Back in March 2011 members of the Zimbabwe Homeless People’s Federation, support NGO Dialogue on Shelter and government officials from the City of Harare participated in an exchange visit to Windhoek, Namibia where they met with members of the Shackdwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN), Namibia Housing Action Group (NHAG) and city and state officials. The visit was organized in order to provide support for the activities of Harare’s five-year slum upgrading program, which include slum settlement profiles, and enumerations and pilot projects in Mbare settlement.
The Zimbabwe group was able to take away some key lessons from this exchange, including:
1) Methods for institutionalizing incremental development in a policy framework.
2) A government-sponsored finance facility that works with networks of urban poor communities (eg. SDFN)
3) Policy impacts through joint exchanges of slum dwellers and government (see also George Masimba’s report about the impacts that local exchanges have had on the Zimbabwean constitutional deliberations, available here.)
4) Methods for including and relying upon community-generated information in government planning and research activities.
For a comprehensive report of this exchange, click here.
PMC members during a meeting with the Sustainable Division section from City of Windhoek