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The 2017 SDI Annual Report centers on the issue of resilience. Emerging from the field of ecology, the term describes the capacity of a system to maintain or recover from disruption or disturbance. Cities are also complex systems and a resilience framework addresses the interconnectedness of formal and informal city futures. Moreover, it enables a nuanced reflection on the nature of shocks and chronic stressors – recognizing that the latter are particularly acute in slum dweller communities and that this critically undermines the entire city’s economic, social, political, and environmental resilience. As with personal resilience, city resilience demands awareness, acknowledgment of reality, and a capacity to move beyond reactivity to responses that are proactive, thoughtful and beneficial for the whole. The most enlightened individuals and cities will be those that understand their responsibility to the most vulnerable and to the planet. Our 2017 Annual Report showcases some of SDI’s achievements over the past year on the road to resilience.


The Basic Services for the Urban Poor (BSUP) sub-Mission of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) sought to address the needs of some of the lowest-income and most vulnerable urban dwellers in Indian cities. The promise was that these residents would receive ‘a garland of 7 entitlements’ – security of tenure, affordable housing, water, sanitation, health, education and social security in low-income settlements in the 63 Mission cities. We researched the outcomes of the BSUP in five Indian cities (Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Pune and Visakhapatnam), which were selected because of their diversity. They presented a wide range of socio-economic contexts and economic development and also differed in the nature and extent of civil society involvement in BSUP programming.  



This is a snapshot of the over 50 events SDI is participating in at the upcoming World Urban Forum 9 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Check our Facebook page for full the daily schedule and event highlights!


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Access to clean, reliable, safe, and affordable sources of energy is identified by SDG-7 as a key driver of development. During the past four years, SDI has sought to deliver scalable models for safe, affordable, and reliable renewable energy access. This work has been incorporated into the SDI network’s strategy for creating inclusive and resilient cities where the lives of the urban poor are substantively improved. SDI’s EJP has been fully integrated into SDI’s strategic plans and Theory of Change, along each of the three change pathways: settlement, city, and global.

This report provides an overview of the progress of the last 4 years of SDI’s EJP and its evolving strategy going forward. Firstly, the report sets the scene regarding the intentions of the programme at its inception, which broadly entailed integrating energy service provision into SDI’s agenda for incremental settlement upgrading and wider strategies for change. From there the report looks at the linkages between SDI’s energy work and the SDI Theory of Change. It then proceeds to outline progress made during the programme to date. Finally the report touches on emerging strategies, which will take the programme forward.


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OpenReblock: Safe, inclusive and integrated cities. Make the connection. A new digital platform for informal neighborhood development places the power of urban planning and data in the hands of slum dwellers and their cities.  

Report from the SDI West Africa Hub meeting, held in Lagos, Nigeria from 2 - 7 October 2017, hosted by the Nigeria Slum / Informal Settlement Federation and Justice & Empowerment Initiatives - Nigeria.

This exchange, part of the Francistown Know Your City Programme, took place in May 2017 and involved participants from SDI affiliates in Zimbabwe, South Africa & Namibia.


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Letter from the SDI Board and Management Committee to Governor Akinwunmi Abole of Lagos State, Nigeria, in response to the eviction of 4,700 people in Otodo Gbame community, Lagos. 22 March 2017; 22 March 2017.


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by Joel Bolnick, IIED Working Paper, December 2016.


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Released on 20 March 2017 by Nigeria Slum / Informal Settlement Federation and Justice Empowerment Initiatives - Nigeria.