Dear partners, colleagues and friends,
The Global Housing Strategy (GHS) has progressed very positively during 2012. The GHS Network has welcomed over one thousand (1000) network members in a little over 4 months.
We are pleased to have received feedback through the social media from GHS Network members responding to our surveys. We also engaged with many partners at several international events including the World Urban Forum in Naples, the "Making Slums History" international conference in Rabat, and AfriCities in Dakar.
Based on the positive and rich feedback and inputs you have provided, we are now elaborating the GHS Framework that will guide the network's initiatives and support our key partners: UN member states, cities, academia, civil society, the private sector and external support agencies.
Together, by joining thenGHS, we are all committed to address the increasing unfulfilled housing demand and slum improvement challenges. The world is now focussing its attention in defining the new Sustainable Development Goals for the post MDG era to commence after 2015. We see that GHS will have an important role in influencing the debates that will shape this process. More importantly, together, we will address the main challenge that all actors have faced over more than half century: achieving impact at scale.
This could only be achieved through the result-based, gender responsive and rights-based strategies and actions of a committed partnership of all key actors. Political will; innovative research solutions; academia committing course and field work to improve living conditions of slum dwellers; enhances civil society engagement and volunteerism; private sector social responsibility; national and urban authorities supporting all these efforts - together, we can all make a difference.
As we welcome the new hear, allow me to propose a new year's resolution to guide our partnership: let us make a difference at scale, let us be the city changers that will embrace slums more effectively into the urban fabric socially, culturally, economically, environmentally and physically. Let us strive towards just, inclusive, equitable and improved living conditions for all the citizens in our cities, towns and human settlements in general.
May 2013 be a pivotal year for us all to make a positive difference together through the Global Housing Strategy!
Happy New Year!
Mohamed El Sioufi,
Coordinator, Global Housing Strategy