Speaker: Eric Dickson
Date of the Event: Sunday, the 4th of November, 2007

Topic: “When the Poor Have a Voice – Resettling Slum Dwellers in Mumbai” — In this talk, Eric discussed the various components of resettlement and contrast the harsh realities of forced evictions with an innovative participatory approach adopted in Mumbai, India ...
Original paper 'Community Participation in Resettlement - An Alternative to Forced Eviction (PDF file-2.15MB)
Slide show presentation (PDF-3.9MB) | Synopsis of the talk |
Speaker's profile

Welcome & Speaker Introduction
Speaker: Eric Dickson
Questions & Answers & Conclusion
Audience Participation

Personal Profile of Eric Dickson

Eric has worked as a consultant to various development organizations in the United Kingdom, where he completed a Master’s degree with a focus on slum development in 2004. During this time, he undertook field work in Mumbai in collaboration with the Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC). This work looked specifically at how women’s savings groups, in partnership with the Railway Slum Dwellers Federation, played a pivotal role in the resettlement of 60,000 people from along the city’s train tracks. His research was awarded a Distinction from the London School of Economics and subsequently published by its Housing Department.

In late 2006 Eric Dickson joined the World Bank in Washington DC, as a Junior Water & Sanitation Specialist. His work encompasses issues ranging from engagement with civil society organizations, anti-corruption and good governance, and climate change in the water sector. Prior to relocating to Washington, he undertook operational research in Honduras with the Urban Poverty & Environment Program of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). The focus of the investigation was on urban management models of water service delivery and the manner in which community engagement has played a role in the country’s water sector. The resulting paper was later published as part of the Urban Poverty Report Series.

Born in Ottawa, Eric has traveled extensively and has lived not only in Canada and the US, but also Guatemala, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Taiwan and England. He holds an Honours degree in Economics and International Development from Queen’s University where he focused on refugees.

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Synopsis of the talk on “When the Poor Have a Voice – Resettling Slum Dwellers in Mumbai”

International commentators have thoroughly documented the negative impacts of relocations on the lives of the poor. While most knowledge of resettlement is derived from the construction of dams, the issue of urban displacement remains relatively neglected. While evictions and relocations have largely been examined through a human rights lens, this discussion will discuss the various components of resettlement and contrast the harsh realities of forced evictions with an innovative participatory approach adopted in Mumbai, India.

The participatory resettlement of 60,000 people from along Mumbai’s railway network draws attention to the importance of examining issues surrounding communities’ involvement in their own relocation. Moreover, the fact that this resettlement occurred in response to infrastructure development, which annually displaces an estimated 10,000,000 people, further underscores its validity in the discourse on urban development.

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