Not always positive
T. Chidi Nzeadibe and Peter A Makachia, guest researchers at NAI presented papers during the conference "Knowing Development - Developing Knowledge ?" in Helsinki on November 14-15.
– Sometimes you assume that development is always positive but I don’t think it is, says Peter A Makachia.
Peter A Makachia believes that development needs to incorporate the thinking of the people to create positive effects.
– You need to understand their perspectives and understand their will to do things before you can engage them in a development program.
During the conference Peter A Makachia presented his paper about strategies for house holding in Nairobi, Kenya, and focused on the economic component.
– How can development of housing contribute economically to make people better off? In my paper I tried to highlight that housing should not be seen as ‘social services’, but also as an economic good. You can use the house for many different things, including creating wealth.
The other guest researcher T. Chidi Nzeadibe talked about the social situation of waste pickers in the Nigerian informal economy. His paper was titled ‘Beyond vulnerability and well-being: interrogating sustainability of an urban livelihood in the Nigerian informal economy’.
He notes that waste pickers benefit from little or no social protection and their recycling activities are not recognized in solid waste management policy and practice.
– This paper further queried the continued neglect of the social dimension of the sustainability debate in informal waste management (IWM), and argued that social sustainability can be compatible with IWM, although this is conditionally tied to good urban governance and improved social participation and inclusion of the waste workers.