Over the years we have organised or been involved in different activities to support the sharing and transfer of good practice including:
Habitat Colombia exchange event
A regional exchange event involving a series of seminars, workshops and community exchange activities in Neiva, Colombia. Fundación Hábitat Colombia and the Municipality of Neiva organised the event, which took place in 2007 and included an exchange of knowledge and experience between ten communities in Neiva and ten award-winning best practices, including three winners of the World Habitat Award:
- Ecomaterials in Social Housing Projects, Cuba (Winner, 2007)
- Architect in the Community Programme, Cuba (Winner, 2002)
- Post-earthquake Reconstruction Programme, El Salvador (Winner, 2004)
Basin-South Asia Regional Knowledge Platform
The basin-South Asia Regional Knowledge Platform (basin-SA) was initiated in 2004 with the mission of ‘developing knowledge systems and promoting collaborative action within South Asia to enable access by the poor to sustainable habitat and livelihoods.’
The platform works to:
- Promote collaboration between Habitat and Livelihood agencies in South Asia especially for (but not limited to) knowledge exchange.
- Facilitate dialogue between grassroots actors and decision-makers for creating sustainable habitat and livelihood interventions.
- Provide links to expertise and knowledge on technology, finance, institutional development and capacity building for sustainable habitat and livelihoods.
Post-tsunami rehabilitation workshop
This workshop, carried out by the basin-South Asia Regional Knowledge Platform in 2005 at Kuthambakkam village, was designed to address the Role of Panchayati Raj Institutions in post-tsunami reconstruction and rehabilitation through interactive sessions with village Panchayat leaders, agencies working for reconstruction and rehabilitation and government decision-makers at district and state levels. Experiences of successful examples of Panchayats performing the role of effective development change makers were shared and the factors responsible for their success discussed.
Community exchange: Gram Vikas, India and Medellín, Colombia
The UN-HABITAT Best Practice and Local Leadership Program, the Ibero-American and Caribbean Forum for Best Practices, the City of Medellín, Fundación Hábitat Colombia, World Habitat (Building and Social Housing Foundation) and a range of organisations, networks, practitioners, academics and community members from around Latin America came together for an ‘Exchange Week’ and the I International Conference for Best Practice Transfer, held in Medellín, Colombia, in November 2005, to discuss the most effective ways to stimulate processes of knowledge and technology transfer.
The event highlighted the need to not only identify ‘Best Practices’ in the fields of housing and community development but also to facilitate the transfer of these innovative and successful approaches through the exchange of knowledge, expertise and experience.
As part of the event, Fundación Hábitat Colombia in collaboration with World Habitat invited Indian NGO Gram Vikas to present the Rural Health and Environment Programme, winner of the 2003 World Habitat Award, to communities, non-governmental organisations and local government representatives through a series of exchange visits, workshops and other knowledge-sharing activities.
Still Standing? Publication
Huge levels of aid are spent on reconstructing housing after disasters but have these houses withstood the test of time and hazard? Often aid agencies don’t go back to assess the impact of reconstruction in the longer term.
During 2013 and 2014 World Habitat (Building and Social Housing Foundation) undertook a research project with 12 post-disaster housing reconstruction projects, (eight of which were winners and finalists of the World Habitat Awards) to understand the changes that had happened since the end of reconstruction. The research also identified the factors with the greatest impact – positive or negative – on the long-term resilience of people, as well as their houses, in disaster-prone areas.
The findings are illustrated in Still Standing? which describes the stories of the project beneficiaries and how their houses have changed, within contexts that have kept changing too.
Still Standing? is published by Practical Action Publishing and can be purchased via Practical Action Publishing’s online bookshop.