The United Nations reported in 2003 that nearly 1 billion people lived in slums, the majority of them in developing countries, and is projected to rise to 2 billion over the next 30 years. This means a billion more people will have inadequate access to sanitation, drinking water, secure housing, and employment in an urbanizing world and globalizing economy.
This public health course seeks to provide an introduction to slums and slum health in the global context. We will begin with lectures on the formation of slums, discussing how globalization, urbanization, and governmental legislation factor into their development. Then, we will move to the characteristics of slums and urban poverty in relation to health and human rights issues. Finally, the course will conclude with student analysis of policy and community-based interventions in a slum community. Through this class, we hope to foster an understanding of the foundations of slum development and the various factors that exacerbate their conditions. The ultimate goal is for students to become advocates for the rights of slum dwellers.
Students will be able to define a slum and the describe causes of slum formation
Students will learn the issues that afflict slum populations and understand their effect on health and wellbeing of slum dwellers
Students will recognize the significant variation between slum communities through the case studies used in the course while identifying the common issues facing most slum communities
Students will utilize analytical and critical thinking to consider and evaluate programs in slums
Attendance and Participation- 50%
Attendance is mandatory. This will be a discussion-based course which will function best with everyone present. You may miss two classes and still pass the course. Missing three classes will constitute an automatic NP. Participating in a good discussion involves trying to build on and synthesize comments made by others and showing an appreciation for others’ contributions. It also involves inviting others to say more about what they are thinking.
Assigned readings are expected to be completed prior to class. In addition, there will be submitted written assignments during the course of the semester.
Final Project- 25%
The final project is a presentation on the evaluation of past programs in a slum community. It will incorporate a description of the community and an assessment of systems and structures in place alongside an evaluation of a specific intervention program chosen by the students. Students will work in groups and present their project during the final two weeks of class. Not completing this final assignment is an automatic NP.
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