka), Shimla (Himachal Pradesh), Guntur and Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh). The team is working with tenured sanitation workers, contractual door-to-door garbage collectors, dry waste collection centre operators and waste pickers in the informal sector.

Research Methodology

The project is adopting the Participatory Action Research methodology to elicit diverse perspectives, and use multiple methods to promote discussion, deliberation, development of critical consciousness, and exploration of social circumstances and generate knowledge, to prompt collective action and change. Through participatory methodologies, the team is learning and generating evidence on the lived realities of the waste workers vis-à-vis their health and well-being.

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.

Visit the official website for the ARISE project 

Read UKRI Announcement on ARISE hub