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A billion people, or one-seventh of the world’s population, now live in slums in developing country cities. Mumbai, India, possibly has the world’s largest population of slum dwellers: 50-60% of its population lives in informal settlements on <9% of the city’s land area. A significant proportion of those slum residents live in “non-notified” settlements that lack any legal recognition, resulting in their exclusion from formal municipal services such as water, sanitation, and electricity. From 2009 to 2012, a team of researchers from PUKAR (a Mumbai-based research collective), the Harvard School of Public Health, and NYU engaged in an interdisciplinary project investigating health in a non-notified slum of 14,000 people. With support from the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard, several new findings have emerged from these data in the last year that the research team wishes to disseminate to the public. This event will consist of a few short presentations of original research findings followed by reflections on the findings by professors from the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Graduate School of Design.


“Why Illegality is Deadly”
Ramnath Subbaraman, PUKAR; Research Fellow in Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital.

“A Novel Household Coding System and GPS Mapping for Facilitating Research and Advocacy”
Dana Thomson, Research Associate in Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School.

“Water Poverty in Slums: A Social Ecological Framework”
Alpen Sheth, PhD Candidate, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“Measuring Water Poverty: Insights from Kaula Bandar”
Laura Nolan, PhD Candidate in the Office of Population Research, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University.

“Does Living in a Slum Take a Psychological Toll? Evidence and Reflections on Social Suffering in our Urbanizing World”
Ramnath Subbaraman, PUKAR; Research Fellow in Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital.

Reflections and Conversation:

David Bloom, Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics and Demography, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health.

Rahul Mehrotra Chair, Department of Urban Planning and Design; Professor of Urban Design and Planning, Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Cosponsored with the Harvard Weatherhead Center for International Affairs