This report describes the unfolding dynamics in Havelock settlement 8km from Durban, South Africa, where the community & local government are ready to start upgrading. However, the Not-In-My-Backyard (NIMBY) complex, layered with racial, class & land rights dynamics, has blocked the incremental upgrading of the settlement. Read More
Tenements - congested, vertical slums - have been around since the industrial age. These settlements are strategically located near key urban services, particularly jobs. This phenomenon is rife in Nairobi, Kenya - one of Africa's fastest growing cities. This series of articles will highlight various aspects of living in Nairobi's tenements as told by individual dwellers. Read More
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In Uganda, the spatial proximity of urban savings groups allows for the collective capacity necessary to create a critical mass of urban poor to hold public officials accountable, to collaborate with municipalities and leverage their savings. This critical mass is required to make community participation more than a platitude and aid more effective, and it is uniquely possible in the urban setting. Read More...
Follow the Uganda Federation's construction of a sanitation unit in Kalimali, Kawempe. Kalimali zone is home to approx. 277 people & covers roughly 4 acres of land. The project began with enumerations during which the community sensitized the community about the project & the need to gather information about the settlement. Read about the progress of this project here. Read More...
The first in a series of community forums was recently held in Khayelitsha to begin a conversation about the needs & aspirations of the urban poor communities there. These forums aim to bring communities together to discuss & find solutions to their daily challenges. Forums are also linked to prioritising development, and starts the community process at the grassroots. Read More...
Improving sanitation in Africa's slums is a key upgrading strategy in poor communities. Through the Sanitation & Hygiene Applied Research for Equity joint research project, communities in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Malawi & Zambia are using SDI rituals of enumerations, profiling & mapping to outline the obstacles to achieving pro-poor citywide sanitation. Read More...
A community member from Burkina Faso shares her experience on a recent trip to Ghana: "I come from a community living in a precarious neighborhood of Ouagadougou... The first action to do on my return to my country is to mobilise my own community to change our current living conditions and our lives." Read More...
In 2012 the Mshini Wam community initiated an innovative in-situ upgrading process of their dense informal settlement. They were introduced to Touching the Earth Lightly (TEL). A pilot project was initiated around the building of a “green shack”, incorporating sustainable design principles in the in-situ upgrading of informal settlements. Read More...
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 ...
Sheela Patel, director of SPARC India, discusses the process of community-driven in situ slum upgrading in the city of Pune, in Maharashtra, India.
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.
Members of Peoples Dialogue Ghana in the settlement of Old Fadama unite around savings schemes and engage with local government to stave off eviction.
The Zimbabwe Homeless People's Federation unites people to living conditions through community-driven savings schemes, enumerations, exchanges and training.
Community members in Jinja settlement initiate a community-wide enumeration, halting evictions and allowing the community to negotiate with local government for nearby land.
After a community-wide enumeration, backyard shack dwellers in Manenberg (Cape Town, South Africa) unite around savings schemes and mobilize for land.
The Community Land Information Programme (CLIP) allows for mobilization around knowledge and information, providing leverage in negotiating with government to improve living conditions.
The Homeless Peoples' Federation Philippines (HPFPI) uses savings and community-driven processes as tools to address challenges faced by the urban poor.
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.
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.
Key protocols for informal settlement upgrading, as seen in the work of national urban poor federations of Shack / Slum Dwellers International (SDI).
How can organized communities make meaningful contributions to the struggle for inclusive cities? Slum Dwellers International highlights key rituals to engage in this process.
A brief profile of Dharavi, one of the largest informal settlements in the world, situated in the city of Mumbai, India.
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.
Facing threat of eviction, members of the SDI alliance in Tanzania saved money collectively and negotiated with government for land.
Settlements Under Siege
On 3 August the SA SDI Alliance reported evictions without an eviction order in Marlboro Industrial Area, Johannesburg. That day, Johannesburg Metro Police moved in on 3 occupied sites and demolished 300 dwellings. Ten days later, heavy machinery rolled into Marlboro. Community leaders watched as bulldozers tore into Chico's Ice Cream Factory, home to 109 families. Nearly a month later, thousands of shack dwellers from Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tswane (Pretoria), and nearby towns gathered at Mary Fitzgerald square in Newtown, Johannesburg. The agenda was a simple but powerful one: mobilising those affected by poor service delivery, insecure tenure, and evictions. Read More
Federations at Work
Spotlight on Slum Upgrading
In Mshini Wam informal settlement (Cape Town), community members have come together to build a better life for their children. Collectively, they are influencing city government, producing lessons for a future in which all children grow up in safe, vibrant, and nurturing neighborhoods. The settlement of 250 families is becoming a learning center for improving informal settlements throughout Cape Town as they “re-block” the dense, flood and fire-prone settlement, into organized clusters of 8-10 shacks. Read More
Spotlight on Community Planning
The experience of organized communities of the urban poor proves that slum dwellers are more than capable of devising realistic, implementable solutions to their own housing and infrastructure needs. Its success is often more sustainable, and more relevant than one driven by professionals – characteristics that benefit government and slum dwellers in the long term. Governments across the developing world have been convinced of the viability of these projects, and seen concrete benefits of involving communities in all stages of upgrading. Read More