Act Together – Housing for All Campaign Report


Overall Analysis

The campaign was successful in ensuring HIC stayed firmly in the global scene as an organization fighting for international housing and land rights. Moreover, the campaign experience was stand-alone and therefore allowed the organization to look at itself and its on-going administration and culture. This information is needed to decide whether or not to take on this effort in the coming years.

The campaign process demonstrated key opportunities and challenges to assess for the future:

• Key members of the Coalition played a part in the campaign and continued to add value to our collective work by initiating and taking part in events.
• The expected peaks of action in October and January materialized and our web space brought together over 100 documented events focused on housing issues.
• HIC membership played and active role in the 2008 Word Social Forum efforts.
• New housing rights violation maps were created, updated and downloaded from our site.
• Capacity building resources focused on organizing, media, technology, and research were disseminated to and used by HIC members and allies.
• Board members from distinct regions actively played a role in advancing the campaign.
• HIC was able to test the possibility of coordinating a four-month campaign; the use of a campaign-specific web space, and the hiring of a person dedicated this process half time.

• Lack of clear goals from the beginning delayed the campaign’s take off, and personality differences created substantive obstacles to a focus on the work at hand.
• The absence of clarity as to who is and is not an ally to the network; as well as, broken agreements created a context whereby advancing in the work became confusing and inefficient.
• Newness of person responsible for coordinating campaign to the issue itself, and lack of unison among decision-makers made coordination needlessly challenging and lack flow.
• Focused dedication and on-going high energy by staff and board to a difficult to maintain four-month project was an obstacle.
• Language barriers and subsequent translation continue to be a challenge in terms of timeliness and budget considerations.

All in all the results of the campaign as compared to past years do not seem to have outweigh the efforts directed to it. At the same time it is possible that the introduction of too many news factors at the same time: an extended time line, a new staff member unfamiliar with HIC cultural/work norms, a new process for the WSF, the creation of a separate website with the expectation of high level of interactivity, HIC presidential election, and attempted work with partners such as IAI and FAL may have hampered the true opportunity of the campaign to be highly prosperous. (I will see why you say these things later on in the report right?)

Highlight of Activities

The following items are from those actions that reported to the HIC-GS office. We are still seeking more, and if the work of your organization is not reflected here kindly send us a report and related photos, news clips, etc.

• South Africa: Planact and the community of Muldersdrift hosted an event with the theme “Global Day of Action for Housing Rights: Space for the Poor in the City” to discuss government plans and community action on housing rights and the inclusive city. Over150 representatives from the communities of Muldersdrift, Vosloorus, Ivory Park, Sol Plaatjies, Thembelihle, Kliptown, and Diepsloot participated. The event also served as the launch for a study on land management and democratic governance in Johannesburg that makes a number of recommendations towards more inclusive, pro-poor land management practices, conducted by Planact and Wits University.

• Korea: A mass action of the Korean community members and anti-eviction networks in front of transition committee for new Korean president. A letter was submitted from key organizations regarding the south rail project funded by Korean overseas aid which led to displacements for which there are plans to continue removal of remaining 15,000 families. Nearly 900 people from various sectors held a program and march on the occasion of the Global Day of Action.
• Thailand: The Four Regions Slum Network in Bangkok also marched with its 700 members to Korean embassy and leaders were received by the Korean embassy’s first secretary/attaché on finance.
• Philippines: In Manila the Korean embassy was less friendly and the representatives of the mass action were not allowed inside the embassy. But the media covered the action well.

• Mexico: Over 250 activities were realized covering an array of social justice issues. Specific to habitat issues were matters relates to water, health, education, food, culture and the environment and how these intersected with themes of housing and the importance of a safe, just, responsible and democratic habitat. Local and regional networks were involved in these efforts and together they hit key items in the Act Together – Housing for All call to action: privatization of spaces, goods and public spaces and the destruction and urbanization of rural and open spaces target at companies such as GEO, ARA & HOMEX.
• Chile: Over 2,000 people participated in the march organized by the Chilean Social Forum. The event, which took participants down central city streets culminated in the Plaza de Armas where numerous organizations set-up booths and tables to educate the populous about social justice issues. HIC and other housing rights organization formed part of the organizing committee and thematic decisions.
• United States: Some 400 activists from Atlanta, Georgia and around the U.S. South gathered for a People’s Movement Assembly in solidarity with the Global Day of Action and offered a continued opportunity for folks from all struggles and backgrounds to come together, educate and share with one another, and then collectively determine the issues that most directly affect communities.

• Support for Bottom-Up Human Rights Initiatives & Bringing the World Social Forum to Davos: The HDHRC sponsored a Human Rights and Accountability contest to encourage innovative activities within the framework of the WSF Global Action Day. The winners, as well as key experts and activists of human rights issues came together at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos for a press conference to share their knowledge and alert World Urban Forum participants to pressure key leaders to uphold their human rights responsibilities.

Campaign in Numbers
Act Together – Housing for All! Campaign Website:
• Number of events uploaded: 131
• Number of news releases: 134
• Sign-Ons to Campaign Statement: 130
• Media Contacts added: 3

Website Analytics: September 11, 2007 – February 4, 2008
• Total Page Views: 15,472
• Total Visitors: 4,868 Absolute Unique: 3,488 New: 3,484 Returning: 1,384

• Source location (in order): Google, HIC website, direct to site, Vivienda Digna, HIC-AL, others, IAI.
• Point of entry: English portal 2655, Spanish portal 1456, Calendar of Events 610, Maps 473.

• The highest percentages of traffic to the site were on and around October 1st, not January 26th.