Recently, increasing attention is given to poverty issues in urban areas in the Global South. This follows recognition that
population growth is shifting to urban areas, as more than half the world population is found in urban areas, which are expected
to grow mainly in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa in the next 30 years (UN, 2011). What are the implications of this shift?
First, governments, academics and advocacy organisations require more insight into the ‘dynamics of poverty’ (i.e., what deprivations
households experience, how they deal with them, and how these processes of engagement change over time). Secondly, what does
it imply for urban governance in terms of mandates, power relations and politics? Local governments often have difficulties
coping with existing responsibilities and now face rising numbers of households with conflicting agendas — middle-class expectations
as well as increasing numbers of poor households experiencing various deprivations (social, economic, infrastructural). Rescaling
of government and privatisation processes have reduced their mandates, so that local governments have less leverage to make
service provision more inclusive (e.g., Baud and de Wit, 2008). Negotiating with advocacy organisations for urban neighbourhood
communities offers ways to tailor provision to local needs and mobilise existing capacities.