Luis Triveno ~ How Latin America’s Housing Policies Are Changing The Lives Of Urban Families

In an effort to harness the benefits of urbanization and improve the living conditions of the urban poor, Latin American countries have experimented with housing subsidies. Now that the region has several decades of experience under its belt, it is time to look back and ask: Have subsidies worked? What kind of impact have they had on the lives of lower-income residents? Moving forward, how can cities pay for ongoing urban renewal?

To address those questions and share their experiences, officials in charge of designing and implementing national housing policies in eight countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, and Peru) recently met in Washington DC, along with representatives from the World Bank, Cities Alliance, the Urban Institute, and Wharton’s International Housing Finance Program.

Looking into the future, while the discussions covered a lot of ground, at least three major issues caught my attention.

1. How to align the national level policies and programs with local level decision making in urban planning and management?
Each country’s housing policy has its own unique scale, context, political circumstances and measure of progress, but a number of common challenges were clear: How to implement national housing policies when working with local governments with very diverse technical and financial capacities; and avoid and/or manage the costs of urban sprawl (both formal and informal)? The Urban Institute synthetized the US experience working with block grants channeled from Washington to local governments for community development and housing so that participants could see what best fits their realities. Although the contexts are different, all governments were interested in learning from what has worked (or has not).

Read more: http://blogs.worldbank.org/how-latin-america-s-housing-policies

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Carole McGranahan & Uzma Z. Rizvi (Eds,) ~ Decolonizing Anthropology

DecolonizingJust about 25 years ago Faye Harrison poignantly asked if “an authentic anthropology can emerge from the critical intellectual traditions and counter-hegemonic struggles of Third World peoples? Can a genuine study of humankind arise from dialogues, debates, and reconciliation amongst various non-Western and Western intellectuals — both those with formal credentials and those with other socially meaningful and appreciated qualifications?” (1991:1). In launching this series, we acknowledge the key role that Black anthropologists have played in thinking through how and why to decolonize anthropology, from the 1987 Association of Black Anthropologists’ roundtable at the AAAs that preceded the 1991 volume on Decolonizing Anthropology edited by Faye Harrison, to the World Anthropologies Network, to Jafari Sinclaire Allen and Ryan Cecil Jobson’s essay out this very month in Current Anthropology on“The Decolonizing Generation: (Race and) Theory in Anthropology since the Eighties.”

Read more: http://savageminds.org/series/decolonizing-anthropology/

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The RQ ~ Five years later

Newsboy - May 9, 1910

Newsboy – May 9, 1910

Five years have come and gone, and we could not be more pleased. What started as an extensive, online flyer for the books we published, has become a fully grown website with over 2500 articles filling 424 pages.

Visits to the website continue to increase. This month, March 2016, we will be welcoming 20.000 monthly visitors to the site.
We can break these numbers down into the following categories. There’s still slightly more male than female visitors: 54 to 46 percent.
Sixty percent of our visitors is younger than 35 years old. Eleven percent is over 55.

23% of visits come from the USA, the Netherlands is second with 13%. New in the top 10 of visiting countries are Zimbabwe (3rd place with 7.6%) and Sudan (4th place with 7.4%). Kenya is in 5th place with 5.3%. Rozenberg Quarterly has had visits from 163 countries.

We are lucky enough to be in the luxury position of receiving many article submissions. Over 250 articles are currently awaiting publication. We also have 24 full text books lined up for publication on the website.

But all this expansion and the fact that we want to expand the site even more means we need funding to keep it up and running. Besides calling on our readers for donations, we have recently begun placing Google Ads, but other advertisers are welcome.

And if your institute or department is interested in presenting publications in a dedicated section, please contact us to discuss the possibilities and pricing options.

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Free Access To Oxford University Press Resources On Refugee Law

pflogo_opilIn response to the refugee crisis in Europe, Oxford University Press has made more than 30 book chapters, journal articles, and pieces of content from online resources freely accessible to assist those working with refugees on the ground, as well as anyone who would like to know more about the framework of rights and obligations concerning refugees. The materials are structured around four key questions: who is a refugee, what rights do they have, what are transit states’ obligations, and what are the duties of the state where a refugee applies for asylum. Other useful resources are linked to at the bottom of the page.

  1. Who is a refugee?
  2. What rights do refugees have?
  3. What are the obligations imposed on states which refugees pass through en route to their destination of choice (transit states)?
  4. What are the obligations imposed on states in which refugees apply for asylum?
  5. Helpful Links

Read more: http://opil.ouplaw.com/page/refugee-law#

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Dorpstimmerman tovert melkfabriek om in centrum voor zorg en wonen

Foto: Waldnet

Foto: Wâldnet

In het Friese Garyp heeft het timmerbedrijf van Johan Timmermans de zuivelfabriek in zijn eigen dorp verbouwd. Het pand biedt nu onderdak aan zorgvoorzieningen, kinderopvang en levensloopbestendige woningen voor ouderen. Dankzij deze timmerman die bedenker, ontwerper, eigenaar, opdrachtgever, uitvoerder en verhuurder in één is.

De Timmermantsjoender, – tsjoender is tovenaar in het Fries -, onder die naam begon Johan Timmermans in 2001, hij was 19, een eigen onderneming vanuit de woonboerderij van zijn ouders. In de beginjaren hield hij zich nog bezig met kleine verbouwingen, dakramen plaatsen, badkamers verbouwen, deuren vervangen, dat soort klussen. De zaken gingen goed, zo goed zelfs dat hij twee jaar later al met zijn bedrijf kon verhuizen naar een eigen bedrijfsloods op het industrieterrein van Garyp. De klussen werden omvangrijker en uitdagender. Met als pronkstuk de herbestemming van een monumentale boerderij in het dorp Donkerbroek. Johan Timmermans: ‘Ik heb iets met mooie oude gebouwen. Deze boerderij stond op de nominatie om gesloopt te worden. Dat is voorkomen door de agrarische bestemming te veranderen. We hebben dit karakteristieke pand weer in ere kunnen herstellen door er een fraaie woning van te maken.’ Het succes van deze herbestemming riep een nieuwe ambitie in hem wakker. Dat was in 2009.

De hamvraag
In datzelfde jaar stond in zijn eigen dorp de directeurswoning van de voormalige zuivelfabriek te koop. Daar wilde de ambitieuze timmerman wel wonen. Eenmaal in gesprek over deze aankoop, polste Johan of hij ook de hele locatie met het ernaast gelegen fabriekspand kon kopen. Daar had de voorgaande veertig jaar een appendagefabriek voor machineonderdelen in gezeten. Johan Timmermans: ‘De eerste ingeving is door de bank genomen dat je gaat slopen om iets nieuws op zo’n fabrieksterrein te bouwen.’ Dat lag ook voor de hand. Maar met de klus in Donkerbroek nog vers in het geheugen ging zijn voorkeur er naar uit om het gebouw te behouden. De melkfabriek was een begrip in het dorp, een niet weg te denken gebouw. Hij nam zich bovendien voor om bij de keuze voor een nieuwe bestemming ook uit te zoeken hoe dit ten goede kon komen van de dorpsgemeenschap. Johan Timmermans: ‘Tijdens een rondgang door de fabriek viel me gelijk op dat het gebouw een heel eigen karakter heeft. Ik zag ook genoeg potentie om er een nieuwe bestemming aan te geven. De hamvraag was alleen: Wat stop je er dan in?’ De jonge ondernemer is als eerste op de huisarts in het dorp afgestapt; die zat met zijn praktijk in een noodcabine. Johan: ‘Toen ik over mijn verbouwplannen voor de fabriek vertelde, was er van zijn kant meteen interesse. Vanaf dat moment ben ik me gaan oriënteren in de zorg; je zet natuurlijk geen garage of een schildersbedrijf naast de praktijk van een dokter.’ Read more

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Middle East Studies Association ~ Letters On Turkey

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu
Office of the Prime Minister
Başbakanlık 06573
Ankara, Turkey
Via facsimile +90 312 417 0476

Dear Prime Minister Davutoğlu:

We write on behalf of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) of North America and its Committee on Academic Freedom to underscore for the third time our deep concern over the disciplinary investigations and criminal prosecutions that have been undertaken against scholars who signed a petition for peace in the Kurdish regions of the country (“Peace Petition”). In our previous letters on this matter, dated January 14, 2016 and February 22, 2016, we wrote in response to the immediate aftermath of a government-initiated campaign of intimidation triggered by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s speech describing the signatories as “so-called academics” and “traitors,” and the broad pattern of persecution that subsequently emerged, encompassing suspensions and terminations of academics from positions at universities, detention and interrogation of faculty members by over-zealous prosecutors, and a spate of threats and attacks against academic signatories by vigilante actors. We now write in response to the disturbing degeneration of the situation in the three weeks since we last wrote. The violations of academic freedom in Turkey now include the pre-textual use of antiterrorism laws to arrest academics, the trampling of separation of powers and basic rule of law requirements to enable the executive to manage a campaign of prosecutions against petition signatories, and new proposals to further broaden terrorism laws to encompass the protected activities of academics, journalists, politicians and NGO advocates. Taken together, the events of the last few weeks, and especially the developments on March 15, 2016, signal that your government is willing to eviscerate basic human rights protections to punish critics of your policies towards the Kurdish community in Turkey.

MESA was founded in 1966 to promote scholarship and teaching on the Middle East and North Africa. The preeminent organization in the field, the Association publishes the International Journal of Middle East Studies and has nearly 3000 members worldwide. MESA is committed to ensuring academic freedom and freedom of expression, both within the region and in connection with the study of the region in North America and elsewhere. The detention, interrogation and arrest of academics Esra Mungan, Kıvanç Ersoy and Muzaffer Kaya represent a new escalation of government action against signatories. Professors Mungan, Ersoy and Kaya were singled out for prosecution (together with a fourth academic, Meral Camcı, who has so far avoided interrogation and arrest by virtue of being out of the country) because of a meeting they conducted on March 10, 2016 at which they reiterated their call for peace on behalf of the Academics for Peace/Istanbul, a subset of the signatories of the original petition. In response, the prosecutor’s office detained the three professors, interrogated them and immediately issued arrest warrants against them, taking them into custody on charges of supporting terrorism. The theory the government appears to rely on is that the peace petition signatories acted in coordination with the PKK because an individual associated with that organization, Bese Hozat, had earlier called for intellectuals to support Kurdish self-governance. This spurious allegation has no basis. The claim that a petition calling for the government to desist from military action in the Kurdish provinces and resume a peace process amounts to support for terrorism represents a staggering threat to freedom of expression and academic freedom in Turkey. By the government’s logic, any speech, research, writing, opinion, organizing or demonstration supportive of Kurdish rights may be conflated with support for terrorism.

Read more: http://mesana.org/letters-turkey

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