Diana Mitlin

Diana Mitlin
The University of Manchester · Global Development Institute

Doctor of Philosophy

About

139
Publications
36,048
Reads
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4,545
Citations
Citations since 2016
25 Research Items
2695 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
Introduction

Publications

Publications (139)
Article
Global monitoring efforts do not provide a clear picture of the challenge of managing human waste at the city scale. Where cities do not provide universal access to publicly managed sanitation systems, households and communities find their own solutions resulting in a patchwork of approaches to removing human waste from places where people live. In...
Article
This paper highlights challenges of water access in towns and cities of the global South and explores potential policy responses. These challenges are not new, although, we argue that they have been underestimated by policy makers due to a focus on global data, thus, resulting in decision makers paying insufficient attention to these problems. Poli...
Article
The article analyzes water access in cities in the global South. We examine two challenges to water access from the perspective of households: intermittent services and affordability. The article analyzes primary and secondary data from 15 cities and one corresponding informal or low-income settlement in each city in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia,...
Article
Full-text available
As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases nears 27 million, there is a rush to answer (what next) and a rush to act (to solve the immediate problems of COVID-19). This paper discusses, with a specific focus on urban areas in the global South, what is missing to date from this response. That includes an identification of things that there are too mu...
Article
The purpose of this paper is to share our experiences—as academics and professionals—in coproducing knowledge to improve urban development outcomes in the global South. The focus of the paper is on urban research and practice, a field in which academic work influences policy and programming, and professional knowledge (validated and certified by ac...
Article
Full-text available
This paper highlights the major challenges and considerations for addressing COVID-19 in informal settlements. It discusses what is known about vulnerabilities and how to support local protective action. There is heightened concern about informal urban settlements because of the combination of population density and inadequate access to water and s...
Article
Full-text available
Approximately 1 billion people currently live in informal settlements, primarily in urban areas in low- and middle-income countries. Informal settlements are defined by poor-quality houses or shacks built outside formal laws and regulations. Most informal settlements lack piped water or adequate provision for sanitation, drainage, and public servic...
Article
The purpose of this paper is to share our experiences – as academics and professionals – in co-producing knowledge to improve urban development outcomes in the Global South. The focus of the paper – urban research and practice – is a context in which academic work influences policy and programming, and professional knowledge – validated and certifi...
Article
Full-text available
This paper considers the modalities by which utilities in four sub-Saharan African cities have extended water services into low-income settlements and examines their consequences for household access to water. We argue that water utilities and other public agencies supplying water are experimenting, drawing on the approaches of informal suppliers,...
Article
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Across the Global South, the realities of urban informality are changing, with implications for how we understand this phenomenon across economic, spatial, and political domains. Recent accounts have attempted to recognise the diversity of informality across contexts and dimensions, as well as its everyday lived realities. Reviewing key debates in...
Article
The pace and scope of contemporary urbanization are unprecedented by any measure. The current prolonged period of intensified urbanization has profound implications for environmental sustainability. National and international governing bodies increasingly seek to plan and manage urban processes in attempts to both mitigate the negative environmenta...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this paper is to share our experiences – as academics and professionals – in co-producing knowledge to improve urban development outcomes in the Global South. The focus of the paper – urban research and practice – is a context in which academic work influences policy and programming, and professional knowledge – validated and certifi...
Article
This paper explores the strategies of social movement organizations working in towns and cities of the global South to secure justice for their members and address poverty and inequality. The paper argues that there has been a false distinction between alternative strategies of resistance. Drawing on research in Kenya and South Africa, I argue that...
Article
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In this working paper we seek to contribute to debates about the scaling up of citizen participation in towns and cities of the Global South through a focus on participatory planning. Our contribution is threefold. First, we discuss existing experiences of integrating participation into citywide planning and urban governance processes, highlighting...
Article
This is an open access report. Please go to https://www.effective-states.org/working-paper-97/ to download.
Article
Full-text available
Adaptation finance is primarily allocated to multilateral entities and national governments, rather than local organisations. This means that some of the same social, political and economic processes that create and sustain inequalities within a country will be the same processes that determine how adaptation finance is used. Using an urban lens, w...
Article
Experiences of apartheid in South Africa have resulted in the association of shelter with citizenship, adding significance to the concept of “home”. This paper reviews experiences with grassroots efforts to make the government’s housing policy and programme more effective in addressing the needs of the urban poor. The experiences offer lessons rele...
Article
Full-text available
Past research by one of the authors of this paper has identified four key institutional challenges that community-driven initiatives to improve sanitation in deprived urban settlements face: the collective action challenge of improving community sanitation; the coproduction challenge of working with formal service providers to dispose of the sanita...
Article
Full-text available
All urban dwellers need safe, quick, easy access to clean toilets, day and night – without fear, without a long walk, without a long wait in line, and without the need to plan ahead or to spend more than they can easily afford. They should be able to count on privacy, cleanliness and the means to wash anus and hands quickly and conveniently, which...
Article
Full-text available
This paper draws on sanitation innovations in Blantyre (Malawi), Chinhoyi (Zimbabwe), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Kitwe (Zambia) driven by slum(1)/shack dweller federations to consider what an inclusive approach to sanitation would involve. This includes what is possible for low-income households when there is little or no external support, no pip...
Article
The description and analysis of climate change adaptation programmes in low- and middle-income countries rarely examines the political conditions and contexts in which these take place, or the way in which these activities may themselves shape local and national politics. This paper uses a case study of Zimbabwe to examine how the discourse and pra...
Article
This paper explores what we have learned about how to instigate, negotiate or otherwise secure pro-poor government in towns and cities of the global South. With competition for scarce resources, the processes of urban development, and specifically the acquisition of land and basic services, are intensely political. While the nature of urban poverty...
Article
Grassroots organizations that have sought to scale up improvements to their urban neighbourhoods through engaging the state have found themselves drawn into relationships with professionals. The potentially negative consequences of such engagements have long been recognized. This paper explores the nature of relations between professionals and orga...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This has a summary of two books by these authors: Urban Poverty in the Global South, Scale and Nature published in 2012 and Reducing Urban Poverty published in 2013 by Routledge, London. This chapter also has a paper on Urban Social Safety Nets: Country Case Studies by John Taylor and The Urban Poor in India by Naresh Saxena
Book
This is the first book to review the effectiveness of different approaches to reducing urban poverty in the Global South. It describes and discusses the different ways in which national and local governments, international agencies and civil society organizations are seeking to reduce urban poverty. Different approaches are explored, for instance;...
Article
Full-text available
The needs of informal settlement dwellers across towns and cities in the global South are acute. While much emphasis has been placed on income poverty, for urban dwellers affordable access to improved secured accommodation and basic services such as water and sanitation is essential for well-being. In part due to the lack of such access, urban citi...
Article
This paper considers community-based adaptation (CBA) to climate change and its relationship to the theory and practice of participatory development. It is argued that CBA needs to recognise the considered experience of participatory development to date, particularly in relation to local involvement in project planning and implementation, as well a...
Article
As the scale and depth of urban poverty is increasingly recognised, questions arise about what can be done to address it. The contribution of urban social movements has particularly been recognised with regard to collective consumption of goods and services due to their significance to survival and well-being. This article explores studies of three...
Chapter
This article considers the use of ‘sites and services’ programmes in the global South. This intervention grew in popularity during the 1970s with mixed success. While site and service strategies have not been directly replicated, their principles (which are themselves modelled on the observed practice of housing development and consolidation) have...
Article
In low- and middle-income nations, civil society institutions have far more importance in the design and construction of urban housing and in the provision of housing-related infrastructure than in high-income nations. This is because so much housing provision is in informal settlements in which the state and formal building enterprises have little...
Article
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This paper describes the Asian Coalition for Community Action (ACCA) programme that was initiated by the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR) in 2009. ACCA seeks to catalyze and support community initiatives, citywide upgrading and partnerships between community organizations and local governments. By January 2012, it had helped fund initiativ...
Article
informed accounts of social practices around saving and collective remittances in poor countries this paper examines how the malleability of money enables it to have the potential for formalisation which allows it to be brought into formal relations of future-making and foreclosure, at the same time as its potential for investments and reallocation...
Article
Full-text available
The main interest of this chapter is in how urban residents and the organizations they form or in which they engage can hold government organizations to account for their policies, investment priorities and expenditures. Also how they can influence what infrastructure and services they get, especially those related to the achievement of the Millenn...
Article
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In Brazil’s large cities, more than half a million people survive by collecting and selling solid waste. Most face very poor working conditions and have very low incomes as the intermediaries to whom they sell pay low prices. Their activities are even considered illegal in some nations. But the waste pickers save city governments money, contribute...
Article
This paper introduces innovations in shelter programmes currently emerging in the global South. The paper discusses the evolution of a new approach aimed at reaching some of the lowest-income groups. This approach is placed within its historical and ideological context through a review of previous efforts and an analysis of present shelter programm...
Article
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: Obtaining secure land tenure for housing is one of the biggest chal-lenges facing the urban poor and the professionals who seek to address poverty. This paper describes how a UK£ 200,000 fund supported the acquisition of secure land and the construction of housing in 13 different communities (in Cambodia, Colom-bia, India, South Africa and Zimbab...
Article
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The significance of social movements for pro-poor political and social change is widely acknowledged. Poverty reduction has assumed increasing significance within development debates, discourses and programmes - how do social movement leaders and activists respond? This paper explores this question through the mapping of social movement organisatio...
Article
Advocates of community-based adaptation claim that it heaps to identify, assist, and implement community-based development activities, research and policy in response to climate change. However, there has been little systematic examination of the ways in which existing experiences of dealing with hazard events con inform communily-based adaptation....
Article
Full-text available
This paper reviews the use of co-production — with state and citizens working together — as a grassroots strategy to secure political influence and access resources and services. To date, the literature on social movements has concentrated on more explicitly political strategies used by such movements to contest for power and influence. Co-producti...
Article
This paper considers the implications of the General Agreement on Trade in Services for the delivery of water to low-income residential customers in the South. The specific feature of the GATS is the liberalization of water supplies. The paper argues that the GATS may, depending on national government commitments, limit the ways in which the water...
Article
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This study draws together the experiences of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) in using finance to secure access to land and infrastructure. Thefederation uses strategies of collective solidarity, political presence and financial capacity to encourage local authorities to reconsider traditional approaches to urban development, and to...
Article
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Official aid agencies and development banks are not set up to work with poor groups or to be directly accountable to them, even if their work is legitimized on the basis of these groups' needs. The bureaucracy of such agencies works primarily with and through national governments and is generally unable to catalyze or support the local social proce...
Article
In this paper we examine the impact of membership in Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) on trade between PTA members. Rather than considering the impact of PTA membership on the volume of trade we consider the impact of membership on the structure of trade. For a large sample of countries over the period 1962-2000 we find that membership in a PTA...
Article
Full-text available
The social and physical environments have long since been recognized as important determinants of health. People in urban settings are exposed to a variety of health hazards that are interconnected with their health effects. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have underlined the multidimensional nature of poverty and the connections between he...
Chapter
This paper discusses four large-scale, well-regarded housing subsidy programmes (in Chile, Mexico, the Philippines and South Africa) in order to explore the political and social dynamics of pro-poor development success. In particular, it argues that — at least for the programmes considered here — success has been achieved through alliance-based pol...
Article
The purpose of this paper is to explore the contribution of urban social movements in addressing urban poverty, particularly the poverty experienced by the chronic (or long-term) poor in Southern towns and cities. After a Summary and Introduction, the substantive discussion begins in Section Two by reviewing the scale and characteristics of urban p...
Article
This paper develops a series of arguments regarding the contribution of social movements to the reduction of chronic poverty in both urban and rural social contexts, building on the more specific arguments developed in CPRC Working Papers Nos. 63 and 64). This short, more analytically oriented summary identifies some of the critical conceptual and...
Article
The problem of chronic poverty in urban areas has been given little attention despite an increasing interest in poverty and some recognition of the growing significance of urban populations. This paper reviews the literature to bring together what we know about the nature and scale of chronic poverty in urban areas. It begins with a consideration o...
Article
This paper considers the experience of the membership organizations that make up the international network of Shack or Slum Dwellers International (SDI,3 an international network of national urban poor Federations and their support NGOs.
Article
Windhoek is the capital city of Namibia with a population of 223,000, 26 per cent of whom are living in informal settlements. Despite this scale of need, experiences in the last decade have demonstrated to the urban poor, city officials and politicians that it is possible to secure improvements. Windhoek's new Policy for Access to Land and Housing...
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This document is an output from a project funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) for the benefit of developing countries. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the DFID. It is one of two papers prepared with the support of the UK Department for International Development under a research contract for "Seeking mor...
Book
Full-text available
Poverty and governance are both issues high on the agenda of international agencies and governments in the South. With urban areas accounting for a steadily growing share of the world's poor people, an international team of researchers focused their attention on the hitherto little-studied relationship between urban governance and urban poverty. In...
Article
The importance of urban poverty is increasingly recognized. This paper seeks to learn from the experiences of eight urban poverty reduction programmes to understand how effective development programmes can be instituted. The emerging lessons emphasize the use of three strategies to enhance the asset base of the urban poor: strengthening grassroots...
Article
The objective of this paper is to review the economic, political and social processes influencing the nature, extent and depth of poverty in urban areas of the South. The task is primarily descriptive, seeking to summarise what is already known about these processes and to demarcate significant components of chronic urban poverty in the South. Due...
Article
The objective of this paper is to understand the impact of regulation and competition policy upon low-income households. A further objective is to consider how regulatory and competition policies might help to reduce the scale and level of poverty. In order to narrow down the study to a manageable size, it has been decided to focus on a single sect...
Article
Full-text available
Much emphasis has been placed in microfinance on organizational sustainability. An alternative measure of success is related to the benefits generated. This paper assesses and discusses the successes of the South African Homeless People'sFederation to achieve housing delivery for the poor. The Federation works with locally established savings group...
Article
Full-text available
Finance for land, infrastructure and housing has originated from three sources over the past 20 years: NGOs, governments and microfinance institutions. NGOs have largely concentrated on supporting community groups for collective action to negotiate for infrastructure and building projects; government agencies have run subsidized land and housing pr...
Thesis
For the last 30 years, an increasing proportion of development assistance funds has been allocated to non-governmental organisations (NGOs), often in OECD countries. The received wisdom is that NGO programmes make an important contribution to development. However, whilst many funds are given to Northern NGOs, increasingly development projects are i...
Article
This chapter reflects on the context within which urban poverty develops, the deprivations associated with it, and some of the ways in which it can be addressed. It has five sections. The first describes the different forms of deprivation associated with urban poverty and how conventional poverty definitions and measurements miss many of these. The...
Article
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This paper suggests that too much attention may be given to financial sustainability within projects whose objective is to reduce urban poverty. External agencies might usefully recognize the long history and remarkable persistence that charitable giving and state redistributive processes have shown whilst markets sometimes fail. Experience suggest...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of this paper is to understand the impact of regulation and competition policy upon low-income households. A further objective is to consider how regulatory and competition policies might help to reduce the scale and level of poverty. In order to narrow down the study to a manageable size, it has been decided to focus on a single sect...

Network

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
In recent decades the world has experienced unprecedented urban growth. According to the United Nations 4 billion people, or 54% of the world’s population, lived in towns and cities in 2015. That number is expected to increase to 5 billion by 2030. Urban growth has outpaced the ability of many governments to build infrastructure and, in many towns and cities in the global South, provision for housing is inadequate. Consequently one in three urban dwellers live in informal settlements. Issues of insecure tenure, poor access to basic services, and insecure livelihoods are all prevalent. Although local government may have the desire to improve the situation they are, in many cases, under-capitalised and under-capacitated. Existing planning legislation and practices remain incapable of resolving such issues therefore local residents try and resolve these themselves. Their efforts are, however, fragmented and localised. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the resulting Sustainable Development Goals vow to end poverty, to achieve gender equality and ensure liveable cities. Multi-disciplinary approaches that build on local action and create strong partnerships are needed in order to advance initiatives and to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all and to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. This commitment to ‘leave no-one behind’ highlights the importance and strengthens the significance of citizen involvement in urban development. Academics seek to contribute to new solutions and approaches to problems faced by the residents in informal settlements. Universities have an important role in generating, analysing and monitoring data that can be used by policy makers. However this should be done in collaboration with local government, local residents and organisations. Citizen involvement and public participation in policy-making and programming should be nurtured and encouraged. Aims and objectives The network aims to develop the knowledge required to move from participatory community-led neighbourhood planning to city-scale planning processes. The aims and objectives of the project are critical to achieving inclusive urban futures, these include: Develop frameworks that build on effective approaches of community-led planning for informal settlement, upgrading at the neighbourhood level, and then scaling these to the city level. Locate these frameworks within traditions of alternative planning including participatory co-productive planning, participatory planning and action planning thus strengthening the critical mass of people-centred approaches supporting inclusive urban development. This component will elaborate why grassroots organisations make a substantive contribution to inclusive urban development and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals. Develop a framework that enables the integration of community understandings and innovations with academic and professional knowledge. Achieving these objectives requires a combined effort from academics and civil society agencies. While academic researchers encourage civil society agencies to engage meaningfully and substantively, it is difficult to achieve this within academic research programmes. By creating a formal network the opportunity for engagement is created, to deliver on a set of shared objectives and to achieve the strengthening of relations between individuals and agencies. The network Professor Diana Mitlin, Managing Director of the Global Development Institute at The University of Manchester, is the project lead. Dr Philipp Horn, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Manchester’s School of Education, Environment and Development and Postdoctoral Research Associate at The Open University, provides research support to the project. The network is a co-productive knowledge partnership between civil society action research agencies and academic departments. The project combines professionals and academics with a commitment to substantive change and experience at local level. This network is funded by the Leverhulme Trust. SDI-affiliated civil society alliances of organised groups of low-income residents are working in partnership with academic institutions. Their participatory efforts at neighbourhoods have been presented as best-practice examples in urban poverty reduction. These alliances are: Dialogue on Shelter Trust, Zimbabwe Slum Dwellers International Alliance, Kenya The network comprises committed partners that have been directly involved in previous participatory planning processes, these include: The University of Manchester (UK) The Faculty of Art Design and Architecture at the University of Johannesburg (South Africa) CURI at The University of Nairobi Faculty of the Built Environment at the National University of Science and Technology (Zimbabwe) Design Society Development DESIS Lab based at Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA), The University of Johannesburg 1to1 – Agency of Engagement All of these departments have a track record on urban development planning. The selected individuals within these departments have established connections with low-income communities, planners and urban professionals within their respective countries as well as sub-Saharan Africa. They have previously conducted practice relevant research around topics such as informal settlement upgrading, service provisioning and participatory community planning. See: https://www.gdi.manchester.ac.uk/research/groups/global-urban-futures/scaling-up-participation-in-urban-planning/ for all details.