City learning from below: Urban poor federations and knowledge generation through transnational, horizontal exchange

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17 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article examines ways in which transnational grassroots networks produce knowledge and learning that crosses borders to help cities explore solutions to dilemmas of urban development. International development programmes often legitimise a narrow class of professionals, advising donor agencies and foundations, private investment institutions, governments and other providers of capital for developmental intervention through a predominantly vertical hierarchy. Shack/Slum Dwellers International, a network of urban poor federations across Africa, Asia and Latin America, has over two decades of experience sharing knowledge through a methodology that has promised to upend these relatively vertical relationships. This network represents a growing critical mass of local national and transnational organisations of the poor learning from each other. This article argues that Shack/Slum Dwellers International's exchange methodology, built on collective learning and discovery between communities and formal government agencies, has begun to demonstrate its potential as a tool for unlocking processes of bureaucratic reform and associated learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-142
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Development Planning Review
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development

Keywords

  • Bureaucracy
  • Housing
  • Institutional learning
  • Resettlement
  • Social movements

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