Reflections from SDI at WUF

06 July 2022

This year, a delegation from SDI’s network attended the World Urban Forum (WUF), here are our reflections from SDI at WUF.

Katowice, Poland hosted this year’s event from Sunday the 26th of June to Thursday the 30th of June. 

Established in 2001 by the United Nations, WUF is the premier global conference on sustainable urbanisation. The event aims to examine one of the world’s most pressing issues today: rapid urbanisation and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies. 

Day 1 – 26th of June 2022

WUF11 Day 1 Line up

We attended UN Habitat‘s session focusing on ‘Grassroots Assembly’. The session highlighted the value and importance of localising Sustainable Development Goals, post-Covid-19 recovery and resilience, and building and maintaining partnerships.

Day 2 – 27th June 2022

Kickstarting the day, “Building a Cities4Children alliance” and a “Global Action Plan” dialogue were the first events to start the day for SDI. The WUF11 opening ceremony presented the perfect opportunity for a display of culture meets insightful dialogue. Delegates mingled with local and international officials, presenting the perfect networking opportunities.

A panel hosted by UN-Habitat tackled the issue of “Tackling the Slum Challenge” with housing ministers from South Africa, Malawi and Zimbabwe in attendance. The session saw interesting insights and informative yet challenging inputs from the Chair of SDI’s Board Joseph Muturi.

Delegates also met with Euan Crispin about their work with UCLG. The session presented a fresh perspective on some of the work, UCLG is producing.

We hosted a session entitled, ‘Recovery and Resilience: Community-led Strategies to Build Back Better in Informal Settlements.’ The session drew attention to the need to work with organised urban poor communities to address basic needs and services such as secure tenure, housing, food security, water and sanitation to build the resilience necessary to withstand future natural and manmade shocks and stressors. SDI at WUF

Day 3 – 28th of June 2022

The day was jam-packed, ranging from events with the World Health Organisation, Cities Alliance, DreamTown NGO, Habitat Village and The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

SDI’s Youth & Media Programme Coordinator, James Tayler, shared SDI’s role in the systemising of community-led housing in Africa.
 

Insights from the event highlighted the importance of the diversification of knowledge products. This may help to ensure active participation and communication between academia and communities.

Day 4  – 29th of June 2022

The delegates from SDI at WUF attended an amazing session with Plan International, Dream Town, World Vision and SDI co-presentation on the Inter-generational dialogue. The session consisted of video commitments collected by cell phone video across the world with youth speaking their truth. Shared by youth in person and online, in conversations with key professionals at the host institutions. This session was very interactive and the youth rose to the occasion and had a lot to contribute. 

A good exchange of ideas followed, with a number of new potential thematic collaboration points. 

It is clear that grassroots organisations are perhaps less well-represented at this year’s world urban forum than is ideal. Due to this, there was a lot of dialogue and exchange specifically facilitated by the co-habitat network around how to remedy this and raise the voices of grassroots CBOs.

Final Day – 30th of June 2022

Key Messaging