Mwiti Betty Karimi
University of Nairobi
Institution: University of Nairobi
Area of Research: Action to health: Decreasing the incidence of lifestyle diseases in informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya through a population-led communication strategy
Betty is a Tutorial Fellow at the School of the Arts and Design, University of Nairobi, lecturing and supervising both undergraduate and postgraduate students mainly in various aspects of Communication Design as well as the Co-Design Process and Design Thinking Methodology. Part of my responsibilities also include but are not limited to mentorship of the final year undergraduate students, where I assist them transition from the academic environment into the job market; as well as linking them to potential employers. My academic qualifications include a PhD in Design (Communication Design), Master of Arts in Graphic Design and a Bachelor of Arts in Design (First Class Honours) from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. My PhD thesis focused on Design for Health, where I studied Health Promotion Strategies towards the prevention and management of Non-Communicable Diseases in urban informal settlements in Kamukunji, Nairobi County. With the help of the community, I designed a community-led communication framework that can assist in designing health promotion programmes best suited for them. The PhD programme was a scholarship awarded on merit by the Consortium for African Research Training in Africa (CARTA). As such, alongside my supervisor Dr. Amollo Ambole I have been actively involved in her research activities key among them a research grant funded by the Leading Integrated Research for Agenda (LIRA) 2030 Programme. I have been actively involved in co-design workshops and on-site community visits and gained a lot of experience from this project. I am also currently a Senior Research Assistant in her newly acquired research grant labelled GENS Africa – an Africa-UK Trilateral Research that aims at Mainstreaming Gender for Energy Security in Poor Urban Environment, funded by National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa and the Newton Fund through the British Council. At the University level, I am the lead trainer of a new programme on Design Thinking for Social Change at the School of the Arts and Design, UoN, in which we are looking forward to partner with the SUGAR Network that brings together researchers from various universities and fosters their engagement into joint research on Design Thinking Methodology. Prior to joining the academic field, I practiced as a Creative Director in various advertising agencies, handling diverse projects for Corporate Clients ranging from client service to advertising campaigns. I am still actively practicing as a Graphic and Interior designer with a focus on Corporate Branding and Advertising, alongside being a Design Researcher. My research interests include Design for Health, and Community engagement and participation, with a key interest in Urban Informal Settlements.