Report of HIC President, Davinder Lamba, for the term in office (2007-2011)


Report of
HIC President, Davinder Lamba,

for the term
in office (2007-2011)


It is with
pleasure that I present the report as the HIC President, for my four-year term
in office, which commenced in August 2007. I have compiled the report by using
the HIC Positions Descriptions set of reporting documents
(HIC-GS/AS/JN/DI/06SEPT2007). The set includes documents for HIC President, and
Board Members, Thematic Coordinators, Focal Points and General Secretary.


The report describes
the responsibilities and activities and that I executed during my term in
office such a: chair general assembly and board meeting, attend to HIC
structures, represent HIC at global level, bridge actions with other networks,
strengthen people’s processes and the coalition and so on. The concept to
create HIC Academy, as a virtual institute, and wisdom keepers was advanced by
me. I end the report with self assessment of my performance as HIC President.


Create HIC Academy and Wisdom Keepers

Concept and development

I advanced the
concept of creating HIC Academy and Wisdom Keepers. The new imitative,
HICademy, as we call it is meant to be a virtual institute for the production
and distribution of enlightenment on how best to integrate knowledge and
practice to advance the human right of everyone to a place to live peace and
dignity, in a globalized world. A reservoir of such enlightenment is the praxis
of HIC members themselves, that is, the processes by which we enact knowledge
and practice, learn from experience and reframe our actions, as we advance the
common interest of communities and better governance and environment. The
development of HICademy is a process and the achievement so far of initiating
it is due to the efforts of HIC General Secretariat led by Ana Sugranyes and
HIC HLRN led by Joe Schechla, and their respective staff and my participation.


The title of HIC
Wisdom Keeper is bestowed by HIC Board on HIC members to signify that the
recipient is a keeper of valuable knowledge, resulting from recipient’s
commitment to HIC over time, of its evolution and the strive for
people-centered and sustainable development of human settlements. The Board
confers the wisdom keepers the membership of HICademy and the privilege to
enlighten HIC, on making cities, towns and villages of the world, places to
live in peace and dignity for all. The Board at its meeting in Barcelona
(February 2008) bestowed the title on the two former HIC Presidents: late Han
Van Putten and Enrique Ortiz, and Barry Pinsky, Executive Director, Rooftops
Canada/Abri International and Ms. Tabitha Siwale, Executive Director, Women
Advancement Trust (WAT).


Bridge actions with other networks

The bridging actions

COHRE—HIC Dialogue

Dialogue on how best to collaborate to advance the Right to Adequate Housing
around the world, Geneva (2010),convened by COHRE. HIC team comprised Miloon
Kothari and Shivani Chaudhry (HLRN—SARP), Maria Silvia Emanuelli (HIC—AL),
Alejandro Florian (Fedevivienda), Joe Schechla (HLRN—MENA) and myself.



People’s food sovereignty and food security movement

Planning Committee(IPC) for Food Sovereignty and the Steering Committee of CSOs
Parallel Forum to World Summit on Food Security(2009), invited HIC to act as
the focal point for the for the Urban Poor constituency and to establish it.
IPC and the Forum is composed regions encompassing the world, and
constituencies, which include organizations of farmers, fisher folks,
pastoralists, indigenous peoples, agriculture and food workers, youth, and
environmental and human rights organizations, and the ad-hoc group
international organizations in consultative status with FAO.


I took the
responsibility to act as the focal point. The tasks were to assemble the urban
poor constituency for the Forum in accordance with criteria provided:
representation of all the regions of the Forum, ensuring gender balance, and
contribution to the paper for one of the thematic working groups and its


The constituency
comprised: Davinder Lamba– HIC, P Kuria Gathuru—Mazingira Institute, Malick
Gaye, Endarup (Africa); Hyowoo Na—Asian Bridge (South East Asia and Oceania);
Filipo Masaurua,Secretariat of the Pacific Community/RRRT(Pacific); Joseph
Schechla—HLRN/MENA (Wescana); Ana Sugranyes—SUR, Maria-Ines Garcia
Reyes—Fedevivieda (Americas); and Maria Garcia Gonzalez—Observatorio DESC


Further tasks
that I executed as the focal point consisted of: attending the next meeting of
the Forum, Rome (2010), with Maria-Ines Garcia-Reyes, to deliberate the Civil
Society Mechanism(CSM) for the Committee on Food Security(CFS)– the global
intergovernmental and interagency platform at FAO, and to administer the
process of selecting the two representatives of the urban poor constituency for
the Coordinating Committee(CC) of CSM. The two representatives selected by the
constituency are Maria-Ines Garcia Reyes and I. The term will expire in October
2012. I attended the first meeting of the CC, Cordoba (2011).The CC composed of
forty representatives from regions and constituencies will be an equal participant
in the work of CFS and in the decision making, a landmark achievement for civil
society. CFS convenes annually in
October at FAO, Rome.


Advancing CSO collaboration at world events

HIC was the lead
partner in the organization of the CSOs and NGOs Roundtable: the Right to the
City with Social Justice, an official event the World Urban Forum (WUF), Rio
(2010). Ana Sugranyes, HIC GS and myself were responsible for the liaison with
Guenter Karl, Chief, CSOs and NGOS Unit, UN-Habitat, The partners that came
together to jointly organize the roundtable included: COHRE, FNRU (Brazil),
Habitat for Humanity– Latin America, IAI, LOCOA, Observatorio DESC, Swedish
Cooperative Centre—Latin America and UN Rapporteur for the Right to Adequate
Housing—OHCHR. The roundtable was co-chaired by Regina Fereira—FNRU and myself.



Habitat Agenda Partners inclusion in UN-Habitat’s

The creation of
Habitat Agenda Partners (HAPs) Platform was a recommendation of the Expert
Group Meeting on UN-Habitat’s Partnership Strategy, Barcelona (2009). I
represented HIC at the meeting. UN-Habitat’s CSOs and NGOs Unit facilitated the
convening of two meetings of HAPs: the first at WUF, Rio(2010) and the second
at the 23rd. session of the Governing Council(GC), Nairobi(2011). I attended
both meeting and presented a statement, on behalf of HAPs, to the 23rd. session
of the GC. The statement asserts that the HAPs become an integral part of the
governance structure of UN-Habitat and they are included in the decision making
process of the Governing Council. It was an opportune moment to make the
statement as the 23rd. GC deliberated the report on the “Review of
the Governance Structure of UN Human Settlements Programme, phase
III’.(HSP/GC/23INF/7).The report contains options for the inclusion of HAPs for
improving the governance of UN-Habitat. The GC passed a resolution
(HSP/GC/23/CRP.14), which requests the Executive Director to present the plan
of action for the improvement of the governance of UN-Habitat to the General
Assembly at its 67th session, if possible. I met with Dr. Joan Clos,
the new Executive Director, UN-Habitat, to introduce HIC to him and to
reiterate the message of the HAPs statement.


Represent HIC at global level

represented HIC and participated in events at the global level as follows:

about HIC, Annual Conference, Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA),
Toronto (2007).

with Joseph Schechla, to architectural students and faculty, Ryerson
University, Toronto, about HIC and integration of elements of the Right to
Adequate Housing and architectural design process (2007).

about HIC, Public Forum, organized for UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to
Adequate Housing, Miloon Kothari’s fact finding mission to Canada, Toronto (2007).

Social Forum’s Global Day of Action, organized by Human Dignity and Human
Rights Caucus(HDHRC) of WSF, in Davos, parallel with World Economic Forum

of Governing Council (GC),UN-Habitat, 22nd (2009) and 23rd(2011),

Group Meeting on Social Inclusion, UNHabitat, Nairobi (2009).

Urban Forums (WUF):Nanjing (2008), Rio (2010) and co-chaired the Civil Society

NGOs Roundtables.

Social Forum held parallel to Rio WUF.

Group Meeting on UNHabitat’s Partnership Strategy, and Steering Committee
meeting, World Urban Campaign, Barcelona(2009).

Symposium on Freedom from Poverty as a Human Right, UNESCO, Paris(2009).

Conference on Coalition of Cities against Discrimination: Cities Coping with
Global Crises, UNESCO, UCLG-ASPAC, Bandung (2009).

World Forum on Human Rights, Pays de La Loire, Nantes (2008).

Panel Meetings, Charter-Agenda of Human Rights in the City, UCLG, SPIDH, Pays
de La Loire, Nantes(2008,2009).

on Community Resilience in the 21stCentury, Woodrow Wilson
International Center (Comparative Urban Studies Programme), Fetzer Institute,
Wasington DC (2008).

Seminar on the Right to Adequate Housing, COHRE, Geneva (2010).

Social Forum (WSF), Dakar (2011).

Summit on Food Security, FAO, Rome (2009).

Facilitating Team Meeting on FAO Voluntary Guidelines on Land and Natural
Resources Tenure (FAOVG) and IPC for Food Sovereignty Meeting, Rome (2010).

Human Rights Spaces (Pan-Africa) Consultation, Nairobi (2010).


Strengthen people’s processes and HIC in Africa

A partnership
composed of HIC, Rooftops Canada/Abri International and the Catalunya Agency
for Development Cooperation (ACCD), initiated the HIC Africa Project (HAP) to
advance the implementation of the Habitat Agenda in Sub-Saharan Africa. I assumed the responsibility of coordinating
the project from Mazingira Institute, the HIC Focal Point for Anglophone
Africa. The project commenced in 2008 and renewed on an annually until May
2011. The request for further renewal has been submitted to ACCD.


The results of
the activities of the project were published and disseminated through the
Settlements Information Network Africa (SINA) newsletters (print and electronic
versions), by Mazingira Institute, with support from Rooftops Canada/Abri
International. SINA newsletter is mailed to network members in over thirty
African countries. I participated in and contributed substantively to most of
the activities. Here is the summary of activities, which included workshops for
exchange and appraisal of experiences, enhancing capacity and consolidating
networking, focusing on:


Planning Training for Housing Rights Defenders, hosted by COFEPE, Bamako
(2008). Strengthening HIC in Eastern and Southern Africa, hosted by IHA—UDP, Addis
Ababa (2008).

Access to Land and Housing, HIV/AIDS and Housing, and Water and Sanitation,
hosted by ENDA—IUP, Ouagadougou (2008).

and Housing in the African Region, hosted by Rooftops Canada, Mazingira
Institute/SINA, Nairobi (2009).

Regional Habitat Networks, hosted by HIC, Cairo (2009).

of Water and Sanitation Services: Experiences of African CSOs, hosted by
ENDA—RUP and COFEPE, Dakar (2009).

Housing Microfinance in Sub-Saharan Africa: Turning Loans into Homes, hosted by
Mazingira institute/HIC, co-organized by Rooftops Canada, Finmark Trust and
Habitat for Humanity, Nairobi (2010).

Exchanges at World Urban Forum, Rio (2010).

of Trainers on the Right to Water and Sanitation, hosted by ENDA—RUP, Dakar

of the Defenders to the Right to Water and Sanitation in Western Africa, hosted
by ENDA—RUP, Dakar (2011).

of Housing Rights Defenders on HIV/AIDS, Water and Sanitation, hosted by
CONGEH, Yaounde (2011).


The project
included a communication component that enabled a group of HIC member
organizations to acquire broadband internet connectivity. They were COFEPE
(Mali), CONGEH (Cameroon), IHA-UDP (Ethiopia), WAT (Tanzania) and Mazingira
Institute (Kenya). HIC membership in Africa has grown. About one-third of all
the HIC members in good standing (paid-up to date) are from Africa.


Chair General Assembly and Board meetings

I chaired all
General Assembly and Board meetings during my term of office, which commenced
in August 2007, except the meetings held in Belem, Brazil, on the occasion of
WSF 2009, because there were no funds to support my travel. Here is the

Barcelona (2008),
Cairo (2009), Rio (2010) and Dakar (2011). The Executive Committee of the Board
was constituted at the Dakar meeting.


Attend to HIC structures


Participation in
HIC Articulation Workshop hosted and moderated by ASDE, Barcelona, 2010. The
result was the Coordination Plan of Action for HIC structures, with indicators,
activities and sub-activities, responsibilities and timeframe, concerning their
information and communication strategy and sustainability, and implementation
of the plan itself. The plan is the basis of the Misereor support to HIC–GS
and HIC—HLRN (2011—2013).


HIC Secretariat

I maintained continuous
contact during my term of office (email and skype calls) with General Secretary
and Secretariat on HIC operational and substantive matters.



Attendance of
HLRN business meetings: Cairo (2008, 2009), Delhi and Geneva (2010).
Participation in: Dialogue on the Human Rights Dimension of Land in MENA
Region, Cairo (2009), Evictions Impact Assessment Tool Meeting, HLRN-SARP,
YUVA, NCAS, Pune (2009). Counting the Costs Tool Meeting, HLRN-SARP, Delhi (2011).



I attended the WAHN
meeting, Cairo (2009) and participation in skype conference (2010). I devoted
my attention to the revival of the structure throughout my term in office. Participation
in the Seminar on Women and Housing Rights: Building Habitat for Human Dignity organized
HIC and Observatorio DESC, Barcelona (2008).


Self Assessment

My self
assessment is that I have met expectations of the position of HIC President by
executing the required responsibilities and activities and consequently
enhanced the HIC mission of advocacy for the realization of the right to
adequate housing, strengthening people’s processes and consolidating the
coalition. I also advanced a new enlightenment initiative, the HICademy and Wisdom
Keepers. I hope my report is good enough to enable HIC members to make their
own conclusion on my performance as the HIC President. I thank you all for your
trust in my leadership and for the cooperation extended to me during my term in


Davinder Lamba

HIC President

June 2011

To download the report in pdf format, click here.