In making the most effective use of limited assets, access to knowledge
and information by the poor can be crucial. There has been growing
concern that urban research and development efforts have failed to
achieve their full potential because they have overlooked the need to
work with and strengthen the knowledge and information systems (KIS) of
the urban poor. As a result, the experience developed has often not been
widely disseminated and taken up by the poor.
Most studies have considered this issue from the supply side, focusing
on the dissemination of information. This research project instead
considered primarily the demand side, focusing on the information needs
of the urban poor, and the sources they use in accessing that
information. Fieldwork was carried out in low-income settlements in the
capital city and at least one secondary town in three countries in the
developing world: Peru, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe; this was complemented by
case studies elsewhere, a review of the literature and an electronic
conference. This paper summarises the findings of that research, and
suggests six ways in which development agencies could improve the
methods they use to share their knowledge and information with the urban
Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG), Bourton-on-Dunsmore, UK, 6 pp.
Strengthening the knowledge and information systems of the urban poor. A policy paper (April 2nd 2002).