An outline of the work of the alliance of the Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC), Mahila Milan and the National Slum Dwellers Federation (NSDF), working on improved shelter for slum and pavement dwellers in India, is presented. An important aspect of the alliance is that it has helped to raise the profile of the issue of homelessness and inadequate housing, with policy and decision-makers within India and internationally. Lobbying has effected relaxation of building standards, which has enabled housing designs developed with groups of poor dwellers to qualify for loans and grants from funding. The alliance has also assisted in enhancing poor peoples, especially poor women's, participation in processes of city-wide settlement planning, resettlement of slum dwellers, sanitation provision and environmental improvement.
Paper presented at the First RGUU International Workshop held at Bourton on Dunsmore, UK, May 17-18, 2001, 11 pp.