Resource Insecurity, Relational Poverty, and Wellbeing in Malawi’s Informal Settlements

Grants to Support Faculty Fellows' Research
Grant Year

Resource insecurity—the lack of access to adequate, affordable, reliable, acceptable, and safe sources of food, water, energy, and housing—threatens healthy livelihoods and wellbeing in Africa’s informal settlements where nearly 60 percent of the continents urban population lives. Numerous studies have examined resource insecurity across one or two resources. However, how multiple resource insecurities (food, water, energy, and housing) co- determine each other and interact to compromise health and wellbeing is largely overlooked. This project will investigate the relationships between multiple resource insecurities and test their syndemic impact on health and wellbeing in informal settlements. Situated in Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital city; informed by Relational Poverty and Syndemic Theory; and using mixed methods (surveys, interviews, and focus group discussions), the project will make significant contributions to geography, sociology, public health, and development studies; generate insights for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals; and contribute to Kellogg’s Human Development theme.