This training manual for innovative, community-based shelter training programmes is the result of a partnership which has developed since 1991 between the People's Dialogue, a national network linking representatives from illegal and informal settlements in South Africa, and a group of three organisations in India. These are SPARC, an NGO working broadly in the area of housing and community development; the National Slum Dwellers Federation; and Mahila Milan, a federation of women's collectives. The first part of the manual describes the participation of the South African delegation in a shelter training programme in India. Part two focuses on a follow-up training conducted by the South African delegates in their own country, with the support of the Indian trainers. Forty leaders of the Federations of the Homeless Poor in South Africa took part as they assisted one township to explore their shelter options. The final section reflects on the kinds of methodology followed in the process and provides guidelines for training.