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Shack / Slum Dwellers International | News | September 2014
SDI Newsletter | September 2014 

Reflections from the Kampala Learning Centre: What does it mean to Know Your City?

This year, SDI launched an initiative called, Know Your City in partnership with the Cities Alliance and United Cities and Local Governments Africa (UCLGA). The initiative has generated a lot of attention, particularly following its launch at the World Urban Forum in Colombia. But what does it mean to Know Your City? In this, the second blog reflection from the Kampala Learning Center, will examine this question in light of the recent launch of the Kampala Slum Profiles by the National Slum Dwellers Federation of Uganda (NSDFU) and its support NGO ACTogether Uganda.

In Uganda, the NSDFU began city-wide profiling in 2009 as part of the Cities Alliance-funded Transforming Settlements of the Urban Poor in Uganda (TSUPU) program. Five secondary cities were profiled, catalyzing a new era of community organization in Uganda. Not only had such data never been collected on slum settlements before, but also the nature of data collection methods was such that knowledge was produced collectively and in real time by the urban poor and local government as they gathered and interpreted the information for themselves. This year, with support from Comic Relief and SDI, the NSDFU took on the challenge of profiling and mapping the capital, Kampala. As is the case with profiling throughout the SDI network, the federation in Kampala first mobilized to identify all the slum settlements in the city (62 were identified at first) and then formulated and administered a questionnaire on topics ranging from to demographics, to land tenure, to service access etc. In addition the federation members are trained to use GPS devices to map the boundaries of their settlements. This month, the profile reports were officially launched and handed over to the KCCA at the launch of the Kampala City Forum – another initiative of the federation in partnership with Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA). 

Click here to read more about the Kampala City Forum.

SDI Announces 2013 - 2014 Annual Report

This annual report reviews a set of activities that extend beyond just a year. For SDI, the past year has been the culmination of a multi-year process to achieve citywide scale in all regions where we work. The past three years have enabled SDI to have a unique breadth of international experience in building participatory, developmental institutions at the local government level that is unparalleled across the urban development sector. We are presenting this annual report under the theme Know Your City because it serves as a bridge from where we have been as a network, to where we are heading next. The experiences of the past, and the plans for the future, underpin a very practical vision of building cities that are inclusive of the voices, needs, and aspirations of the poor through the planning knowledge, financial capacities, and political will of those who are often rendered informal, expendable, and invisible. Indeed, it is the fate of the informal majority of urban residents in the South, upon whom our urban future will rise or fall. 

To read the full report, click here

Reflections on the Southern African Hub Meeting 

HUB meetings are gatherings that bring affiliates together to collectively set the agenda for the region. They are used as a mechanism to share collective learning, devise targeted support strategies (e.g. exchanges) for individual countries and concretize planning, on a regional scale, for the next period. The Southern African HUB recently took place in Lusaka, Zambia. Delegations from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Botswana and Malawi attended the 3-day meeting.

To read more about the recent Southern African hub meeting, click here

Citywide Data Collection and "Knowing Your City"

SDI launched the Know Your City campaign at the 7th World Urban Forum in April 2014. The Know Your City campaign is a global campaign for grassroots data collection and inclusive partnerships with local government for citywide community networks of urban poor communities. The campaign urges affiliates to scale up data collection processes and outputs and demonstrate that SDI’s arguments for community-driven data collection are about more than just information and data; they are aimed at building inclusion of the urban poor into city policy.

Click here for more information on SDI's Know Your City Campaign from the  2013 - 2014 Annual Report.

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