When does data transform into the kind of power urban poor communities can use to leverage their authorities for development? Collecting data and sharing the experiences and challenges around this empowerment process is key to SDI’s network wide support structure. Read More
To reach citywide scale, financial options for sanitation must cater to the poorest of the poor within a settlement. It is here that SDI federations have a vital role to play. A citywide model is a model that works because the urban poor wish to invest their finances and can access a service that works for them through this investment. Read More
Flows of finance and the systems that perpetuate resource distribution are inherently weighted against inclusion of the poor.Community-based urban poor federation members and support professionals from South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Bolivia came together in late 2013 to discuss citywide models for urban finance. Read More
Data collected by organised communities of the urban poor is a powerful tool in their negotiation with city officials and donors. The profiling process creates a layer of information on the locality of poorly served communities that can be used to generate a city planning and service delivery strategy that addresses poverty more effectively than the conventional administrative format. Read More
Initial findings of the Kampala Federation's citywide profile are unprecedented, suggesting extreme levels of inequality & exclusion across the city. Nearly 70% of slum settlements have faced eviction threat, with 1.5 million slum residents currently facing high threat of eviction. This kind of data changes the city's engagement with urban poor communities, informing creative implementation strategies for city development. Read More
Back in April, we posted an article about women and sanitation in Nairobi's slums. Recently, we revisited the interviews with the women of Mukuru kwa Reuben to give you a first-hand account of their experiences and opinions on living conditions in the slums. Check the blog to hear the interviews. Read More
Read about SDI & Santa Fe Institute's global slum profiling project, which aims to aggregate & analyse the roughly 7,000 federation profiles collected over the past 20 years in more than 15 countries across the global south. The objective is to yield a "science of slums" powerful enough to leverage citywide & global sustainable developmental appeal for ‘slum data’. Read More
Latest Blog Posts
"SDI has played a critical and positive role in re-shaping the global debate around slums and slum-dwellers, demonstrating that they are not only an essential part of the solution, but also the originators of practical and innovative solutions. SDI forces governments...as well as multi-lateral and bi-lateral organizations, to recognize slum dwellers as citizens, neighbours, and future Mayors." Read More...
Major construction & youth unemployment make training young people in construction a promising venture for the largest poor people’s movement in Uganda, the National Slum Dwellers Federation of Uganda (NSDFU). NSDFU and ACTogether Uganda are in early stages of constructing a production and training centre in Jinja where community members will be trained in the production of low-cost construction materials. Read More...
Urban development programmes tend to serve slum dwellers poorly, focusing either on work & incomes or on shelter, tenure & basic services. These divisions fail to reflect the inter-connected nature of people's daily lives & the challenges they face. This is encouraging grassroots movements & NGOs to share ideas on how to address people’s needs with strategies to target both shelter & livelihoods. Read More...
Informal settlements remain excluded in the citywide planning agenda. The result is that high costs are used to justify why cities fail to install water, sewerage & drainage facilities or plan land use for slum areas. To address this, the Kenyan federation of slum dwellers generates accurate data on informal settlements to influence planning & decision making processes & build inclusive cities. Read More...
For actors and institutions concerned with the economic and social well-being of humanity, urban development is increasingly recognized as the major lacuna of fighting poverty, managing climate change, and generating inclusive growth. Within our network, we are transitioning to a new scale of activities and beginning to get recognition in our cities, countries, and at the global level for what we do. Read More...
Slum Dwellers International is a platform where governments and slum dwellers engage as partners in urban development. Together they co-produce cities that include the poor.
SDI Board Member and executive director of Kenyan support NGO Jane Weru speaks about her work in Kenya and recent award from The Rockefeller Foundation.
A brief profile of Dharavi, one of the largest informal settlements in the world, situated in the city of Mumbai, India.
How can organized communities make meaningful contributions to the struggle for inclusive cities? Slum Dwellers International highlights key rituals to engage in this process.
Key protocols for informal settlement upgrading, as seen in the work of national urban poor federations of Shack / Slum Dwellers International (SDI).
After a community-wide enumeration, backyard shack dwellers in Manenberg (Cape Town, South Africa) unite around savings schemes and mobilize for land.
Sheela Patel, director of SPARC India, discusses the process of community-driven in situ slum upgrading in the city of Pune, in Maharashtra, India.
The Community Land Information Programme (CLIP) allows for mobilization around knowledge and information, providing leverage in negotiating with government to improve living conditions.
After a fire in March 2009, the community of Joe Slovo rebuilt hundreds of shacks in their settlement, uniting residents and catalyzing a city-wide upgrading process.
The Homeless Peoples' Federation Philippines (HPFPI) uses savings and community-driven processes as tools to address challenges faced by the urban poor.
Community members in Jinja settlement initiate a community-wide enumeration, halting evictions and allowing the community to negotiate with local government for nearby land.
The Zimbabwe Homeless People's Federation unites people to living conditions through community-driven savings schemes, enumerations, exchanges and training.
Members of Peoples Dialogue Ghana in the settlement of Old Fadama unite around savings schemes and engage with local government to stave off eviction.
Facing threat of eviction, members of the SDI alliance in Tanzania saved money collectively and negotiated with government for land.
Garbage collectors (zabaleem) in Cairo, Egypt recycle and trade roughly 80% of collected waste. Recently, this decades-old resource recovery system has come under threat.
This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the National Slum Dwellers Federation. On the 12th of December the Federation will host a celebration, slum dwellers market, Urban Poor ...
Settlements Under Siege
“Getting to the toilet at night is very difficult,” says Doris, “We come to the bush, and it is very risky. If you do not come with two or three people, it is a rape case that will never be reported. As women we are in a very, very risky place...” Residents of Mukuru, a belt of slums home to ± 1 million people, have been under threat of eviction for years. Because the settlement sits on private land it is outside the orbit of government’s jurisdiction for infrastructure improvements, meaning quality of life is exceptionally hard. SDI traveled to Mukuru to speak to women there; to find out how they are taking the matter into their own hands. Read More
Federations at Work
Spotlight on Slum Upgrading
The community of Kinawataka, Kampala, took it upon themselves to upgrade living standards in their neighbourhood. They formed a federation, and enlisted members to work & save together towards common goals. After enumerating & mapping structures, surveying the slum's demographics, they had enough to make informed decisions. Federation leaders decided that it was imperative that a public sanitation facility be built to service the 900+ families living without sanitation. Read more about this process here! Read More
Spotlight on Community Planning
Community-driven settlement profiling, enumerations, & mapping are practices that SDI federations have developed over decades. They are valuable tools in negotiating for equitable resource flows from the public & private sector to urban poor communities. At a workshop in Nairobi, federations from Africa & Asia discussed the purposes, systems & impact of profiling. By creating a “slum dweller perspective” on city planning processes, federations are equipped with the necessary tools to become co-producers of the urban future. Read More