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Tools and methods for empowerment developed by slum and pavement dwellers' federations in India (PLA 50)

Journal article
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This paper describes the `slum' enumerations, settlement mapping, community-to-community exchanges, house modelling, precedent-setting and other tools and methods developed and used by organisations and federations of slum, squatter and pavement dwellers over the last 20 years. It focuses mainly on the use of these tools by an alliance of three organisations in India - the National Slum Dwellers' Federation (NSDF) (and its many member federations), Mahila Milan (savings cooperatives formed by women slum and pavement dwellers) and the Indian NGO, SPARC (the Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres).

This special anniversary issue of Participatory Learning and Action contains articles by previous guest-editors and authors from the last 20 years who were invited to revisit their contributions and provide an update on current thinking. The overview reflects on the overlapping themes and parallels in the lessons learnt and suggestions for ways forward.

Guest editors: Robert Chambers, Nicole Kenton and Holly Ashley

Participatory Learning and Action (PLA, formerly PLA Notes) is the world's leading series on participatory learning and action approaches and methods. PLA publishes articles on participation aimed at practitioners, researchers, academics and activists. All articles are peer-reviewed by an international editorial board. See:

Full table of contents/download whole issue: see More information.

Source publication:
Participatory Learning and Action 50: Critical reflections, future directions
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