Cities Alliance Congratulates SDI on Nobel Peace Prize Nomination
[12 February 2014] -- We are delighted to congratulate Cities Alliance member Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI) and its president, Jockin Arputham, who have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2014.
This nomination is an extremely powerful recognition for the impact of SDI, a network of community-based organisations of the urban poor that has spread to 33 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. It is also good news for everyone who is working for more inclusive, equitable and productive cities.
In particular, the Cities Alliance welcomes the recognition of the tireless work of SDI President Jockin Arputham, previous recipient of the prestigious Magsaysay Award, and an inspiration to all who have benefited not only from his intelligence and leadership, but also from his infectious enthusiasm and optimism.
SDI has been associated with the Cities Alliance since the partnership’s launch in 1999 and has increasingly influenced our common agenda of inclusive, pro-poor urban development. In 2008, SDI became a formal member of the Cities Alliance, and is currently a member of our Executive Committee.
Since joining the Cities Alliance, SDI has become a key implementing partner, working through its affiliates to mobilise and engage communities of the urban poor with a focus on peaceful dialogue. Its efforts have been invaluable to the success of our Country Programmes, which emphasise community mobilisation along with activities at the national and city levels.
SDI has also served as a powerful advocacy partner, playing a critical and positive role in reshaping the global debate around slums and slum dwellers. They have effectively demonstrated that slum dwellers are not only an essential part of the solution, but also sources of practical, innovative solutions to urban planning challenges.
Perhaps most importantly, SDI forces governments – mayors, ministers, and presidents – as well as multilateral and bilateral organisations to recognise slum dwellers as citizens, neighbours and future mayors.
SDI was nominated for the Nobel Prize by Swedish Minister for Public Administration and Housing Stefan Attefall, with high-level political support from Norway and South Africa.
SDI President Jockin Arputham (left) with Ugandan Minister of Land, Housing and Urban Development Daudi Migereko (right) opening a sanitation unit in Rubaga built as part of the Cities Alliance Country Programme. Photo: Cities Alliance
SDI has done us all a service in providing such an effective voice for slum dwellers all over the world.” -- Cities Alliance Director William Cobbett