Webinar: How can knowledge and evidence catalyse urban reform coalitions?

Aug 24, 2023

Date: Wednesday 13 September 2023

Time: 12:00-13:00 BST

Register: bit.ly/ACRCwebinarSept23

Summary: Urban reform coalitions can play a critical role in building inclusive, sustainable and productive cities. Made up of diverse stakeholders who collaborate to achieve common goals, these coalitions can work to strengthen relationships between disadvantaged groups and influential state/non-state actors. This collective action can be powerful in challenging socioeconomic inequality and enabling marginalised groups to capitalise on political opportunities for inclusive reform.

So where does research come in?

Co-creating knowledge and using it to influence inclusive reform can be an effective pathway to challenging exclusionary urban planning. Academics, action researchers and practitioners play a significant role in this aspect of reform coalitions, as well as in catalysing their formation and functioning.

Examples from the global South show how researchers have curated knowledge-led platforms to contest exclusionary urban policies, through co-producing knowledge with organised communities and using this to engage in dialogue with state officials. These platforms can play an important part in strengthening the capacity of organised communities – not only to articulate the challenges they face, but also to design and deliver innovative solutions.

Hosted by the African Cities Research Consortium (ACRC), this webinar will explore the role of researchers in facilitating urban reform, through co-producing knowledge with disadvantaged groups and nurturing dialogue with influential urban actors. Drawing on their own experiences and lessons learned, speakers will delve into the challenges and opportunities of coalition-building, exploring the intricacies of balancing the interests of policymakers and urban managers with the needs of marginalised groups.


  • Shalini Sinha – Urban Asia Lead and Home-based Work Sector Specialist, WIEGO
  • Catherine Sutherland – Associate Professor, School of Built Environment and Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Paul Mukwaya – Coordinator, Urban Action Lab and Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography, Geo-informatics and Climatic Sciences, Makerere University



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Header photo credit: Hannah van Rooyen. ACRC researchers at the consortium-wide conference in Dar es Salaam, May 2023.

Note: This article presents the views of the author featured and does not necessarily represent the views of the African Cities Research Consortium as a whole.

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