SDI is happy to announce the launch of the 2011 UPFI Annual Report, marking an important point in the growth of SDI and UPFI.
The Urban Poor Fund International is a SDI subsidiary, governed by Urban Poor Federation leaders from across the SDI network, that provides capital to member national urban poor funds, who are affiliated to SDI. They in turn provide capital to savings federations undertaking important urban improvement and housing projects.
The Fund is established on the proposition that the poor are central actors in urban development and poverty eradication and are best able to decide and co-manage their own urban improvement programs. Giving the poor direct control of capital enables them to negotiate as acknowledged potential partners with formal bodies such as government and banks.
In the last four years, the Urban Poor Fund International (UPFI) has begun to serve as a platform for urban poor federations to develop partnerships with city, regional and national governments across the global south. This is a risky and ambitious commitment in a world of fractured development interventions, where challenges of urbanization are heard only incidentally and without much financial investment, intellectual and organizational focus, or political attention. This is despite the well-publicized fact that the majority of the world’s population now works and lives in urban centers. Global development discourse has a way of legitimating what strategies get adopted in local and national contexts. SDI’s presence at all levels has begun to help global strategists pay attention to local and city interventions and this in turn has contributed to a change in the course of development investments in an increasing number of cases.
This report tracks the processes and projects across the SDI network over the past year. From the launch of urban poor federations to formalized partnerships with local and national governments to precedent setting upgrading projects that serve thousands, 2011 saw UPFI funds put to good use across the network. We hope you enjoy the report, and look forward to another productive year in 2012.