The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


DPU/ACHR/CAN Fellowship Programme

achr research page
As part of a long-standing partnership between the Asian Coalition of Housing Rights (ACHR), the Community Architects Network (CAN) and The Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU), the Junior Professional/DPU Alumni programme aims to offer experience and on-the-job-training for junior development practitioners throughout Southeast Asia. 

The primary purpose of this initiative is to support the development and use of methodologies and tools in community-driven processes for urban transformation. The Junior Professionals work with CAN members, community organizations and members of ACHR in different aspects of city-wide upgrading strategies that involve mapping, planning, design, management, communication and advocacy.

The partnership is envisaged as a collective learning process, encouraging knowledge-sharing and innovation in development, grounded in the partners’ collaborative interventions and local experience. One output of the collaboration is a series of mechanisms for feedback and public learning, including the documentation of the experience (see Outputs and Interns’ reflections below).

The programme is currently in its 6th wave. Information on the launch can be found here.

For further details please contact Dr. Barbara Lipietz.

For eligibility and application procedures please see the application section below.


ACHR logoThe Asian Coalition for Housing Rights is a regional network of grassroots community organisations, NGO's and professionals actively involved with urban poor development processes in Asian cities. The coalition is action-orientated, highly decentralised, and aims to provide an alternative model of urban development based on Asian realities and experiences.

CAN logoCommunity Architects Network is a regional network of community architects and planners, engineers, young professionals, lecturers and academic institutes in Asian countries. Established in 2010, the network has been supporting community-driven projects under the Asian Coalition for Community Action programme (ACCA) regarding people housing, city-wide upgrading, and recovery from disasters. We believe the role of community architects is to build the capacity of people, by participatory design and planning process to make people be their own solution.


Wave 1

Grounding Knowledge: Reflections on Community-driven Development in South East Asia 

A collection of essays recounting the experiences and learnings from the first class of the DPU/ACHR Junior Professionals Programme in 2012-13. The publication tells the stories of the first wave of DPU alumni who spent six months working with communities in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. During six months of immersion, the interns (Johanna Brugman, Barbara Dovarch, Zahra Kassam, Francesco Pasta, Ariel Shepherd) supported mapping, planning and design processes and debated issues of housing and land rights.

 Reflections on Community-driven Development in South East Asia on Issuu

Wave 2

Grounded Planning: People-centred urban development practices in the Philippines 

This output is a result of the Phase II Junior Professional Internship Programme run by the DPU, ACHR and CAN. In 2015, the programme placed DPU alumnae Laura Hirst, Jessica Mamo and Mariangela Veronesi with the Philippine Alliance. The interns brought varied academic and professional backgrounds to the programme, from architecture and participatory design to environmental and social development planning.

 People-centred urban development practices in the Philippines on Issuu

Wave 3

Grounded Planning: People-centred strategies for city upgrading in Thailand and the Philippines

The third wave of interns’ activities and reflections are framed in the ACHR/CAN aim of advancing an agenda of Citywide Upgrading in the region. The four selected interns (Luisa Miranda, David Hoffman, Nausica Castanas and Cindy Huang) worked for six months at Openspace in Bangkok, Thailand and the Philippine Alliance (PACSII, HPFPI, TAMPEI, LinkBUild and CoreACS) in Manila and Cebu, Phillipines.

 People-centred strategies for city upgrading in Thailand and the Philippines on Issuu 

Wave 4

Grounded development: Reflections on community-based practices in Sri Lanka and Myanmar

This volume captures the interaction and learning processes of three DPU alumni with local institutions as generative spaces for reflective practice. Located for the first time in Colombo, Sri Lanka and Yangon, Myanmar, the interns worked respectively with Sevanatha Urban Resource Centre and Women for the World. The depictions of the context, institutions and interns’ lived experiences harness our understanding about grounded development, community-based practices and a search for scale.

Grounded development

Wave 5

Grounded Learning: people-centred approaches to housing in Yangon and Yogyakarta

Building on the plethora of learnings and practices documented by the previous waves of fellows on the operation of community-based development practitioners in the region of Southeast Asia (SEA), this report sets out to make a further contribution to the existing body of knowledge, by recording the work of the WfW and Arkomjogja, and reflecting on the role of people-centred practices in urban development. Through this publication the fellows share their experience of community-based practice, position their learnings within a broader context of socio-spatial change, and reflect on the challenges and opportunities of people-centred approaches.

Grounded Learning
Interns' reflections

You can also read the reflection of the different waves of interns in the following blogs:




Laura Hirst Mariangela Veronesi



DPU/ACHR/CAN Fellowship – Wave VI

Applications are now closed.