Tim Ndezi – Centre for Community Initiatives
My name is Tim Ndezi and I am Director of the Centre for Community Initiatives (CCI), which facilitates processes that develop organizational capacity at the local level and promote pro-poor policy and practice in urban development. CCI strives to create inclusive cities with united and empowered communities of the urban poor who have the capacity to voice, promote, and negotiate for their collective interests. Before this, I worked for WaterAid for nine years as a Programme Manager in Dar es Salaam, pioneering the water and sanitation urban programme and provision of services to urban settlements. I have also been an executive engineer within the Ministry of Water and Livestock and have lectured at the Water Resources Institute in Dar es Salaam. I am passionate about working to empower local people to be involved and have power in the development process.
Vel Gnanendran – DFID Tanzania
I’m the head of DFID Tanzania, at the Department of International Development of the U.K. For this reason, I’ve been in Tanzania since September 2014. Before taking up this position, I have worked with the British government for over 15 years, with other positions of UK Aid in Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan. DFID top priorities in Tanzania are boosting wealth creation and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. We want to achieve this by co-operating with the Tanzanian government while also helping the citizens of Tanzania to hold their government to account.
Sheela Patel – Chair from the Board of SDI and founder of SPARC
My name is Sheela Patel and I am the Founder Director of the Society for Promotion of Area Resource Centers (SPARC) and chair of Slum/Shack Dweller International. I was born in India in 1951 and have worked in the area of urban development since 1974, and in 2000 received the Scroll of Honor from UN-HABITAT for my work. My two associated organizations are directly involved in urban development not only in my home country of India, but also across Africa, Asia and Latin America. With SPARC and SDI, I have gained great experience in representing disadvantaged communities, particularly the women and children of such groups. My roles consist of strengthening bonds between poor communities and building their financial, managerial and organizational capacities for the purpose of pursuing housing and infrastructure projects. In addition, I work to provide a voice to those communities who may otherwise be left unheard during processes of redevelopment. The plight of Kurasini settlers in Dar es Salaam is a direct concern of mine, as this is a community prone to poor representation in the past.
Professor Alison Brown – Board Member of REALL
I am a board member of REALL, a UK-based NGO aiming at providing affordable housing for low-income people in the Global South. I have worked in 22 different countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America to aid urban planning and address problems within the informal economy. I am doing both consultancy and academic research; I teach at the School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University. My areas of research expertise include international planning practice, urban informal economies, social inclusion, China-Africa trade, public space and the right to the city.
Rafael Tuts – UN-HABITAT, Housing and Slum Upgrading Branch
I’m Rafael Tuts, and currently coordinate the Housing and Slum Upgrading Branch of UN-HABITAT, an agency of the UN General Assembly. I hail from Belgium, having read Urban Studies and Architectural Engineering to Masters level at the University of Leuven. Before joining UN-HABITAT in 1995, I was research fellow of urban development at the universities of Nairobi and Leuven. Nowadays, I remain academically active, often contributing to journals, such as the Urban Planning for City Leaders (2012). In 2000 I married Mercy, and settled in her hometown, Nairobi, with two children, William and Mambo. In Nairobi, at the UN-HABITAT HQ, I oversee initiatives such as the United Nations Housing Rights Programme (UNHRP) and the Participatory Slum Upgrading (PSUP), which began in 2008.
Carol Dew – Senior Program Officer, Water Aid
My name is Carol Dew. I’m a senior program officer at Water Aid. I had lived in Dar es Salaam for 2 years when I was in middle school (due to my parents’ job transfers) and then returned to UK and studied Arts&Sciences at UCL. I then went on and did my master degree on Population Health at Toronto University. After 4 years of working as a consultant for Nationalwide Waste Services, I was introduced to Water Aid through one of my co-workers and became especially interested in their activities in Dar es Salaam as I still have vivid memories of the time I spent living there. Thus, I changed my job and currently have been working for Water Aid for 3 years.