Submissions Accepted for Presentation at the 2020 Conference on Land and Poverty

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Session Overview
06-07: Slum upgrading policies for equity & resilience
Tuesday, 17/Mar/2020:
10:30am - 12:00pm

Session Chair: Cynthia Goytia, Harvard University and Torcuato Di Tella University, Argentine Republic
Location: Online Proceedings

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ID: 529 / 06-07: 1
Individual Papers
Topics: Land for urban expansion and affordable housing; land acquisition
Keywords: urban expansion, affordable housing, slums, housing ecosystem, systems approach

Enhancing housing ecosystems for greater scale and impact, an integrated systems approach

Sanjeevani Singh

Habitat for Humanity International, United States of America

Housing is central to creating socially just, economically viable and ecologically healthy and sustainable cities. Access to adequate and affordable housing is a challenge in most cities around the world. According to the United Nations, an estimated 1.6 billion people live in substandard housing and 1 billion people live in slums. In many developing countries, over fifty percent of their urban populations live in slums. Addressing slums, sub-standard housing, informality, and inequality in cities requires a shift from traditional approaches designed to serve formal systems and markets. The purpose of this paper is to advocate for the important of taking a systems approach to address the current housing crisis and achieve greater outcomes and impact that align with the commitments captured in the global development frameworks. Cities are dynamic complex ecosystems, and a systems approach is required to navigate this complexity.

Sanjee Singh, is the Director for International Housing Programs at Habitat for Humanity International, with over 20 years’ experience in international development, building strategies, policies and programs to drive enhancements and systemic change across public, private and development sectors. She is part of the Global Programs Design and Implementation Team, focusing on the development of the organization’s Global Urban Approach and supporting the design implementation of comprehensive urban programs across Habitat’s federation. Sanjee has Bachelor of Science in Town and Regional Planning and a Master’s Degree in Public Development and Management from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is passionate about contributing towards sustainable development and building processes and partnerships to improve outputs, outcomes and impact of teams, programs and projects.

ID: 548 / 06-07: 2
Individual Papers
Topics: Land tenure security and gender, youth, indigenous peoples; marginalization
Keywords: Tenure Security, Slum Policies, India, Value Focused Thinking, Community Based Operations Research

Giving voice to the slum dwellers – understanding the implications of the implementation of the Land Rights Act in Odisha State, India

Namesh Killemsetty, Amit Patel

University of Massachusetts Boston, United States of America

The purpose of the paper is to understand the implications of the provision of land rights to the slum dwellers living in the eastern state of Odisha in India which has started providing land titles to slum dwellers through the Odisha Land Rights to Slum Dwellers (OLRSD) Act since 2018. Based on extensive interviews and field visits, the study uses problem structuring methods such as Cognitive Mapping (CM) and Value Focused Thinking (VFT) to highlight the perspectives of the different stakeholders involved in the program. The paper further maps the challenges faced by the slum communities in accessing the program, and the challenges faced by the stakeholders involved in the implementation of the program. It is our hope that our study could be useful in improving the implementation of the OLRSD and consequently improving lives of slum-dwellers as envisaged.

Namesh Killemsetty is a PhD Candidate in Public Policy at University of Massachusetts Boston’s McCormack Graduate School for Policy and Global Studies. Namesh’s research focuses on understanding the voices of the slum communities for better provision of government approaches associated with welfare of slum communities. He is currently based in Odisha, India for the fieldwork of his dissertation study which aims to explore the mismatch between the government provisions and the community needs of slum dwellers living in smaller cities. With a prior background in Civil Engineering and Infrastructure Management, Namesh hopes to bring a transdisciplinary perspective to his research to better understand the needs of the slum communities. He spends the rest of his time, whatever little available building Lego sets and listening to songs in the 7 languages that he speaks.

ID: 514 / 06-07: 3
Individual Papers
Topics: Land for urban expansion and affordable housing; land acquisition
Keywords: Informal settlements, integrated approach, effectiveness, housing laboratories

Neighborhood upgrading programs for equity and resilience: challenges and alternatives in Latin America

Stephen Seidel1, Hector Becerril Miranda2, Mercedes Di Virgilio3, Karol Yanez Soria4, Anaclaudia Rossbach5

1Habitat for Humanity International, United States of America; 2Autonomous University of Guerrero, Mexico; 3Gino Germani Research Institute ( UBA ) / CONICET; 4Centromet, Mexico; 5Cities Alliance, Belgium

This paper aims to analyze contemporary experiences in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) on integrated neighborhood upgrading, considering the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for transitioning towards a more equitable and resilient urban futures. It does so by building on the outputs of a series of multisectoral exchanges conducted during 2017-2019 in the context of the Housing Laboratories (LAVs) facilitated by the Urban Housing Practitioners Hub (UHPH). Specifically, it poses the following questions: What are the main characteristics of these contemporary initiatives? How do these initiatives align with the NUA and SDGs? What have been their strengths and weaknesses regarding the reduction of inequality and climate action? Finally, this paper highlights the importance and explore possible ways forward for disseminating inspiring practices in order to contribute to building institutions for equality and resilience across LAC.

Stephen Seidel has more than three decades experience implementing affordable housing solutions at the local, national and international level. As Senior Director of Habitat for Humanity International’s Global Program Design and Implementation department, Stephen and his team support programs in the more than 70 countries where Habitat operates. This includes technical assistance, quality oversight, resource development, and program implementation in the areas of housing development, water and sanitation, slum upgrading, vulnerable groups programming, secure tenure, and helping to establish collaborative partnerships such as the Urban Housing Practitioners Hub to improve the quality of practice throughout the housing sector.

ID: 517 / 06-07: 4
Individual Papers
Topics: Academic economic research quantitative impact evaluations
Keywords: Slum policies, evidence-based policy design, systematic review

A Systematic review of slum policies in the Global South: what could we learn from successes and failures of the past?

Amit Patel, Namesh Killemsetty

University of Massachusetts Boston, United States of America

More than a billion people, or one in seven people on the planet, live in slums today and that population is expected to rise in coming decades. Despite several housing policy interventions to improve lives of urban poor, none of them have been a panacea and slum have persisted in the Global South. While there is a long history of designing, implementing, and evaluating slum policies in the Global South, there is a very limited understanding of what makes certain policies effective and what kind of socio-economic and political circumstances enable them to succeed their stated objectives, and whether they are replicable in other contexts with a reasonably warranted success. In this paper, we conduct a systematic review of published literature that evaluates slum policies implemented in the last seven decades to generate an evidence base on their effectiveness that could be useful to design evidence-based slum policies.

Amit Patel is Assistant Professor at University of Massachusetts Boston’s McCormack Graduate School for Policy and Global Studies. Amit’s research focuses on bottom-up approaches to improve socio-economic outcomes for urban poor. His main research projects funded by the National Science Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Urban Institute, International Development Research Centre, and the World Bank focus on housing and health disparities concerning urban poor living in slums in the Global South. He regularly teaches courses on public policy theories, urban politics and policies, and advanced quantitative methods. Amit has a PhD in public policy from George Mason University and prior training in management, urban and regional planning, and architecture. When he is not in the field or in front of the computer, you will find him behind the camera.

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