Nairobi Center PGIF Projects on Refugees and Migration

August 07, 2021

PGIF Round 1 Projects (2013)

Project; Columbia University Global Migration Network

Principal Investigator

Julien Teitler:

  • Associate Professor, School of Social Work, Columbia University.

Co- principal Investigators

Sandro Galea

  • Gelman Professor of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Local Collaborator

  • Sharon Gordon
  • Edwin Kariuki


The project's goals were to identify migration scholars across the globe, invite them to participate in a global network of migration research scholars, and begin to identify pressing issues in migration research.

PGIF Round 5 Projects (2017)

Project; Generativity in deprived urban contexts? Older Adults’ experiences in slums in Mumbai, Nairobi, and among Haitian immigrants in New York

Principal Investigator

Ruth Finkelstein:

Co- principal Investigators

Kavita Sivaramakrishnan

  • Assistant Professor, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

Local Collaborator

  • Isabella Aboderin - Senior Research Scientist, African Population and Health Research Center


Societies worldwide are growing older rapidly, though this change is more advanced in industrialized countries than in low and middle-income nations. There is evidence from research that older adults if they have the requisite capacity and opportunities, will engage with and seek to support younger generations; such engagement will enhance the capabilities of the young and the well-being of the old. This proposal sought to shift the grounds of this thinking by adopting a more ‘inclusive’ group-based and context-specific approach through interrogating the notion of ‘generativity’ in three different and ethnically diverse urban contexts, including specific slums in Nairobi, Mumbai, and among Haitian immigrants in Brooklyn thus it contributed to focusing scholarly attention on knowledge production on aging and also contributed to framing new categories and protocols for testing theories and practices in the global South.

PGIF Round 6 Projects (2018)

Project; Co-Creating an Urban Displacement Solutions Alliance.

Principal Investigator

Neil Boothby:

  • Professor of Population and Family Health, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

Co- principal Investigators

Mary Mendenhall:

  • Associate Professor of Practice, Columbia University’s Teachers College.

Nora Akawi:

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

Other Participants

  • Irwin Redlener – Director, Columbia University, National Center for Disaster Preparedness
  • Daniel Naujoks – Adjunct Assistant Professor, Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs.

Local Collaborator

  • Danish Refugee Council (DRC)
  • International Rescue Committee (IRC)
  • Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)


This project addressed the global migration crisis. A critical component of this initiative was to support the Global Centers in promoting solutions to large-scale urban displacement through partnerships with national and international actors. The project was a response to operational partners' requests to engage in "real-time" research to inform scalable, sustainable solutions for Syrian refugees in the Middle East and the North African region (MENA). The project sought to support a series of workshops to determine how to combine the expertise and resources of different stakeholders into effective partnerships to pursue sustainable solutions to urban displacemen