SINERGIA – African contributions to global health

Reconnecting urban planning with public health

This project has been developed in collaboration with the University of Basel and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, with the support of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF). The project is made of two post-doctoral researchers and four PhD thesis – two of which will be conducted at CEAT – as well as more than twenty European and African partners. The research goal is to develop an interdisciplinary perspective on health and innovation from an Africanist viewpoint, based on the foundational hypothesis that innovations from the global South are beneficial beyond their place of origin. Acknowledging that a single discipline cannot provide sufficient orientation in explaining the intercontinental circulation of knowledge, we propose to approach African contributions to global health from the fields of public health, urban planning and African history.

Considering that public health and urban planning have been progressively disconnected throughout the 20th century, the research projects carried by CEAT will contribute to the current effort to re-connect these fields. Moreover, they will fill a research gap by exploring the possible collaboration between these disciplines in low- income countries, which have been ignored not least due to the administrative divisions between authorities of urban planning and those of public health. We will consider the period from after WW2 to the present, taking empirical cases in specific African research sites as a starting point to explore their (possible) global resonances.

Scientific outputs

Journal articles

Two Decades of Architects’ and Urban Planners’ Contribution to Urban Agriculture and Health Research in Africa

Spatial Distributions of Diarrheal Cases in Relation to Housing Conditions in Informal Settlements: A Cross-Sectional Study in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Environmental determinants of access to shared sanitation in informal settlements: a cross-sectional study in Abidjan and Nairobi

Using Open-Access Data to Explore Relations between Urban Landscapes and Diarrhoeal Diseases in Côte d’Ivoire

Examining African contributions to global health: Reflections on knowledge circulation and innovation

Conference presentations

Efficacy and health benefits of different water distribution systems in informal settlements: a cross-sectional study in Nairobi, Kenya

Shared sanitation and safety issues in impoverished urban settlements: design implications for slum upgrading projects

The question of housing at the center of urban health inequities

Urban living, mobility & health – the future of our cities


Stakeholder engagement and scientific dissemination in Nairobi

General information

Click here to see the project’s official website

Team: Vitor Pessoa Colombo, Akuto Akpedze Konou, Rémi Jaligot, Doris Osei-Afriyie, Ipyn Eric Nebie, Danelle Van Zyl-Hermann, Tanja Hammel, Julia Tischler, Jürg Utzinger, Jérôme Chenal

Contact: Vitor Pessoa Colombo

Funding: Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF)