Anna Walnycki

Principal researcher, Human Settlements

An anthropologist who works with civil society organisations on issues related to urban poverty, informality and inclusive urbanisation in cities across the global South.

Anna leads the urban poverty and informality work programme at IIED. Over the last 10 years she has supported the practical and strategic work of a range of urban civil society organisations and undertaken extensive participatory action research with long-term partners in Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Bolivia.

Anna is the IIED lead for the IKI-funded Transformative Urban Coalitions programme (with DIE, UNU, WRI and partners in Argentina, Mexico and Brazil) and the British Academy funded 'Grassroots insights into urban risk' project (with CCI in Tanzania).


Urban poverty and informality; water and sanitation; the role of civil society and partnerships in poverty reduction; ethnographic and participatory action research.

Before IIED


  • PhD STEPS Centre, Institute of Development Studies
  • MSc development planning, Development Planning Unit, UCL. BSc Anthropology, UCL

Current work

How marginalised urban communities, local governments and international agencies can develop inclusive planning processes and co-produced responses to urban poverty and environmental challenges in order to forge more equitable and sustainable cities.

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