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 present call for Junior Professional internships represents the sixth wave in this partnership. 

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 will work with CAN members, community organizations and members of ACHR in different spheres of city-wide upgrading strategies that involve mapping, planning, design, management, communication and so on.

Four candidates will be selected to work with partner organisations for 6 months, starting from beginning of January 2020.  

Two candidates will work with Arkomjogja and Kampung communities in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, to explore the complex realities of tenure security in the Javanese city. The candidates will work on data gathering and analysis and support community mobilization around land and housing policy.

The other two candidates will work with the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR) in two locations shortly to be confirmed.

The partnership is envisaged as a collective learning process with the aim of 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.

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
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

Candidates for the internship programme must submit an updated CV and a letter of motivation outlining desires, competences and skills (max 1000 words).

Eligible candidates should have the following essential characteristics:

  • Be a DPU alumni either in a MSc or a MPhil/PhD;
  • have a related degree and/or experience in planning, geography, development studies, sociology, international studies, environmental science or architecture, with a strong interest in community-driven initiatives, housing, water and international development issues;
  • demonstrate a clear attitude to learn and work with a local organizations in supporting people in community-driven processes;
  • ability to work independently but also possess a clear disposition to work collectively within a team;
  • ability to work towards deadlines, with an eye for detail;
  • excellent oral, written and visual communication skills and IT skills;Experience in urban design and architecture practice or in housing or upgrading projects in other capacities.
  • Experiences in writing and documenting (e.g. electronically, through video, drawing, etc.).

In addition, eligible candidates should have the following desired characteristics:

  • Experience in urban design and architecture practice or in housing or upgrading projects in other capacities.
  • Experience of working in a multi-cultural environment.
  • Experience of working or researching in South East Asia is a bonus.
  • being open, practical, operational and collective.

DPU will support the 4 selected Junior Professionals with up to £4000 (the amount will vary according to the living cost in each city), aimed at covering:  
- In some countries, the host organization can provide free accommodation for the participant. (This could be in a field office or through a home-stay in the local community where they will work).

- Living allowance to cover housing, meals and incidentals.The host country and organisation will confirm the accommodation arrangements once applicants are accepted.

- Round-trip travel from participant’s home city or UK to the host country. Successful applicants are required to pay their round-trip travel in advance and the cost of travel will be reimbursed. 

Necessary VISA and fees must be arranged and covered by the participant.

Candidates should cover the cost of their insurance themselves, and make it a pre-condition to show proof of payment before they are granted the award.

Key dates:

Launching new call for interns: November 12th

Deadline for application: November 25th

Short list publication: December 2nd 

Interviews: December 10th

Interns announced: December 13th

Online Inception workshop: December 18th

Start of the internship: 1st January

Monitoring - research workshop: tbc


For further details, an application form and instructions on how to submit please visit https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/development/dpuachrcan-internship-programme or contact Dr. Catalina Ortiz (catalina.ortiz@ucl.ac.uk) and Dr. Barbara Lipietz (b.lipietz@ucl.ac.uk ).  

Closing date to receive the application: 17:00 on November, 25th2019

Interviews with applicants: December 10th, 2019