Author Archives: Nick Gogerty

Shack / Slum Dwellers International

Shack / Slum Dwellers International , the name doesn’t sound very promising, but the ideas and actions happening sound very promising. is doing some interesting work in helping urban slum dwellers add value to their properties and neighborhoods.  “I dreamt of sleeping in a dry house.” is how one story starts for Katana Goretti, 35 in Kampala.

Like many efforts to make things better, victories occur quietly,impacting one life or family at a time.

If you are interested in a boots on the ground charity working to improve property rights and lives of the poor, then Slum dwellers international may be a good place to read and study about.

Their summary is here:


Founding Dates 1996: Slum Dwellers International (SDI) is registered in South Africa as a Non Profit Organisation in 2000 and in the Netherlands in 2008.

2008: Urban Poor Fund International (UPFI) registered in South Africa as an SDI subsidiary.
2008: Urban Poor Fund Netherlands (UPF Netherlands) registered in the Netherlands.


Slum/Shack Dwellers International (SDI) is an alliance of country-level organisations (called ‘federations’) of the urban poor from 33 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. It was launched in 1996 and became a formally registered entity in 1999. Several well-developed national federations of community-based organisations of slum and shack dwellers – particularly in India and South Africa – joined hands to found SDI.

Our mission is to link poor urban communities from cities across the South to transfer and adapt the successful mobilisation, advocacy, and problem solving strategies they develop in one location to other cities, countries and regions. Since SDI is focused on the local needs of slum dwellers, it has developed the traction to advance the common agenda of creating “pro-poor” cities that integrate rather than marginalse the interests of slumdwellers in approaches to urban development.


The 2010 International Property Rights Index. A gripping read :)

Property rights and the rule of law are an economy’s soft infrastructure, they are measures of development and civility.  The IPRI is set up a bit like Transparency International with a normalized 0-10 ranking for property rights in various countries.  As with all normalized and arguable qualitatively derived data sets, your opinions of veracity may vary, but hey what a great conversation starter about the vital nature of soft infrastructure.

From the report: “The IPRI is an annual study that compares countries in terms of their protection of property rights – both physical and intellectual.

Like previous editions of the IPRI, the 2010 report seeks to investigate the effects of a country’s strong legal and political environment, recognition, and enforcement of physical and intellectual property rights on the economic development of a country. This year’s report compares 125 economies using these three variables as core components and ranks them accordingly.”

“If history could teach us anything, it would be that private property is inextricably linked with civilization.”

—Ludwig Von Mises

International Property Rights Index 2010

Take a look at the International Property Rights Index Site.  We think it is quite cool.

$9.3 trillion blue-print

Dead Capital is estimated to have a value of $9.3 trillion.  That is a lot of money laying around in plain site.  The problem is it can’t be realized without a lot of co-ordinated effort by many people on the ground, in government and in the media.

Hernando De Soto and the ILD have put together a BluePrint for making dead capital come to life.  They call this process Capitalization.

The process is pretty lengthy, here is an out take from the book Mystery of Capital (why capitalism triumphs in the West and fails everywhere else).  Feel free to contact us for source documents.

Better yet, if you are a process or graphic designer.  Help show how this big monster process can be broken down, communicated graphically and translated into multiple languages. It is a $9.3 trillion story.

Mobile media and design solutions in developing countries

Dead capital is a people and invisible process problem.  Luckily mobile phones are getting smarter at connecting these 2 things all the time.  Here is a link to a Frog Design mobile ethnography project.

We are interested in partnering internationally with local property activists who use multi-media and technology to frame the local people, process and property problems in their Dead Capital cities.  Get in touch with us in the comments section.