SDI Partners with African Planning Schools to Promote Pro-Poor, Inclusive Cities

The SDI-AAPS partnership seeks to educate student planners so that as professionals they can promote policies that benefit the urban poor. Photo: SDI
[8 February 2011] -- Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI) has partnered with the Association of African Planning Schools (AAPS) to promote initiatives, plans and policies that encourage pro-poor and inclusive cities in Africa.  
 
The idea behind the partnership is to educate student planners on the issues and needs of people living and working in informal settlements, so that as professionals they will be able to promote inclusive urban settlements that benefit the poor. The two organisations will also collaborate on developing curricula in planning and the built environment.
 
Though partnerships between federations and academic institutions have existed for some time in individual countries, SDI began to think about a wider approach in June 2010 following a Community Architects Conference in Thailand hosted by the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR). At the conference, SDI delegates saw how effectively ACHR works with planning schools, and committed themselves to furthering this agenda.
 
Plans for a formal partnership between SDI and AAPS were first discussed at an October 2010 conference on “Revitalising Planning Education in Africa” hosted by the AAPS in Dar es-Salaam, Tanzania. The two organisations subsequently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in November 2010.
 
The MoU stipulates that the AAPS will encourage its member institutions to pursue relationships with SDI affiliates. These may include student internships with SDI support NGOs, invitations to SDI affiliates to present at or develop curricula with planning schools, and the joint production of documents for use in advocacy and lobbying.
 
 
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