The World Bank Institute. March 22, 2012
India, Brazil, and South Africa share common development patterns, economically, socially, and politically, and together can not only learn from each others’ successes and challenges, but also become major players in the geo-political space.
While Brazil has already achieved a high level of urbanization, tested different policies and approaches to address the slum challenge, and therefore can share many lessons of what has worked, what did not work, and why, it still struggles to address the extreme inequality between its rich and poor; it still has 44 million people living with inadequate urban housing or utilities.
India is one of the most rapidly growing economies in the world and has a large urban population although its urbanization level is relatively low. Faced with the challenge of improving the governance framework and service levels in cities, India has formulated groundbreaking urban policies in the last decade but despite these initiatives, its almost 93 million people living in slums will probably double in the next twenty years.
South Africa has made significant progress in designing progressive policies and intergovernmental fiscal transfer systems to address apartheid’s legacy of inequality. Although South Africa has delivered formal housing to 3 million households since the fall of apartheid, it recognizes that there is a lot still to be done to address the challenge of nearly 12 million people living in shacks or precarious shelters.