The Bartlett Development Planning Unit

Dr Afia Afenah

Dr Afia Afenah

Lecturer (Teaching) MSc in Social Development Practice

Development Planning Unit

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Sep 2019

Research summary

Current areas of research include:

Urban diversity and migration, poverty and inequality, and the role of non-stateactors in local governance.

Teaching summary

MSC Social Development Practice:

  •         Social Diversity, Inequality, and Poverty
  •         Social Policy and Citizenship and
  •         Social Development in Practice

From 2015-2020 Afia was a an associate lecturer for the Urban Management Programme at the Technical University Berlin.


She is an urban anthropologist with over a decade of professional, research, and teaching experience that focuses on issues of urban social and spatial development, informality, participation, and governance from below.

She holsd a Dr. Phil. (German equivalent of Ph.D.) in Social and Cultural Anthropology, from the Department of Political and SocialSciences, Free University Berlin. In her thesis, she ethnographically explored how changing patterns of migration are creating new forms of everyday governance practices in Accra, the capital of Ghana. Afia has conducted research and taught at a variety of interdisciplinary institutes including  the Centre of Excellence in Global Governance Research (Helsinki), The Centre for Metropolitan Studies (Berlin) and the Leibniz Institute of Global and Area Studies (Hamburg). Prior to her doctorate, she worked as a strategic consultant for the built environment alongside spatial planners, architects, engineers and economists for three years.