Civil society takes over leadership of the World Urban Campaign

Civil society takes over leadership of the World Urban Campaign

The Habitat III Conference held from 17-20 October 2016, has been an important moment for urban thinkers and the World Urban Campaign partners. Set on the hillsides of Quito, Ecuador’s capital city, not only the conference itself but many parallel events, too, brought together those who want to take action for our urban future.

The 16th WUC Steering Committee Meeting was one of those parallel events, taking place on 15-16 October, bringing together more than 150 Urban Thinkers over the course of two days. This gathering of the Steering Committee was of particular importance, since elections took place for the Steering Committee Chair and Co-Chair, as well as the Standing Committee Chair. Following two years under the leadership of Eugenie Birch (Penn University) and Shipra Narang Suri (ISOCARP), the two new Co-Chairs will embark on a new journey: Rose Molokoane from Slum Dwellers International (SDI) and Sandeep Chachra from Action Aid India.

As a veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle, and recognized as one of the most internationally known grassroots activists involved in land tenure and housing issues, Deputy President at Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI) and National Coordinator of the South Africa Alliance and the Federation of the Urban Poor (FEDUP), Rose Molokoane’s leadership and grounded experience will help to bring the World Urban Campaign to a new level of advocacy effort in this new phase of engagement in the Post-Habitat III era. Based in South Africa, she is also a resident and member of the Oukasie savings scheme in a slum settlement outside Pretoria. Molokoane has initiated federations of savings schemes throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. She was awarded the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honor in 2005 for her struggle to bring land and homes to the poor (Read more: In the same year, she was appointed to the Council of the South African Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA) by South Africa’s Minister of Human Settlements (Read more:

Rose has been elected as the Chair of the World Urban Campaign Steering Committee for the coming two years. 


Sandeep Chachra has been the Executive Director of ActionAid India for numerous years and has worked in several capacities in ActionAid International and other development organizations for the last two decades. He is a social anthropologist by training, and a development activist who has lived and worked with indigenous people and dalit communities in India. Sandeep has written several publications and has developed resource-packs for activists. Among his more recent publication contributions are Whose Freedoms? MDGs as if people matter! and a paper on India and the National Question. Sandeep is an active part of a collective in developing the Global Economic Literacy and Budget Accountability platform (Read more:, and the South-South Peoples Solidarity Forum (Read more: He has been involved with the work of peasant movements in Asia and Africa and has been a keen supporter of developing social movement platforms. He is also currently working on developing the South Asia processes for the World Forum of Alternatives. His experience will greatly support the Campaign in this new cycle of action geared towards implementing the New Urban Agenda and The City We Need.

Sandeep has been elected as the Co-Chair of the World Urban Campaign Steering Committee for the coming 2 years. 


The election of the new Co-Chairs demonstrates a new trust in civil society organizations from the Global South to bring a new push to action that is vital and most needed for the Campaign partners in order to deliver the New Urban Agenda on the ground. (Read more: