How co-production contributes to urban equality: retrospective lessons from Dar es Salaam
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Environment and Urbanization, 34(2), 278–293. https://doi.org/10.1177/09562478221114023
Despite varying conceptions of what co-production entails, there is a growing consensus in research, practice and public policy discourse that co-production is a preferred strategy for leveraging resources to deliver basic infrastructure services in low-income settlements. Using largely qualitative data, this paper explores the adaption of co-production in the low-income settlement of Hanna Nassif in Dar es Salaam, implemented 20 years ago by state actors, international agencies and grassroots actors, with attention to basic infrastructure and local employment. The findings reveal that co-production engendered partnerships and platforms and transformed sociocultural norms and values that made inroads toward urban equality in the settlement, although it failed to address inequalities among the partners, or to be replicated subsequently. The paper argues that meaningful co-production of basic infrastructure services in low-income settlements of the global South requires a focus on the context-specific pro-poor concerns and priorities.