APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
Members of the Sustainable and Inclusive Housing Initiative Partnership--including the US Department of State, the American Planning Association, Context Partners, XPrize Foundation, Ashoka (Changemakers/Full Economic Citizenship Housing for All), the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)*, Rockefeller Foundation, Brazilian Ministry of Cities, and Un Techo Para Mi Pais--commit to expand the Sustainable Urban Housing Competition from an idea phase to a pilot and eventual scale-up phase. The aim is to engage more than 10,000 sustainable development innovators towards of the goal of creating tens of thousands of new housing and employment opportunities in urban locations, globally. This expansion of the Partnership, 'Innovation Ten Thousand' ('I-10-K'), will achieve this via three workstreams: 1) a competition model for sourcing large-scale, multi-location housing solutions; 2) an in-country training and technical assistance program for innovators and their partners (which could include municipalities, corporations, and NGOs); and 3) an online community to further deepen collaboration and to continually engage new partners.
Competition models are particularly new to the public sector, but show promise as a source for innovative ideas to sustainable development--as proven in the idea phase. The Partnership, therefore, plans to continue leveraging this tool as they pilot their efforts for the next year, coupling it with training, technical assistance ,and network development for the social innovators and their partners in the public and private sectors. Members of the I-10-K will research the specific demands in two to three in-country markets and apply the experience of the partners throughout the pilot phase as they conduct technical assistance and grow the network, in preparation for another larger scale-up phase and competition in September 2012. Sustainable housing and community development on such a massive scale requires an innovative, integrated, and 'outside the box' process that the competition model in this new form can bring to bear on such demands.
In order to effectively implement large-scale solutions to sustainable and inclusive housing needs, an in-country training and technical assistance program is essential to coordinate efforts and empower stakeholders with, in many cases, a new skill set to implement housing and community development solutions. The Partnership has already begun this in-country training and technical assistance through regional and multi-regional gatherings and with initial funding from the State Department under the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) umbrella in countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Through the idea phase, it also became very clear that global coordination and connectivity is necessary to achieve the intended goals of the Partnership. Achieving large-scale sustainable and inclusive housing requires engagement with a wide range of stakeholders, including experts, innovators, entrepreneurs, community development practitioners, municipal and government staff, NGOs, foundations, and financiers. Establishing an online community as a work stream through this commitment will be a mechanism to reach and coordinate among those involved in this movement. Responding to the needs of current partners and the global public, a new web-based solution, housed within HUD, has been launched to source and highlight effective models and best practices.
During the pilot phase, I-10-K plans to lay the groundwork for the expansion of this initiative which will include a) Research and Strategy design, b) Partnership Development and Competition Design, and c) Competition Platform Build and Network Outreach. Leveraging lessons learned from the idea phase and operating and in-country grants from member organizations, the Partnership will begin by collecting survey-, interview-, and focus group data to determine details of each work stream and plans of implementation. Research data will be collected from partner NGOs, government offices, foundations, private sector collaborators, housing and community development experts, idea phase entrants, and others in select cities identified in the idea phase. This group already numbers in the thousands in countries around the globe including Brazil, India, Mexico, Kenya, Argentina, and United States. One milestone of the research in the pilot phase and the commitment is to highlight the initial findings at the April 2012 Summit of the America in Colombia and announce the beta deployment of the competition platform to conclude the Competition Platform Build and Network Outreach step.
Once the pilot phase is complete and each work stream established, the Partnership will launch a scale-up phase--planned for Fall 2012, ultimately to reach 10,000 housing and community development innovators and to create tens of thousands of new housing and employment opportunities in urban locations throughout the world. The scale-up phase, coordinated by experienced competition experts among the partnership will be 'blue-printed' during the pilot phase; I-10-K anticipates a full rollout of the scale-up phase in a larger number of cities and countries.
*HUD will not contribute appropriated funds nor engage in fundraising activities. HUD's role is as housing and community development expert partner and facilitator to help find innovations and market solutions to meet housing and community development challenges in the US.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
Stage 1 (Mar 2010-Sep 2011): 'Idea' Phase
The Partnership planned, launched, and closed the Ashoka Changemakers competition. This phase began building the network of innovators, identified technical assistance demand and capacity gaps, and exposed the products, processes and policies to build sustainable communities.
Deliverables: Official partnership, founding research, initial network (nearly 300 innovators), innovative solutions, and planning for this Commitment to Action.
Stage 2 (Sep 2011-Dec 2011): Initial Pilot Phase
The Partnership will undertake the following activities: strategic planning for partnership, targeted geographic outreach, initial framing and research, collaborative design, network branding, additional fundraising, first in-country grants and capacity building through Partnership. This stage includes the commencement of this Commitment to Action and the interwoven activities, including the foundational work for the three workstreams. This stage will focus primarily on: a) Research and Strategy Design and b) Partnership Development and Competition Design. It is a step with minor financial commitments but with a strategy to raise the profile of the first set of innovations.
Deliverables: Two to three additional partners, first draft of overall expanded partnership framework, implementation plan, delivery of first technical assistance, capacity building and grants in-country, challenge design, data and results from initial interviews, surveys, and focus groups.
Stage 3 (Dec 2011-Apr 2012): Ongoing Pilot Phase
Deeper research and data analysis; review initial results of pilot phase grants and capacity building research--in part for the update and announcement at Summit of the Americas, but also to feed into commitment research and design of broader partnership entity and completion, online network and further in-country capacity building. This stage includes further pilot and seed grants in innovative solutions to identify universal models to tackle sustainable urban housing. This targeted stage will look at learning that transcends countries while developing an online community to continue the work and continue to focus on: a) Research and Strategy Design, b) Partnership Development and Competition Design.
Deliverables: Additional funding for hard launch of competition, second draft of framework and challenge design, formal partner MOUs, final selection of countries and cities for competition beta test, further data and results from surveys, interviews, and focus groups.
Stage 4: (Apr 2012-Sep 2012): Conclusion of Pilot Phase
Applied research & analysis; final platform design; outreach marketing plan, including branding, and competition elements. This stage will focus primarily on: Competition Platform Build and Network Outreach.
Deliverables: Final reports on data and results, final design of framework and challenge design, final cities and countries, established networks developed through pilot phase in-country grants, capacity building, research and planning. Competition beta test and finalization for launch of full-scale competition.
Stage 5: (Sep 2012-Sep 2016): Scale Up Phase
Launch and full rollout of large-scale, multi-city, multi-country, competition; based on idea and pilot phase innovative solutions, research, and testing and the Commitment to Action goals. Competition will result in the development of sustainable and inclusive housing sites for long-term testing and replication.
Deliverables: Immediate Scale-up--Large-scale, multi-year competition platform for creating sustainable and inclusive housing sites and related employment benefits that can be transferred, adapted, replicated for other markets and potential partnerships. Long term Scale-up--Sustainable housing sites built with local products, ideas and labor while focusing on affordability, safety, environmental-friendliness, inclusivity that can then be lessons and best practices for other cities, countries, and markets.
Today half of the world's population lives in urban areas. According to the United Nations, by 2050, three out of four people in the world will live in cities, as millions continue to stream into urban areas in search of fresh opportunities. Cities, as the engines of the global economy, offer these migrants jobs and livelihoods. These new residents, in turn, offer a diverse pool of talent, entrepreneurship, and innovation on which cities can grow their economies.
The majority of cities, particularly in the developing world, are not prepared for this dramatic growth. An estimated one billion people now live in slums, largely as a result of inadequate planning, poor policies, market failures, and gaps in governmental capacity. Cities that develop strategies to meet this critical shortage in affordable, sustainable, and inclusive housing, and address the challenge of energy constraints and climate change, will raise living standards, create more livable communities, and reduce environmental impact while spurring local employment.
The UN estimates that the resources required to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of improving the lives of 100 million slum dwellers by 2015, are $20 billion per year. This is far above the current level of investment going into slum upgrading and prevention (UN Habitat, n.d.). The Rockefeller Foundation estimates the financial resources required to fully address the needs of one billion slum dwellers falls between $1 and 2 trillion (Peirce, Johnson & Peters, 2009). As concluded by UN-Habitat, there is simply not enough money available through governments and donors to begin to address social and affordable housing needs at the scale required. (UN Habitat, n.d.).
While advances have been made in tackling this challenge throughout various regions and countries, effective solutions currently do not exist to meet the tremendous demand for sustainable and inclusive housing, which integrates housing as a platform to connect to job creation and other requirements for urban life. It is to this set of issues that this commitment and Partnership will forge an action strategy, implementation plan, and timeline for broad participation.
This Commitment to Action builds on the collaborative work of the Sustainable and Inclusive Housing Initiative Partnership over the last year through the Sustainable Urban Housing: Collaborating for Livable and Inclusive Cities competition (www.changemakers.com/sustainableurbanhousing). Results of this competition were showcased at a learning summit with an award ceremony held in July 2011. While there were only eleven finalists and three winners (http://www.youtube.com/user/changemakersvideo#p/c/A4F177B065FBA1B6) in the end, this competition attracted nearly 300 innovators from around the globe focused on creating products, processes, and policies that are taking aim at housing and business development from sustainable, inclusive, and affordable angles that demand greater exposure, funding, and planning.
That initial competition effort came from a series of meetings at the World Urban Forum and World Habitat Day that brought together several global actors including federal agencies, NGOs, and foundations, to find a way to tackle a common global problem. The Department of Housing and Urban Development's International and Philanthropic Innovation Office in partnership with the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, came together with the State Department, Rockefeller Foundation, the American Planning Association (APA), Ashoka Changemakers, and the Brazilian Ministry of Cities to create a new way to find innovations and share them with anyone concerned on a global stage. With these diverse, expert partners and leveraged funding from the State Department and APA under the umbrella of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA), the Initiative sought to lift up innovations from around the world via the competition on the Ashoka's Changemakers platform, funded by a partner in the effort, the Rockefeller Foundation. As part of the collaborative design of that phase, the competition judges included representatives from the IADB, Cities Alliance, Aflatoun, Akiba Mashinani Trust, Thunderbird School of Global Management, and the governments of Mexico, Brazil, and the United States.
This Sustainable Urban Housing Competition was considered the 'idea' phase and attracted a first set of innovators. From the beginning, the Partnership had agreed to continue past the 'idea' phase and establish subsequent 'pilot' and then 'scaling up' phases. The pilot and scale up phase become this 2011 Commitment to Action.