The World Bank Institute’s Urban Group
recently kicked off the development of a new Flagship Learning Program - Introduction to Upgrading Informal Urban Settlements - at a concept review meeting with partners and peer reviewers in Washington DC. The e-learning program will offer training for urban practitioners on the practical elements of slum upgrading interventions.
A Critical Time to Address Urban Poverty
With half of the world's population living in cities today, poverty is increasingly becoming an urban phenomenon. According to UN-HABITAT
, one billion people live in slums today. If current trends are not reversed, this will probably double by 2025, and triple in the following two decades. These challenges will require not only unprecedented political will and financial resources, but also broad and sustained capacity development efforts, supporting those institutions and individuals charged with planning and managing urban upgrading and slum prevention, particularly in the new frontiers of urbanization.
Practical Course for Practitioners on the "How To" of Slum Upgrading
The new learning program will focus on the basic conceptual and operational aspects of how to design and manage a slum upgrading intervention, while reviewing key issues related to the policy and programmatic approaches for scaling up and anticipating future urban growth. The ultimate objective is to enable urban practitioners to acquire basic knowledge and skills on how to design and manage a slum upgrading intervention effectively, while situating it within a broader policy and institutional environment. The program will expose the practitioners to a set of tools, case studies, and practical lessons that can then be incorporated in their every day work.
The course will target primarily practitioners who have a growing need to acquire basic knowledge and skills in order to better address the challenges of the new frontiers of urbanization. The course will be piloted in partner countries currently engaged in the design of slum upgrading interventions.
Structured in 8 modules, the course will cover the following topics: (1) The Slum Challenge; (2) Planning an Integrated Slum Upgrading Project; (3) Financing Slum Upgrading; (4) Improving Infrastructure and Services in Slums; (5) Land Regularization in Upgrading Projects; (6) Improving Shelter Conditions in Slums; (7) The Social Dimensions of Upgrading; and (8) Sustaining Improvements.
The e-learning course will be facilitated by a team of virtual experts over a 6 week period. Participants will spend 6-8 hours per week learning how to design and manage a slum upgrading intervention through a combination of multimedia presentations, video interviews with practitioners, case studies, required and optional readings, self-tests, facilitated tests, facilitated discussions, group work, and a final course assignment.
Course Development (July 2011)
Pilot Testing (September 2011)
Roll-out with partner institutions (January 2012 onwards)