S4E3 - Covid 19 research and relationships with communities in informal settings for policy response

Media 21 Apr 2022

In this week’s episode we talk about COVID-19 and how travel and public health restrictions presented challenges to ensuring that urban marginalised voices were heard by researchers and policy makers in India and Bangladesh. Our impressive guests Professor Sabina Faiz Rashid and Senior Research Fellow Dr.Surekha Garimella discuss the importance of having established long-term relationships with people, communities and supporting organisations which enabled research to continue and ensured that the needs of people in urban spaces were reaching decision makers. Our guests share;  

  • what happened when Covid-19 hit urban informal communities in India and Bangladesh 
  • the personal and professional passion of researchers to work with communities, not only for research purposes but in solidarity for the struggles faced  
  • their own career journeys of humility, unlearning, connectedness and shared humanity that shaped their lives and relationships with communities 

Dr Surekha Garimella

Senior Research Fellow, George Institute for Global Health, India

Garimella Surekha has a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition, a Master of Science in Nutrition & Food science, a Master of Philosophy in Applied economics, and a PhD in Public Health, Gender, and Work. Her research interests are in gender, women, work, and political economy; Gendered health systems and accountability; feminist theory and practice and ethics of research practice. She has worked in implementation and research in gender, nutrition, health and wellbeing among women, children, and adolescents in informal urban settlements in Delhi and Tamil Nadu as well as researched on the health and wellbeing experiences of women workers in urban informal settlements in Delhi. Currently she leads the work on health and wellbeing of waste workers under ARISE (Accountability for urban informality) in India. 


Sabina Faiz Rashid

Professor, BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University

Sabina F. Rashid, PhD, is Dean and Professor at the BRAC School of Public Health, BRAC University. A medical anthropologist by training, she has over 25 years of work experience in Bangladesh. Her areas of research and teaching interest and experience are ethnographic and qualitative research, with a focus on urban populations, adolescents, and marginalized groups. She is particularly interested in examining the impact of structural inequalities and inequities and intersectional factors that affect the ability of these populations to realize their health and rights.

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0916-2631
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/sabina-faiz-rashid-5229671aa
Twitter: twitter.com/bracjpgsph
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/BRACJPGSPH
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/bracu-jpgsph

This is a podcast in the series: Connecting Citizens to Science, which focuses on health research based on equitable partnerships between researchers and communities.