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22 October - 13 November
FoSS and ESRC logos

Community Savers

Community Savers and Muungano Wa Wanavijiji: Global Urban Development in Action

My local area theme

What’s on offer?

Join us for an opportunity to meet and chat with some of the most innovative and inspiring grassroots activists in the world today. 

Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI) is a network of community-based organisations active in 32 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Affiliate organisations come together at the community, city and national level to form federations of the urban poor focused on organising for improved housing, infrastructure and services. With a membership that is 85% low-income women, SDI has achieved a global voice on urban poverty reduction. 

Community Savers are a network of women-led neighbourhood-based savings schemes which was mobilised by South African and Kenyan SDI affiliates under an action research initiative supported by the Global Develpment Institute (University of Manchester) and the Urban Institute (University of Sheffield) between 2017-2019. Community Savers are now linking up residents across Greater Manchester and Sheffield to share ideas, experiences and strategies for reducing poverty and inequality and developing their own local poverty action networks.

At this event, activists from Nairobi and Manchester will give some short talks about their experiences followed by networking around stalls featuring local initiatives in Manchester.

What’s it about?

This event will showcase the ways in which grassroots community leaders in Manchester ( have adapted the ideas and approaches of a Kenyan urban social movement Muungano Wa Wanavijiji ( to take action on climate change, social housing and health inequalities in our city.

Muungano activists are visiting Manchester at this time for an annual teaching engagement with the Global Development Institute and to visit Community Savers who they have been supporting since 2018.

Joana Salles is a volunteer with CLASS (support agency to Community Savers). Her PhD research is focused on urban ageing and the commons. Joana helps to coordinate Miles Platting Community and Age Friendly Network (MP-CAN!) -catalysed by Community Savers. In two years, MP-CAN! have carried out a survey of green spaces; developed a Climate Action Plan and are working with city council and housing association officers to put the plan into practice. They are taking forward a community-led redevelopment of a church site which will address the loss of community facilities through regeneration since 2007.

Ageing Well in Place in Hulme is a partnership between Community Savers and One Manchester Ltd supported by Dr Mark Hammond at MSA/MMU and Prof Chris Philipson at MICRA. Here, older social housing tenants have catalysed an innovative model for ageing well in place within tower blocks which has been taken up as a best practice case study by the GMCA for roll out to 9 local authority areas.

The event will showcase these initiatives and the community-led data gathering and co-produced research that has underpinned them.

Who’s leading the event?

Dr Joana Salles

Open to

Open to all

Of particular interest to

Of particular interest to those interested in ‘transformative co-production’ and community-led research and social action.

Scheduling information

Lunch is provided