NEW PUBLICATION: A people’s led approach to informal settlement upgrading

It is with great pleasure that we share our most recent publication:  

Exploring partnerships with local government: A people’s-led approach to informal settlement upgrading

It comes at a time when South Africa is grappling with issues of land, redress and possible legislative amendments in the face of poverty, inequality and exclusion. The effects of these living conditions are borne by the poorest of the poor, many of whom live in urban informal dwellings.

For over twenty years, shack dweller communities linked to FEDUP have recognised that an amendment in formal rights does not necessarily guarantee improved living conditions. In response, these urban poor communities have been organising themselves to engage the state to ensure incremental solutions to land, shelter, livelihood and tenure. 

This publication narrates the experiences of informal settlement communities who, together with FEDUP and ISN, have sought formalised partnerships with cities and municipalities.

We ask: what are the ingredients for a people’s led approach to building effective partnerships with local governments, specifically around informal settlement upgrading? 

Based on the experiences of FEDUP and ISN across South Africa from 2008 – 2018, the publication also examines the factors that contribute to the breakdown of such partnerships, once established. 

Our intention is that this publication will be useful to a variety of actors: urban poor communities when organising and engaging with municipalities, municipal and government representatives, organisations in the sector, interested actors in academia, the private sector, and general public when engaging with informal settlement residents and communities. 

Our hope is that this publication contributes an additional narrative to the current debates on land and redress –  a narrative that reflects the voices and organising strategies of urban poor communities.

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