Katja Starc Card is an urbanist, researcher, and interdisciplinary designer. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Public and Urban Policy at the New School. Her doctoral research explores the relationship between the state and society at the city level, focusing on responsive and inclusive municipal governance in fragile and limited capacity contexts.
She has international experience in post-conflict reconstruction, local governance, design, and community-driven slum upgrading. While pursuing her Master’s at UCL’s Development Planning Unit in London, Katja participated in the assessment of the Baan Mankong Collective Housing program for low-income communities in Thailand. She then spent several years in Afghanistan, where she worked as a researcher and monitoring and evaluation professional for local research NGOs, and international humanitarian and development organizations. Working with the Kabul-based Liaison Office and the Cooperation for Peace and
Unity, Katja served in key data collection, fieldwork coordination, and research management roles. During her time with People in Need, she was involved in monitoring rural development and emergency relief
projects in northern Afganistan. As Monitoring and Evaluation Manager of a USAID-funded stabilization project implemented by DAI in northern Afghanistan, Katja was responsible for tracking the delivery of public
services and assessing government responsiveness to the needs of marginalized communities.
At the IRC, Katja is focusing on the adaptation of humanitarian response to urban contexts. Specifically, she is looking at ways the IRC can sustain existing relationships with city governments and ensure short term humanitarian programming leads to self-reliance of displaced and marginalized populations and contributes to long-term development goals of the host city. As part of the Fellowship, Katja has traveled to Kampala in January 2019 to explore opportunities for
collaboration and coordination between humanitarian agencies, civil society and the municipality of Kampala to meet the needs of its displaced and marginalized residents.