Articles examining The Asian Coalition for Community Action (Acca)
This issue of the Journal has seven papers on different aspects of an Asia-wide initiative to address urban poverty and inequality at scale – the Asian Coalition for Community Action (ACCA) – which was launched in 2009 and is active in 19 Asian nations. The issue offers a range of papers that report on the scale and scope of this programme, and examine in some detail different aspects of the initiative. The authors bring different perspectives, including those of community leaders from informal settlements and young professionals. Statistics on inequalities usually relate to income or assets, living conditions or health outcomes (such as infant and child mortality rates). But one of the most profound inequalities is rarely mentioned – how those living in informal settlements have no influence on local government or service providers (who ignore them and their needs) and no influence on decisions about development investments and priorities.
The ACCA programme seeks to channel the energy, resourcefulness and motivation evident in the inhabitants of most informal settlements into a larger, more focused and more collective force to address larger problems of housing, access to land and basic services and finance. With the small grants available to them, it is up to each community organization to choose what to do, how best to do it and how to use the money. This forms or strengthens a network of community organizations that can begin to work at city scale.