Many of those working to achieve the Milliennium Development Goals espouse a rights-based approach to development. This is based on a recognition of the equal rights of all citizens to the resources required for material well-being and social inclusion- an approach currently much favoured by the global North. Blame and shame is a strategy that is used by many organizations to demand that state institutions take on responsibility for ensuring that citizens do obtain their rights. This strategy is useful for external agencies in their dealings with the state. But Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI) suggests that some alternative approaches are crucial for poor and vulnerable people seeking to obtain their rights and entitlements if they don't just want to be beneficiaries. Central to these processes are the changing role and relationships of the poor themselves in defining solutions and making them work without allowing the state to abdicate its responsibilities.