Academic Articles
Leave No One Behind
Leave no one behind Community-driven urban development in Thailand This paper examines community participation in housing projects for low-income communities in Thailand and how they have sought to ‘leave no one behind’. Baan Mankong, the government slum upgrading programme, is unique in how it has institutionalised participation. Housing projects funded by international funders, community savings or small government subsidies also use participation in their design and implementation. Simultaneously, new concepts like universal design promote an inclusive experience, taking into account the needs of all community members, irrespective of age and ability. Six case studies are presented here, focusing on central and underprivileged homes in the programme, the renovation of homes for vulnerable people, and the design of communal spaces. Working Paper : Nausica Castanas, Ploy Kasama Yamtree, Batan Yoswadee Sonthichai and Quentin Batréau
How urban poor community leaders define and measure poverty
SOMSOOk BOONYABANCHA and THOMAS KERR Sept 2015 Abstract This paper describes how urban poor community leaders in six nations (Cambodia, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam) worked together to define poverty, assess its causes, and suggest how best to measure it and address it. Their work drew on over a thousand detailed household expenditure surveys from different settlements in a range of cities in the six nations. Five distinct groups could be distinguished among these urban poor households, and the work suggested that two poverty lines were needed. The community leaders also reviewed national and international poverty lines and found these to be incompatible with reality, especially the US$ 1.25/person/day poverty line. The paper draws some conclusions and describes plans for the country teams to further this work, including engaging with their national governments over the definition and measurement of urban poverty.
Urban Poverty Reduction: Learning by Doing in Asia: SOMSOOK BOONYABANCHA AND DIANA MITLIN
ABSTRACT This paper describes the Asian Coalition for Community Action (ACCA) programme that was initiated by the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR) in 2009. ACCA seeks to catalyze and support community initiatives, citywide upgrading and partnerships between community organizations and local governments. By January 2012, it had helped fund initiatives in 708 settlements in 153 cities in 19 different Asian nations. In each city, small grants support community-led initiatives that encourage citywide networks to form, where members share skills with each other and learn to negotiate with their local governments. Further support was available as local governments engaged and then came to support this process, including the formation of jointly managed community development funds. The paper also describes how the design of ACCA drew on earlier work, and ends with a reflection on what has been learnt with regard to more effective ways of reducing urban poverty. This explores the two underlying dimensions: first, the creation of institutions based on relations of reciprocity; and second, the strengthening of relations between low-income community organizations such that they can create a synergy with the state. One key lesson is the need for financial systems that allow the urban poor to be the key agents in addressing their problems and in bringing in city governments to work with them. This collaboration can lead to the urban poor being recognized as legitimate and highly productive residents and citizens of the city.
Finance as the key to unlocking community potential:savings, funds and the ACCA programme: DIANE ARCHER
ABSTRACT This paper describes how the Asian Coalition for Community Action (ACCA) programme seeks to use finance to augment community-driven development processes in 19 nations and enable their scaling up to the city and national levels. The lack of accessible and flexible finance is a key stumbling block for the majority of community development processes in Asia. The paper begins by examining how this programme approaches the issue of finance in the wider context of community-driven upgrading, and elaborates the role that community networks can play in encouraging collective activities. It then explains how community finance leads to the establishment of community development funds (CDFs), financial platforms made up of contributions from different sources, including community savings, ACCA seed funds and contributions from local/ national government or other actors. These both encourage collaboration and increase the scale of what can be done. The paper gives examples of how CDFs can operate at different levels: locally, between groups of communities with shared problems and goals; on a citywide scale (107 citywide funds are now in operation); or at a national level, as in the Philippines, Cambodia and Sri Lanka.
Together we are strong: networks, platforms and the social relations that support a people’s process: MAURICE LEONHARDT
ABSTRACT This paper describes people’s process, community networks and platforms of work between communities and professionals in Asia; also how these networks, which have reduced the isolation of low-income and disadvantaged communities, have built their confidence, produced finance to support their priorities, legitimized and capacitated their organizations and catalyzed effective action. Networked and informed community groups are increasingly able to lead development processes and work together with government agencies, politicians and other stakeholders, from academics to NGOs. By being unified through a common group or association, community members gain strength in numbers and shared financial capital, opening up many more opportunities than if they worked individually. By giving examples of national networks of the urban poor in Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Mongolia and elsewhere, this paper seeks to demonstrate the value of networks in supporting a people’s process of development.
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