Social Production of Habitat. Reflections on rights, policies and perspectives for regional and global advocacy


Whatever contribution inhabitant groups make to Social Production of Habitat, SPH – be it in the planning phase, the financing, the construction or the management – they will always have to negotiate with other entities for questions like land, water, sewage, roads, finances. Habitat and housing rights, policies and programs are important to SPH actions because they may play a role both on the extent that these policies may facilitate and/or prevent the development of such initiatives. Conversely, SPH actions might become more effective and efficient under the umbrella of recognized rights and legally established policies and procedures. SPH urges an effective and efficient transformation of local and national policies toward understanding and strengthening peoples process for access and provision of land and shelter.

For 30 years HIC has been pooling experiences of people-centred production, improvement and management of habitat under the umbrella of different projects: GONGO, LIFE and more recently, Social Production of Habitat, supported by InWEnt. The documentation of experiences has centred in the process, the partnerships and the outcomes of specific projects drawing lessons and regional analysis. The time has come to re-analysis this knowledge and practices towards advocacy and increasing negotiation capacity at regional and international or global level.

Could HIC go one step further and start a dialogue with partners other allied networks, such as SDI, IAI, Huairou Commission, etc.-, and other stakeholders – notably international agencies and at smaller scale with national and local governments-, in order to obtain a firm position for its members -inhabitant groups- in housing and neighbourhood projects and policies? How Human Rights on Adequate Housing (HRAH) can promote SPH before the political, factual, legal and implementation bodies? What are the discourses and policies of multilateral organizations working on the field of human settlements? What special knowledge or skills are needed for the negotiations? Those are the main questions HIC is going to debate at its global meetings in Cairo, 2005.

The documents that HIC General Secretariat is disseminating now are organized according to the scheduled meetings to analyse rights-based solutions, lessons and proposals of experiences and partnerships and policy-relevant reflections and discourses related with social production of habitat.

HIC General Secretariat

Santiago, Chile

August 2005