Profile of Eric Dickson
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.
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.
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.
of the talk on “When
the Poor Have a Voice – Resettling Slum Dwellers in
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.
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.