IHC Newsletter
In This Issue
ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION AWARDS GRANT TO THE IHC
WORLD URBAN FORUM HELD IN RIO DE JANEIRO MARCH 23-26, 2010
UPDATE ON HAITI
STEVE FELDSTEIN SPEAKS AT INTERACTION
THE STATE DEPARTMENT QDDR IS UNDERWAY
IHC STAFFING CHANGES
IHC MOVES TO A NEW OFFICE
BECOME AN IHC MEMBER
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Volume 5, Issue 2
July 2010
ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION AWARDS GRANT TO THE IHC
GRANT EXPANDS THE IHC'S EDUCATION CAPABILITIES

On June 11, the Rockefeller Foundation awarded a grant to the IHC. This is the second grant the IHC has received from Rockefeller, which in recent years has taken a keen interest in the world urbanization phenomenon and the plight of the urban poor. The first grant funded the preparation and publication by the IHC of "The Challenge of an Urban World: an Opportunity for U.S. Foreign Assistance". The new one-year grant will help the IHC to further develop its integrated education, information and outreach program.  This will strengthen the ability of the IHC to inform and educate members of Congress, the Administration, policy makers, development practitioners, and leaders in developing countries about  the importance of addressing housing and urban development issues, and of the impacts of forward-looking urban development strategies and programs. 

 

The IHC program funded by the grant has four specific objectives:

 

         Raise awareness and understanding of the implications of and development opportunities presented by continuing world urbanization through a one-year outreach and education campaign 

         Enhance the IHC education and outreach functions through web-based information 

         Create easy access to urbanization data and research through the IHC website

         Enhance the overall capacity of the IHC to provide timely information and educational materials through greater collaboration with other organizations

 

The IHC will be expanding its website to provide key information on the world housing crisis and urbanization.   The redesigned website will be complemented by a year-long series of seminars on various aspects of world urban conditions, including new research and the lessons learned from community-based work in urban slums.

WORLD URBAN FORUM HELD IN RIO DE JANEIRO MARCH 23-26, 2010
THE IHC IS AN ACTIVE PARTICIPANT IN THE WORLD URBAN FORUM

 

The Fifth World Urban Forum (WUF V) was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil March 22 - 26, 2010.  The large U.S. delegation was led by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.  Other high level officials from HUD, the Department of State and USAID also attended. Bob Dubinsky was a member of the official delegation as was Ron Phipps, 2010 President Elect of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). 
 
The IHC was an active participant in several ways:

 

Networking sessions  The IHC sponsored two networking events :
 
Slum Upgrading Principles and Practices.  Bob Dubinsky, IHC CEO, moderated a panel discussion. Panelists were Judith Hermanson, Senior Advisor to InterAction on Urban Affairs and former Vice President at the CHF International, Richard Martin, slum upgrading specialist with the World Bank in the Congo, Danielle Resnick, a PhD candidate in political science at Cornell University who has studied slum upgrading in Africa, and Duane Kissick, former AECOM Vice President and urban expert.  Mr. Martin presented his IHC funded research on the political and attitudinal impediments to implementing urban slum upgrading strategies in South Africa and Tanzania. Ms Hermanson commented on the elements off successful slum upgrading, and Mr. Kissick described a successful slum upgrading project in Tunisia.

 

Dysfunctional Property Markets.  Nicole Weir of the IHC moderated this panel, which included Ron Phipps, 2010 President-Elect of the NAR, Sameh Wahba, Senior Urban Advisor at the World Bank, and Janice Perlman, President and CEO of the Mega-Cites Project.  Ms. Perlman presented her IHC funded research on how housing markets function in the favelas of Rio. Mr. Phipps described the impacts of well functioning property markets, and Mr. Wahba characterized and discussed land markets in countries in the Middle East.

 Seminar at the U.S. Government Exhibit Booth

Bob Dubinsky, IHC CEO, participated in a panel discussion at the U.S. Government booth on InterAction's role in assisting its members and its policies for providing assistance to the urban poor, including its support for multi sector development approaches.  The panel was moderated by Judith Hermanson, Senior Advisor at InterAction. Chris Vincent of Habitat for Humanity International was the third panelist.
 
Global Urban Development Board Meeting of the IHC. Bob Dubinsky, IHC CEO, participated in the Board meeting of Global Urban Development, a leading international networking organization for urban advocates, practitioners and academics. Global Urban Development is a member of the IHC.  The meeting was held in Rio following the World Urban Forum.
UPDATE ON HAITI
IHC AND HABITAT FOR HUMANITY INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZE EVENT ON HAITI 
 
The IHC and Habitat for Humanity sponsored a discussion on Haiti redevelopment at InterAction's Annual Forum held in Washington on June 24.  The discussion focused on the policy and programmatic challenges and evolving options to resettle the large population displaced by the recent earthquake.  The Haitian government, donor agencies, and non-government organizations are facing a multitude of complex issues in designing housing programs that can endure beyond the immediate relief stage.  For example, while there is strong interest in encouraging settlement in secondary cities, the lack of ready employment opportunities in those locales is problematic.  Comprehensive solutions that integrate housing with community and economic development are clearly needed.     
 
Participating on the panel were Chris Vincent and Mario Flores from Habitat for Humanity International; Alexi Panahel, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator of USAID; Frank Daphnis, CEO of the Development Innovations Group; and Bob Dubinsky, IHC CEO 
STEVE FELDSTEIN SPEAKS AT INTERACTION
THE IHC SPONSORS DISCUSSION AT INTERACTION ABOUT CONGRESS' VIEW OF FOREIGN ASSISTANCE REFORM
 
On April 13 the IHC organized a presentation by Steve Feldstein who is on the Staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to discuss the status of foreign assistance legislation. Feldstein commented on the foreign assistance-related legislation being considered by Congress and Congress' attitude about funding for foreign assistance. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently introduced the Sustainable Urban Development Act of 2010 (S 3229). The House is at work this year to rewrite the U.S.  Foreign Assistance Act, which dates to 1961 and is considered out of date as a relic of the Cold War, and unduly complicated because of the plethora of amendments added to it. The IHC is of the view that  the drafting of new authorizing legislation is an opportunity to ensure that housing and urban development are properly recognized as legitimate and vital areas of focus as U.S. development agencies formulate their next generation of programs around the world.  
THE STATE DEPARTMENT QDDR IS UNDERWAY
THE IHC IS MAKING ITS VIEW ON URBANIZATION KNOWN TO QDDR PARTICIPANTS
 
The State Department is undertaking a comprehensive review of diplomacy and development known as the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR).  The goal is to use the process to guide the U.S. government to a more agile, responsive, and effective use of diplomacy and development assistance. The process will ideally lead to the US government transitioning out of approaches that are no longer commensurate with current challenges.  As a result of IHC dialogue with key players over the past couple of years, urbanization has been included as one of the key new development issues that merits reconsideration as the process unfolds.  The IHC continues to play an active role in articulating the importance of continuing rapid urbanization around the world as a central consideration in development planning. 
IHC STAFFING CHANGES
NICOLE WEIR JOINS OTI

Nicole Weir has left the staff of the IHC where she served for more than a year as Program Associate.  We wish her well as she heads out to the field (Uganda) to work on a community development and education program, and then returns to Washington, D.C. to work in USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI).
 
Nse Umoh is working at the IHC this summer prior to beginning her graduate work in urban planning at MIT in the fall. Before joining the IHC, Nse was working on urban development and housing issues as a Boren Fellow in Lagos, Nigeria and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.
IHC MOVES TO A NEW OFFICE
NEW ADDRESS OF THE IHC
International Housing Coalition
1875 I Street, N.W., Suite 500
Washington, D.C.  20006
Phone:  202-408-8506
Fax: 202-429-9574
BECOME AN IHC MEMBER
SUPPORT THE IHC'S OBJECTIVE OF "HOUSING FOR ALL"
 
We encourage you to join the International Housing Coalition.  The IHC is the only organization dedicated solely to drawing the attention of foreign assistance agencies and private foundations to the plight of the urban poor in a rapidly urbanizing world.  Basic membership is $200 per year.  For more information and to become part of the Coalition, see "Join the IHC" on the IHC website (www.intlhc.org).