Mitlin, Diana

Squatting on the global highway

Community to community exchanges, which enable poor people to plan, control and negotiate their own development strategies, are the focus of this paper, particularly in the context of squatters/slum dwellers. These exchanges, which spread to international exchanges amongst the urban poor, have birthed a people's movement of global proportions. The paper begins by summarising the urban context in which these organisations emerged, and the scale and nature of the development challenge they face.

Sharing experiences and changing lives

This paper discusses community exchange programmes as a powerful mechanism for increasing the capacity of community organisations to participate in urban development. By enabling communities to share and explore local knowledge created through livelihood struggles, a powerful process is triggered, whereby community exchanges transform development. Through a cumulative process of learning, sharing and collective action, strong sustained and mobilised networks of communities emerge.

Empowering squatter citizen: local government, civil society and urban poverty reduction

With the rapid growth in urban poverty in Africa, Asia and Latin America, most cities now have 30 to 60 per cent of their population living in shanty towns. The civil and political rights of these people are often ignored or constantly contravened and they face multiple deprivations that arise from dangerous living conditions and inadequate services. None of these problems can be addressed without local changes, and this book contends that urban poverty is underpinned by the failure of national governments and aid agencies to support local processes.