Dr Alice Sverdlik

Lecturer in Global Development

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I am an interdisciplinary urban researcher, with a strong commitment to developing and sustaining equitable partnerships in the Global South. Key interests include urban health; shelter and infrastructure in informal settlements; climate adaptation; gender; and informal livelihoods. My postgraduate training is in city planning (Berkeley), social policy (LSE), and urban economic development (UCL). For many years, I've been lucky to work closely with Slum Dwellers International (SDI) in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam and with other bottom-up organisations of informal workers and residents in Zimbabwe and South Asia.

Currently, I am contributing to University of Manchester's African Cities Research Consortium (ACRC) with an array of civil society and academic partners in Nairobi. I am also Co-Investigator for an NIHR-funded Global Health Research Group on occupational health and climate change-related risks for informal workers in India and Zimbabwe. Alongside partners in East Africa, I have explored COVID-19 responses with a focus on bottom-up action in urban areas. 

Other recent projects include analysing shelter in Nairobi (East Africa Research Fund); access to healthcare and infrastructure for refugees in Nairobi and Kampala (British Academy); and grassroots understanding of risk and resilience in Dar es Salaam (British Academy). I previously worked as a researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), where I produced policy-related outputs including for UCLG, UN-Habitat, and C40. 

Research Networks and Beacons


  • urban development, Urban health, global inequalities, Social Policy, Informality, climate change adaptation, gender

Education / academic qualifications

  • 2017 - Doctor of Philosophy, City and Regional Planning , University of California, Berkeley (2011 - 2017)
  • 2010 - Master in Science, Urban Economic Development, University College London (UCL) (2009 - 2010)
  • 2009 - Master in Science, Social Policy Research, London School of Economics & Political Science (University of London) (2008 - 2009)

Related information

Publication highlights

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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Media coverage and contribution

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