Alice Sverdlik

Alice Sverdlik was a researcher with IIED's Human Settlements research group until January 2022

Alice Sverdlik's picture
Languages: English, Spanish (advanced) and Swahili (intermediate)

Alice co-convened IIED’s web series on ‘Beyond COVID-19: grassroots visions of change’ and is exploring how to support transformative COVID-19 recovery pathways in urban areas.


Alice Sverdlik is interested in health equity; informal settlements; adaptation to climate change; gender; urban politics; and informal livelihoods. She has a longstanding commitment to action-research with urban grassroots organisations. Her academic training is in city planning, social policy, and inclusive urban economic development.

Recent projects have examined housing dynamics in Nairobi; occupational health and climate change-related risks for informal workers in India and Zimbabwe; and community understandings of risk and resilience in Dar es Salaam’s informal settlements. Another partnership examined how access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) for informal workers in Durban and Nakuru can support health, livelihoods and gender equity. She also analysed healthcare and infrastructure provision for refugees in Nairobi, and she has explored how upgrading informal settlements can support health, climate resilience and wellbeing.

Before IIED

  • PhD (city and regional planning) at UC Berkeley, 2017
  • Consultant, World Health Organization (2015-16)
  • IPCC voluntary chapter scientist, Urban Areas, AR5 (2011-13)


  • MSc (urban economic development) with distinction at University College London, 2010
  • MSc (social policy research) with distinction at London School of Economics, 2009