BiographyFirst India (Kerala) study in 1980, after which slum research in Chennai in 1984 and 1988-90 (PhD). Targeting (gendered) slum livelihoods and comparative impacts of slum upgrading by municipality and World Bank program. Resident project advisor Dutch Funded Bangalore Urban Poverty Project 1993-6. Institutional Development Expert at NL Ministry of Development Cooperation; Urban Management expert at I.H.S. Rotterdam and since 2000 teaching, research and projects at ISS.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
I am a long term teacher (ISS, I.H.S.) in dynamics of policy implementation and (urban) governance, over the years engaged in many capacity development programs notably in India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Namibia and Surinam. Through my career I engaged in research with those poor (women and men) and marginalized in developing countries/cities, arguing that informal mechanisms such as patronage, paying bribes and seeking out politicians as brokers are important but too often neglected. Current research (partly with Leiden KILTV) on informality, social protection and electoral systems and dynamics.
Progressive patronage? Municipalities, NGOs, Community-Based Organizations, and the Limits to Slum Dwellers’ Empowerment’
Published: Mar 19, 2009 by Development and Change, 40(5), 927-947.
Authors: Joop de Wit and Erhard Berner
Subjects: Urban Studies
Efforts aimed at urban poverty reduction and service delivery improvement depend critically on slum dwellers’ collective agency. Adding to a long history of community participation approaches, there is a growing incidence of so-called ‘partnerships’ between municipal agencies, NGOs and slum organizations. This text questions such approaches by arguing that vertical relations ('a dominant patronage logic') undermines efforts by NGOs and CBOs alike to organize poor slum people.
Published: Mar 19, 2018
This short video presentation introduces my recently published Mumbai book targeting dynamics of poverty, policies and politics