Responding to COVID-19 in Informal settlements through Communication Practices: Lessons towards securing the right to housing in São Paulo and Lagos

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In the summer of 2020, the DPU facilitated a series of discussions alongside União dos Movimentos de Moradia in São Paulo and Justice & Empowerment Initiatives and the Nigerian Slum / Informal Settlement Federation in Lagos, as well as additional contributions from Bea Varnai (urbaMonde).

The exchanges focussed on sharing experiences of using media and communication practices to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the potential contributions to the wider issue of housing rights.

In Lagos, JEI have been supporting the Federation through a storytelling campaign called Corona diaries of the urban poor, a citizen journalism series told from the intersection of the coronavirus pandemic and urban poverty.

In São Paulo, União have been forming a network of community representatives to carry out communication activities through alternative media channels (which include social media but also community radio amongst others). They have undertaken training activities on the use of social media and trying to generate video footage about what is going on in communities to share via WhatsApp.

The DPU team faciliated a series of virtual meetings which aimed to support the continued development of a research agenda around civic urban media and the right to housing, focusing on a dialogue between São Paulo and Lagos.

The discussions featured the participation of members from both partners, as well as additional contributions from Bea Varnai (urbaMonde) and James Taylor (Know Your City TV).

Watch the discussion