Research project

Research prize 2023
for his research in health anthropology on funeral rites and response methods in epidemic contexts

Associate researcher at the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics (CUB) at the Université Alassane Ouattara (UAO) and at the Laboratoire-Population-Environnement-Développement (LPED). Firmin KRA is currently a post-doctoral fellow on the “Public Health Actions for Côte d’Ivoire” (PAcCI) program, as part of a scientific partnership between CUB and the Robert Koch Institute and the Bouaké University Hospital. Firmin KRA is the country representative of the Réseau anthropologie des Epidémies Émergentes (RAEE) and country coordinator of its Groupement de Recherche International (GDRI). He was a recipient of the IRD ARTS fellowship and a member of the CUB IRD Young Associate Team

His scientific interests focus on public health policies, in particular epidemiological surveillance, prevention, preparedness and response to epidemics.

For his thesis, his research focused on the politics of articulating funeral requirements and biosecurity norms in times of epidemics. As part of his doctoral research, he proposed a number of different concepts. The concept of contact opportunities identifies the actors, spaces, times and practices involved, particularly those involving the handling of bodies at the time of death. The concept of funerary imperative opens up the field of research into obligations, prohibitions, permissions and standards according to the type of death. The systemic approach to co-construction involves understanding health or epidemic crises in their entirety, with particular attention to interactions between different spaces, social actors and their implications for decision-making.

In 2020, as part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic in France, he was mobilized at the Hôpital Européen de Marseille, as an expert in epidemic anthropology, to support the Covid mobile team in managing deaths and crisis relations.


Since 2014, he has been involved in the implementation of several research programs.

  • 2014-2016 : Ebo-CI Program (Ebola and the Ivory Coast)
  • 2016-2019 : RiF&piC Program (Funeral rituals and epidemics in Ivory Coast)
  • 2020 : CORAF Program (Coronavirus Anthropology Africa)
  • 2020-2021 : COMESCOV Program (Containment and sanitary measures to limit transmission of Covid 19)
  • 2019-2022 : Development program for the Anthropology applied to epidemics manual, published by Éditions L’harmantan.
  • 2023-2026 : PAcCI Program (Public Health Actions for Côte d’Ivoire)


He has contributed to several other scientific publications on the social dimensions of epidemic preparedness and response policies, and preventive communication policies.



The French Red Cross Foundation’s Research Prizes are designed to promote scientific work that has already been completed, or innovative lines of thought devoted to humanitarian and social issues, in both the North and South. Open to all disciplines of the human and social sciences and to all nationalities, they reward scientific excellence and human commitment, promoting scientific knowledge, ethical reflection and social innovation to advance action in the service of the most vulnerable.