Elizabeth Onyango

SSHRC Research Fellow, MiFOOD Project, Wilfrid Laurier University    

Photo of Elizabeth Opiyo Onyango
Postdoctoral Fellow
Postdoctoral Fellow

Elizabeth Onyango

SSHRC Research Fellow, MiFOOD Project, Wilfrid Laurier University

Dr. Elizabeth Onyango is currently a SSHRC Research Fellow at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and Wilfrid Laurier University working in the MiFood research project. Her research work focuses on examining the different drivers, dimensions, and vulnerabilities of internal and international migrant to food insecurity in the global south. In her recent role as a Queen Elizabeth Scholar (QES) and postdoctoral fellow at Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) with the Hungry Cities Partnership, Dr. Onyango’s research work focused on the role of formal and informal social protection systems in boosting food security status of urban households and effects of COVID-19 on household food security.

Dr. Onyango is and alumnus of University of Waterloo where she completed her PhD in Health Geography in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management. Her PhD. dissertation project, “Exploring Health and Wellbeing in a Low-to-Middle Income Country: A Case Study of Kenya.” explored the health and wellbeing indicators that matter to Kenyans of different ages and genders from different regions in the country and revealed the pertinent role of food security, gender-based violence, livelihood options, and social connections in defining health and wellbeing.

Dr. Onyango’s research interests include population health and well-being research in the global south with a focus on livelihoods and food insecurity, gender-based violence, youth development, maternal and child health and environmental health issues including sanitation and hygiene. Dr. Onyango is also passionate about community service and has worked in different capacities both as a Rotarian and a project coordinator in service to her community. Dr. Onyango is currently an associate member of Tshepo Institute for the Study of Contemporary Africa and a board member of African Community Wellness Initiative a Waterloo Region based grassroot initiative.


  • Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship Award for PhD Training at the University of Waterloo, ON, Canada.
  • Health Africa Development Co-operation Organization Scholarship (HADCO), Finland to visit Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences as an Exchange Student.
  • Competitive Science, Technology and Innovative (ST & I) Grant Fund, Kenya for Master of Public Health (Epidemiology and Population health) research.

Select Publications

  • Onyango, E. O., Crush, J., & Owuor, S. (2021). Migration, Rural–Urban Connectivity, and Food Remittances in Kenya. Environments8(9), 92.
  • Onyango E. O. (2021). Managing livelihood in displacement: The politics of landownership, food security, and embodied health and wellbeing by senior women in Kenya. In Gender Climate Change and Livelihoods. Publisher: CABI .
  • Onyango, E. O., & Elliott, S. J. (2020). Bleeding Bodies, Untrustworthy Bodies: A Social Constructionist Approach to Health and Wellbeing of Young People in Kenya. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(20), 7555.
  • Onyango E. O. & Kangmennaang, J., 2020. Wellbeing in Place. In: Kobayashi, A. (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, 2nd edition. vol. 14, Elsevier, pp. 265–272. ISBN: 9780081022955.
  • Onyango E.O., George A., Watsierah C.A., Were T., Okumu W., Anyona S.B., Raballah E., Orinda G.O. and Ouma C. (2012). Factors associated with non-adherence to Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT) to malaria in a rural population from holoendemic region of western Kenya. BMC Infectious Diseases, 12:143.


  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Health Geography, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Thesis title: “Exploring Health and Wellbeing in a Low-to-Middle Income Country: A Case Study of Kenya.” 2019
  • Master of Public Health, Epidemiology and Population Health, Maseno University, Kenya. Thesis title: “Adherence to Artemisinin-Based Combination Therapy (ACT) for Treatment of uncomplicated malaria in Southeast Alego, Karemo Division, Siaya District, Kenya.” 2011
  • BSc, Environmental Science, Kenyatta University, Kenya. Research project title: “Drinking water quality and the perceived health effects in Southwest Alego, Uranga Division, Siaya District.” 2007
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