SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT LAW & POLICY49
These methodologies are by no means exhaustive. SDI has
a speciﬁc set of tools to facilitate processes that mitigate evic-
tions and upscale inclusive processes for city planning and basic
service deliv ery. Other organizations are also invol ved in sup-
porting organized communities of the poor towards similar ends.
Community-led programs have fundamentally al tered govern-
ment policy and practice on human settleme nts in pl aces like
Pakistan (Orang i Pilo t Proj ect)29 and Th ailand (Community
Organizations Development Institute).30 These initiatives focus
on the co- management of ﬁnances and planning between orga-
nized communities and government institutions.
The challenge for civil soc iety actors today is to suppor t
urban poor communities not just in their struggles to ﬁght evic-
tions; support must also be forthcoming for poor communities’
efforts to build and redeﬁne relationshi ps with governments so
as to change t he very i nstitutions that have long made force d
evictions possible. This is a difﬁcult task, fraught with potential
contradicti ons, unavoi dable setbac ks, and certain disappoint-
ments. But through these processes, the people who populate the
slums of cities like Nairobi and Bombay, Cape Town and Lagos,
Rio de Janeiro and Cairo will escape their all-too-frequent status
as victims. Governments and other formal actors make the poor
into victims when they forcibly eject them from their homes and
destroy their livelihoods. We all run the risk of victimizing th e
poor if we forget that their solutions, their local expertise, and
their capacity for survival and ingenuity will form the foundation
of inclusive processes that realize human rights. It is their o wn
potential t hat civil society professionals must work to amplif y
in order to change the troubling global picture for h ousing and
human settlements in our cities.
The time has come to consider how the rights-based agenda
has revealed its own limitations. It is time to consider how we
can continue to articulate the rights framework in a way that
maintains relevance to people’s struggles. As the “co-produc-
tion” methodology g ains increasing acceptability and scale, we
can think about socio-economic rights under a new rubric. There
is now scope for conceiving and protecting overarching guaran-
tees, such as the rights to dignity and participation, which are at
the heart of “co-production.”
Organized communities of the poor are demonstr ating that
socio-economic r ights cannot be deliv ered without new under -
standings of t he governanc e structures intended to g uarantee
these rig hts. State and non-State professio nal actors are there-
fore tasked with opening up the spac e for poor people to inﬂu-
ence and alter these institutions. This means translating informal
practice into for mal language and b ridging the gaps b etween
informal a nd formal technical expertise. As we come to terms
with our new urban age, we must grapple with the implications
of the routes we take t o make change in the world. In order to
move beyond the limitations of socio-economic rights in theory,
we are now tasked with supporting the developmental method-
ologies of the poor that turn these into practice.
1 un habitat, State oF the worlD’S citieS 2008/2009 – harmoniouS citieS
xii, 11 (2008), available at http://www.unhabitat.org/pmss/getElectronicVer-
2 Tackling Tenure Security in Slums through Participatory Enumerations,
global lanD tool networK brieF 1 (Mar. 1, 2010), available at http://www.
3 un habitat, the challenge oF the SlumS – global report on human
SettlementS 2003 xxvi, 11 (2003), available at http://www.unhabitat.org/pmss/
4 un habitat, State oF the worlD’S citieS 2008/2009 – harmoniouS citieS,
supra note 1, at xii, xiii.
5 See Mahbubur Rahman, Sustainable Housing Trilogy, the Daily Star
(London), Sep. 1, 2008, available at http://www.stwr.org/health-education-
shelter/sustainable-housing-trilogy.html; Joe Nam, Idle Urban Land Could Be
Taxed, new viSion (Uganda), Aug. 5, 2010, available at http://www.newvision.
co.ug/D/8/220/727892; Press Release, Global Property Guide, Most Expensive
Real Estate Markets in 2009 (Feb. 6, 2009), available at http://www.global-
6 See, e.g., center For houSing rightS anD evictionS, http://www.cohre.org/
(last visited Oct. 17, 2010); Socio-economic rightS inStitute in South aFrica,
http://www.seri-sa.org/ (last visited Oct. 17, 2010).
7 See, e.g., Gov’t of the Republic of S. Afr. v. Grootboom 2000 (11) BCLR 1169.
(CC) (S. Afr.) available at http://www.saﬂii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2000/19.html; Abah-
lali Basemjondolo Movement SA v. Premier of Kwazulu-Natal 2009 (3) SA 245 (D)
(S. Afr.), available at http://www.saﬂii.org/za/cases/ZAKZHC/2009/1.html.
8 See, e.g., Nokotyana v. Ekurhuleni Metro. Municipality 2009 (4) BCLR
312 (CC) (S. Afr.), available at http://www.saﬂii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2009/33.
html (compelling the municipality to provide a minimum of basic services to all
Endnotes: Out of the Garden of Eden: Moving Beyond the
Rights-Based Agenda in the Urban Sector
9 See, e.g., center For houSing rightS anD evictionS, http://www.cohre.org/
(last visited Oct 17, 2010); Socio-economic rightS inStitute in South aFrica,
http://www.seri-sa.org/ (last visited Oct. 17, 2010); houSing anD lanD rightS
networK-miDDle eaSt anD north aFrica, http://www.hic-mena.org/pnews.asp
(last visited Oct. 2020).
10 Savings, Shack/Slum DwellerS international, http://www.sdinet.org/ritual/
savings/ (last visited Oct. 14, 2010).
12 Enumeration, Slum DwellerS international, http://www.sdinet.org/ritual/
enumerations/ (last visited Oct. 14, 2010).
13 Habitat Agenda Partners Take Centre Stage at GC Dialogue, un habitat
(Apr. 18, 2007), http://www.unhabitat.org/content.asp?cid=4714&catid=364&t
ypeid=6&subMenuId=0 (last visited Oct. 26, 2010).
14 Residents of Joe Slovo Cmty., W. Cape v. Thubelisha 2010 (3) SA 454
(CC) (S. Afr.), available at http://www.saﬂii.org/cgi-bin/disp.pl?ﬁle=za/cases/
15 Benjamin Bradlow, SDI Bulletin: Beyond a Legal Framework for “Mean-
ingful Engagement” in South Africa, ShacK/Slum DwellerS international
blog (Mar. 11, 2010), http://blog.sdinet.org/?p=83.
19 anDrea bonicK, community organiSation reSourceS centre, From the
politicS oF proteSt to the politicS oF reDreSS 3 (2009), available at http://
20 Jack Makau, Stops and Starts in Kibera, ShacK/Slum DwellerS interna-
tional, http://www.sdinet.org/news/31 (last visited Oct. 15, 2010).
Endnotes: Out of the Garden of Eden continued on page 71