Learning Exchanges

Horizontal learning exchanges from one urban poor community to another are our primary learning strategy.

Participants within savings networks and informal settlements learn best from each other. When one savings group or community has initiated a successful income-generating project, re- planned a settlement or built a community facility, the SA SDI Alliance enables groups to come together and learn from each other’s achievements. The community exchange process builds upon the logic of ‘learning by doing’ and helps to develop a collective vision.

Additionally, horizontal exchanges create a platform for learning that builds alternative community- based politics and “expertise,” challenging the notion that development solutions must come from professionals. In this way, communities begin to view themselves as holding the answers to their own problems rather than looking externally for professional help.

The pool of knowledge generated through exchange programs becomes a collective asset. When informal settlement residents meet with external actors to debate development policies, they can draw from national and international examples, which influence government and other actors to listen.

Stories from Exchanges

Practices of women’s saving and lending groups: Bath University students exchange to Cape Town, South Africa

| CORC, FEDUP, Learning Exchanges, News, Resources | No Comments
Nabaa Zaynah, Sophie Moody, Kate Hunt, Hien Le (Bath University Students) On the 5th of September, SA SDI Alliance facilitated an exchange between International Development with Economics students from the University…

Seeing from the South: an international exchange with South African shelter activists

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By Dan Silver, Diana Mitlin and Sophie King (crossposted from the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester) “We are poor, but we are not hopeless. We know what…

From Nairobi to Cape Town: Learning about Upgrading and Partnerships with Local Government

| CORC, FEDUP, ISN, Learning Exchanges, SDI | No Comments
By Yolande Hendler (on behalf of CORC) From Ghetto informal settlement in Nairobi, the Kenyan SDI Alliance together with an official from the nearby Kiambu County Government visited the South…