ARISE Hub: Accountability and Responsiveness in Informal Urban Settlements for Equity in Health and Well-being

More than half of humanity currently lives in urban areas and 90% are projected to do so by 2050. One in three urban dwellers, and an estimated 881 million people in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) now live in informal settlements, colloquially known as ‘slums’, where they have inadequate, insecure housing and limited services. These settlements are often the only option for people working in the informal sector, and existing evidence shows that residents are often highly resourceful, resilient and innovative in navigating the problems they face daily. However, they also face challenges that appear intractable: multiple health and well-being risks and vulnerabilities, related to an unhealthy environment, insecurity and social marginalisation.

Informal urban settlements are rapidly changing, with in and outmigration and shifts in social norms, as well as being economically and socially unequal. Failures to provide services, infrastructure and mechanisms for redress by national and local governments are often linked to the presence of multiple actors and organisations including non-governmental, private and criminal organisations. These conditions can act as an incubator for various forms of violence (e.g. political and gender-based), which threaten well-being.

Visit the ARISE website


Image of Alex Shankland
Alex Shankland

Research Fellow

Image of Annie Wilkinson
Annie Wilkinson

Research Fellow

Image of Dolf J.H. te Lintelo
Dolf J.H. te Lintelo

Research Fellow and Cities Cluster Co-Leader

Image of Hayley MacGregor
Hayley MacGregor

Research Fellow

Image of Jaideep Gupte
Jaideep Gupte

Research Fellow and Cities Cluster Co-Leader

Image of Jerker Edström
Jerker Edström

Research Fellow

Image of Linda Waldman
Linda Waldman

Director of Teaching and Learning

Recent work


IDS at the World Urban Forum

We’re excited to be participating in the upcoming Tenth Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF10). Convened by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the World Urban Forum has become the premier international gathering for addressing the challenges of sustainable...

5 February 2020


UNGA74: governments must commit to social science for ‘health for all’

As global leaders come together for the 74th UN General Assembly, a major focus will be the High-Level Meeting: ‘Universal Health Coverage: Moving Together to Build a Healthier World’ on 23 September. This is a global opportunity to mobilise the highest political support for the achievement...

19 September 2019