The learning emerging from the Homeless International/DFID research project - \"Bridging the Finance Gap in Housing and Infrastructure\" - has been focused on investments made by the urban poor when they organise to address poverty issues at city level. In particular the research has explored the risks that organisations of the urban poor, and the NGOs who support them, take when they enter into partnerships with local authorities, and formal financial institutions, in order to engage in slum rehabilitation, resettlement and the installation of basic infrastructure. The research initially sought to understand the financial dynamics of such engagement in differing regulatory environments. After two years, however, it has become clear that the financial resources of the poor are only one part of a complex asset formation process that needs to be understood if the investment options available in local authority-community partnerships are to be fully realised. It is also clear that once organisations of the urban poor become engaged in scaling up settlement upgrading and urban regeneration initiatives the impact on local governance systems can be dramatic. Their understanding and acknowledgement of the resource base that the poor can bring to development partnerships can significantly influence the response of local authorities, in terms of enhancing or constraining the process.
This paper addresses a number of key issues that have emerged from the experience of entering into local authority-community partnerships in Asia and Africa and seeks to highlight practical ways in which community-driven slum rehabilitation, resettlement and infrastructure provision can be strengthened.
A presentation for the 2nd Regional Caribbean Meeting of UMP. Homeless International. pp. 13