Stakeholders Sessions

SDA 1 - Building Resilient Cities from the Bottom-Up: The Role of Grassroots Organizations in Creating "Cities for All"

21 Nov

21 November

14:30 to 17:30

Venue: El Jadida


Slum Dwellers International

Tel: +27 21 447 4016




As Africa’s urban population grows, so does the number of men, women, and children living in informal settlements and slums across the continent. In response to this rapid growth of Africa’s cities, it is imperative that local governments take seriously the critical role of organized grassroots and urban poor communities as key to the successful development of inclusive, resilient African cities. Now more than ever, a clear mandate at the highest level compels us to collaborate and take swift and bold action to create more resilient cities. In cities characterized by informality and inequality, one of the most influential stakeholders will be the world’s billion slum dwellers. The dominant sentiment that development - resilient or otherwise - must be delivered to this population is losing credibility. The scale of the challenge is too great. Increasingly it is being acknowledge that cities will be stronger when there is partnership and co-production, rather than short-sighted delivery efforts that often exacerbate vulnerability. Grassroots networks associated with Slum Dwellers International (SDI), Huairou Commission, and WIEGO have begun these processes in cities across Africa, leading settlement, city, national, regional, and global processes to implement policy commitments and strategic actions to realize inclusive, sustainable urban settlements and cities. The session aims to:
  • Provide critical reflection and debating space for diverse grassroots community constituencies and other locally focused urban stakeholders.
  • Short-list issues for collaborative problem-solving and identify planning and financing mechanisms that formalize and resource roles for urban poor organizations in producing inclusive urban policies and practices.
  • To catalyze broad and effective participation of grassroots women and men from some of the most marginalized communities to contribute meaningfully towards Africities formal outcomes.
  • To expand opportunities in global advocacy spaces that enable leaders of community groups to position the grassroots constituency as a key stakeholder group.




The thematic session will comprise of a panel discussion, debates and exchange with audiences and resolutions and recommendations.

Introduction: The context of the session and panellists will be introduced by the Chair and the moderator from SDI.

Panel Inputs: The session will open with panellists presenting key issues, policy and programme interventions and reflect on the way to explore and establish a networking and advocacy platform that collectively strengthens and enlarges the power of grassroots communities to create local change.


Parallel Sessions