Flo Carson

Flo Carson - Social Anthropologist, studying International Development at Sciences Po, Paris. I am slightly obsessed by gender, politics, media, human rights and global health. I've worked in Asia, Africa and Europe and keen to explore more of the world we live in. Take a look at my Twitter & Tumblr for my most recent posts. tly

Saturday, 2 July 2011

I have just read about UN HABITAT

and got really over excited. It looks like the exact thing I want to be involved in... focusing on sustainable development in terms of converting urbanisation into something that everyone benefits from. Each week I always seem to have a new career urge, this week IT'S ALL ABOUT DEVELOPMENT.
HABITAT was established all the way back in 1978, as slowly but surely the world was become a concrete, urbanised jungle. 2002 proved to be the year that Habitat really crystallised, and seen as a real programme within the mainstream organisations of the UN.
Habitat teams up with both governmental and non governmental organisations; which as a student of Social Anthropology and development seems to be the most efficient way of really improving a social situation. NGOs are problematic because they label themselves as being NON-governmental, which clearly leaves us wondering, what are they then, if they label themselves as what they are not? NGOs also tend to be funded by enormous capitalist corporations which evidently have numerous underlying (monetary) interests. So by ticking both the non/governmental boxes, it seems that HABITAT are overriding these issues and trying to reach everyone.
A truly profound aspect of their mission is for all'Member States to improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by the year 2020' - which seems massively ambitious, but where would we be if we didn't have ambition and high hopes? However, it always seems difficult if an organisation fails to live up to their own aims - will they lose funding or support?
Their website tells us that 'In 1950, one-third of the world’s people lived in cities. Just 50 years later, this proportion has risen to one-half and will continue to grow to two-thirds, or 6 billion people, by 2050. Cities are now home to half of humankind.' - this is massively striking - development agencies need to realise that we are no longer assisting rural fishermen, or village schools, but instead we are helping people in slums and on the city streets.
Expect to read more on Habitat as I explore their website more deeply!

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