Saturday, April 6, 2024
Group picture of three SPPA students who won the 2024 Glabal Health Case Competition, each holding their certificate.
SPPA team members, left to right, Sanzida Rahman Setu, Farnaz Fatahi Moghadam, and Jovana Kolasinac

We are proud to announce that our students have received first place and the grand prize in the 2024 Global Health Case Competition for their project, “Improving Sustainability Outcomes in Homa Bay, Kenya.” In addition to receiving the first place monetary awards, they were selected by Dave Okech Okech, CEO of a Kenyan nonprofit, Aquarech Ltd, to implement a portion or all of their plan in that country! The competition is offered through the UI Institute of Public Health Research and Policy.

Their team included three School of Planning and Public Affairs (SPPA) masters students, Farnaz Fatahi Moghadam, Jovana Kolasinac, and Sanzida Rahman Setu, plus UI students Joe Maxwell (undergraduate in political science with an urban planning minor) and Sanya Sami (graduate student in public health). They competed against eight other teams representing a total of nine colleges to capture the win.

The aim of the contest is to train “the next generation of leaders through a unique competition experience built upon a real‐world challenge.” This year’s global health case study was “Sustainable Communities and Nutrition Concerns in Homa Bay, Kenya.” There were numerous aspects the students had to consider, including declining supply of fish as a primary protein source, supply chain issues, cultural implications, food insecurity, health concerns, and climate change. Additionally, they had to take into account complicating factors that were present, such as gender-based issues, economic and environmental impacts, and strategic alliance for policy implications to ensure the sustainability of their proposal. The team spent two months working on their project, incorporating many aspects of urban planning from their graduate classes.

The students’ winning proposal is available for viewing.