Urban populations are growing exponentially. Improving urban health is becoming a priority worldwide, especially in the context of COVID-19. One potential modality for addressing the determinants of urban health is through Smart Cities, which take a multi-sector, multi-stakeholder approach to urban planning. India has been at the forefront of the Smart Cities movement in Asia through their Smart City Mission. The main objective of the Mission is to promote cities that provide a core infrastructure, and a clean and sustainable environment and give a decent quality of life to their citizens through the application of ‘smart solutions’. The USAID-funded Building Healthy Cities project, along with Brandeis University, are hosting a conversation with Mr. Kunal Kumar (Joint Secretary and Mission Director, Smart Cities Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India) to explore examples and opportunities for developing Smarter, Healthier Cities. We welcome you to join us in this conversation on Sept 27th.
Allyala Krishna Nandakumar, PhD
Dr. Nandakumar is a Professor of the Practice at Brandeis University where he is the Director of the Master of Science Program in Global Health and Management and Director of the Institute for Global Health and Development. Dr. Nandakumar served as the first Chief Economist at the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator. Prior to that Dr. Nandakumar served for four years as the first Chief Economist for the Global Health Bureau at USAID. Dr. Nandakumar is an internationally recognized health-financing expert, known specifically for his work in resource tracking, National Health Accounts, health financing, and healthcare policy and research.
Kunal Kumar, IAS
As Municipal Commissioner of Pune he initiated several innovative concepts through which citizens could propose smart solutions to key issues facing the city. He has also initiated a project called Lighthouse, an award winning sustainable livelihood program to empower underprivileged youth and also operationalized the city’s digital literacy mission to bridge the digital divide. Pune was a – finalist in the City Award category, World Smart City Awards in Barcelona 2016-17 and was selected in 100 Resilient Cities Programme – promoted by The Rockefeller Foundation. He has served across Maharashtra districts of Bhandara, Jalgaon and Aurangabad as District Collector as Municipal Commissioner in Kolhapur Municipal Corporation.
Änjali Kaur is the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Asia. She is an international development professional with comprehensive experience at the field, country, and global levels with evidence-based, integrated global health programs. Before joining USAID, Ms. Kaur was the Senior Program Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation leading the global policy and advocacy strategies for the HIV and TB programs. Prior to that, she was the Senior Director of Asia Pacific for Malaria No More where she established the India Office and expanded the organization’s work across the region, engaging with governments, private sector, civil society and media. Ms. Kaur was also with UNICEF’s Polio Programme, where she worked at the country and HQ levels, as well as the World Bank and UNFPA.