The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Urban Africa Risk Knowledge (Urban ARK): Insights from Malawi and Freetown

29 November 2017, 5:15 pm–6:30 pm


Dialogues in Development: Urban Africa Risk Knowledge (Urban ARK): Insights from Malawi and Freetown

Event Information

Open to



Development Planning Unit


DPU 101, 34 Tavistock Square, WC1H 9EZ

Urban ARK is an ambitious ESRC-funded 3-year programme led by Prof. Mark Pelling (KCL), that seeks to better understand the nature and scale of disaster risks in urban centres. Since the inception of the programme, DPU staff have worked on the “governance and planning” component of Urban ARK bringing together an action research agenda and work with key actors to better understand and help inform contemporary decision-making and planning for the future. Taking advantage of the visit to DPU of two key partners in this undertaking: Mtafu Manda and Braima Koroma, this session aims to share some of the insights gained so far in Karonga (Malawi) and Freetown (Sierra Leone).


Mtafu Manda is a Senior lecturer in the Department of Land Management of the Mzuzu University. His research interest are urban informality, disaster risk management, tenure security and urban livelihoods. Through the non-for-profit Urban Research and Advocacy Center (URAC), Mtafu also supports various grassroots organisations. He has been instrumental in the establishment of the Malawi Urban Network (MalawiUrbanNet), a grouping of civil society, professional institutes, and research organisations in Malawi. 

Braima Koroma co-directs the Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre (SLURC). He is a development and sustainable development planner specialised in environmental management, climate change and development impact evaluation. He has over 10 years’ experience of teaching, research, training and facilitation, and consultancy on a broad spectrum of interdisciplinary research to examine complex development problems. Braima have worked as an environment and development consultant for a large number of African and international organisations.