Modeling a Pandemic (COVID-19) Management Strategy for Urban Slums Using Social Geometry Framework

Onditi F, Obimbo M, Muchina SK, Nyadera I
Eur J Dev Res. 2020;32

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The purpose of this paper is to utilize social geometry framework to model a pandemic (COVID-19) management strategy in densely populated informal settlements in Kenya. Our central claim is that the containment strategy that was instituted to control spread of COVID-19 failed to recognize the socio-cultural and livelihood complexities of the urban slum residents. This unmitigated strategy predisposed the residents to risks of heightened transmission of the pandemic. Drawing on social geometry approach in the analysis of human relations, we reveal some insights offered by our experiences in theorizing about public health intervention (PHI) and in doing so develop an alternative analytical framework ('social pendulum') to support the development of a PHI strategy that is compatible with the swing-like lifestyle of residents in the informal settlements. Our conclusion revisits the reliability and validity criteria for the new framework and offers some direction for further research.