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Dissertation: 29 April 2016 Negotiating informaI housing in Metro Manila: Forging communities through participatíon (Coker)


29.4.2016 12:00 — 15:00

Location: Mattilanniemi, Agora Auditorio 3
M.Soc.Sc. Abidemi Coker defends her doctoral dissertation in Social and Public Policy ”Negotiating informaI housing in Metro Manila: Forging communities through participatíon”. Opponent Professor Roger Keil (York University, Canada) and custos Professor Emerita Marja Järvelä (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in English.

Abidemi Coker, photo: Gavaza Maluleke

M.Soc.Sc. Abidemi Coker defends her doctoral dissertation in Social and Public Policy ”Negotiating informaI housing in Metro Manila: Forging communities through participatíon”. Opponent Professor Roger Keil (York University, Canada) and custos Professor Emerita Marja Järvelä (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in English.


Negotiating informal housing in Metro Manila: Forging communities through participation

This study takes a three-pronged approach to understanding the complexities of organizing housing for squatter communities in the megacity of Metro Manila, Philippines. It examines socialized housing programs available to informal settlers and the socio-political and institutional relationships that enable or impede access to housing. The core of the data forms the first focal point around the analytical concepts of access, participation and community building. The empirical data is drawn from 20 interviews with community members, NGO staff and state housing program coordinators in Metro Manila. The data is then analyzed at the broader theoretical level by examining the social programs in light of the second focal area of housing rights and urban governance. The data is discussed within the context of poverty and megacities, which form the third area of focus. The study highlights the relevance of viewing informal settlements as communities where resources are shared though informal associations. These associations are essential for gaining access to housing of both NGOs and government, but their roles are different for the two types of housing providers. The issue of professional squatters is examined, as their presence in squatter communities poses considerable concern and mistrust in communities and for housing providers. The requirements of the housing programs are considered to be unique due to the formalization of “values formation” and “social preparation” as participatory actions for community building. The study introduces the concept of urban disconnect to demystify the urban governance challenge. Finally, the thesis proposes that the increased application of community-level participation for housing access, especially by government agencies, have transformed power structures in ways that are reflective of a social movement.

Keywords: informal housing, informal settlers, professional squatters, community, participation, values formation, social preparation, poverty, megacities, Metro Manila 

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Abidemi Coker