Diana Mitlin is managing director of the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester (www.sed.manchester.ac.uk/research/gurc) and also holds an appointment at the International Institute for Environment and Development (www.iied.org). Her work focuses on urban poverty and inequality including urban poverty reduction programmes and the contribution of collective action by low-income and otherwise disadvantaged groups. For the last 20 years, Diana has worked closely with Shack/Slum Dwellers International, a trans-national network of homeless and landless people’s federations and support NGOs; and with the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights, a network of civil society groups focussing on urban poverty and exclusion.
BA (Econ) Manchester, MSc (Econ) London, PhD London
I completed my first degree at the University of Manchester with joint honours in economics and sociology. After working as a public sector economist with the Forestry Commission (1983-6) and the Monopolies and Mergers Commission (1986-8), I completed a Masters in Economics at Birkbeck College (University of London). I joined the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in London in 1989 to work in a multi-disciplinary team working within the Human Settlements Programme. Development has remained the major focus on my work since that date with a particular interest urban inequality and poverty in towns and cities in the Global South. In 1996, I worked part time for the London School of Economics to set up a Masters in NGO Management. In 1999-2000, I was on secondment with the Peoples Dialogue on Land and Shelter in South Africa. In 2001, I completed a PhD at the London School of Economics. From 2001 to 2012, I worked part-time at the Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM) at the University of Manchester, whilst continuing with a senior research post at IIED. In 2012, I took up a professorship at the University of Manchester, and became Director of the Global Urban Research Centre (GURC). From 2016, I have been Director of the Global Development Institute, which combines IDPM and the Brooks World Poverty Institute.
I have served as director and chair of the UK Charity Homeless International, and have also been a trustee for Practical Action (formerly Intermediate Technology Development Group) and been a member of the Programme and Policy Committee of WaterAid. At present I am a trustee for the Urban Poor Fund (Netherlands). In 2015, I became a member of the Research Committee of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). From 2016, I have been deputy Chair of this Committee and of the ESRC's International Development Expert Group.
I am an economist and social development specialist working both at the Institute for Development Policy and Management (University of Manchester) (www.sed.manchester.ac.uk) and International Institute for Environment and Development (www.iied.org).My major focus is on issues of urban inequality and poverty, and urban poverty reduction, in particular in the area of secure tenure, basic services and housing including shelter finance.I have written on poverty programmes and approaches to poverty reduction, and work closely with Shack/Slum Dwellers International, a trans-national network of homeless and landless peoples federations and support NGOs.Publications include Empowering Squatter Citizen (2004, Earthscan with David Satterthwaite), Confronting the Crisis in Urban Poverty (2006, ITDG with Lucy Stevens and Stuart Coupe), Can NGOs make a Difference? The Challenge of Development Alternatives, (2007, Zed Books with Tony Bebbington and Sam Hickey), and Rights-based Approaches to Development: the Pitfalls and Potentials (2008, Kumarian Press with Sam Hickey). My research has been supported by the governments of the UK, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, international agencies including UN-Habitat, UNFPAandUNDP, and several trusts and foundations including the Ford Foundation.At IDPM, I contribute to a range of graduate courses including those on urban planning, social development, civil society, poverty and inequality and development theory.
India, Kenya, Namibia, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Zimbabwe.