DPU Windsor Workshop on land use in Dar es Salaam
31 October 2013
This week has seen DPU’s annual workshop for students at Windsor. Each year, students from each of our MSc programmes, as well as the PhD programme, travel to the Cumberland Lodge in Great Windsor Park to take part in this week-long exercise. For many years the DPU has chosen the Cumberland Lodge as the ideal setting for this workshop, due in part to its long history as an educational foundation dedicated to ethical debate. As such, each year our students are presented with a complex development-related scenario, and asked to take on different stakeholder roles in groups, in order to negotiate a series of strategies to address the problem at hand.
The bulk of the negotiation typically takes place at the Cumberland Lodge, with some additional work done in London. This year, our students were given a case study discussing sustainable and equitable land use, which was centred around discussing the involuntary relocation of slum-dwellers in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest urban area. This year students assumed the roles of actor groups including, inter alia, government entities, international aid organisations, and resident groups from the slums in question. This year the workshop place extra emphasis on media, in which public debates were conducted through a television talk show and policy debate-style format. This therefore placed heavy emphasis on the coherent communication of key motivations, interest and negotiating strategies to a broad audience - and created several high-pressure moments as representatives sought to justify their positions.
Behind the scenes, student actor groups were tasked with negotiating with one another to formulate possible, realistic solutions to the plight of the slum-dwellers displaced by the expansion of the city’s port. Overall, it has provided students with a platform to better understand institutional dynamics and power relations, and to further develop their communication and negotiation skills, and also to share their diverse range of perspectives by working so closely with students from other DPU programmes.