Urban Action School (UAS) announces a three-week course on the theme of "Urbanization and the Planet" for urban policy practitioners, commencing from January 8, 2018.  

Venue: Institute of Public Enterprise (IPE), Osmania University Campus, Hyderabad
Dates: 8th January to 28th January, 2018
Closing date for applications:  8th December 2017 (midnight (IST)


This year’s UAS three- week course will focus on “Urbanization and the Planet’, the crisis of climate change due to various kinds of human activity in the cause of development, and its link to the phenomenon of urbanization, globalization and privatization. The course will explore ideas for creating sustainable cities with a focus on people and communities.  It will also look at the various international treaties that are being signed and discuss the aspect of climate justice and equity, the link between people, natural resources, planet and the nature of development. This 3 week course is aimed at developing and generating ideas around alternative paradigms of development regarding the ‘urban’. It is important for all those engaged in policy around the urban to have a measure of this very important and all- encompassing issue.

The Urban Action School conducts mid-career training for the mid and senior level activists, policy advocates, lawyers, journalists, researchers, and all categories of urban policy practitioners. UAS is intended for the benefit of action researchers and social activists, with the objective of building the knowledge base of the participants and to complement action research and field based activism. This course is meant to be as a space for upgrade knowledge, to reflect upon, share and to equip the participants to acquire new skills to function in a better way in their day to day work. It is meant to make a difference to the person as well as to the organization/movement/company in which she/he works.

Note: Applications are invited from India and outside.

Who can apply

Open to all: Social workers, political activists, people working with community organizations, social movements, trade unions, urban local bodies, media persons, government officials, research students, elected peoples’ representatives working and dealing with the ‘Urban issues’ are eligible to apply for this course. Experienced professionals are preferred for this course as it is essentially designed to skill mid career professionals. A minimum of five years of experience will be preferred.  

Course Content

Each year the course curriculum is redesigned to reflect latest ideas, issues, and concerns. The intention is to make the course a credible and significant contribution to understanding of cities, citizens, and people-oriented sustainable planning with an attempt to deal with and find solutions to growing urban poverty, migration, alienation, exclusion, violence, and lack of regulation and planning. The following are some of the themes that will form part of the course:   

  • Climate Change and India
  • Urbanization and the Planet
  • Sustainable Development Goals- SDGs
  • Climate negotiations and equity
  • Agriculture and natural resources
  • Right to the City
  • Urban Commons
  • Waste management, sanitation, health
  • Energy and alternatives
  • Sustainable transport
  • Alternative development paradigms and the sustainable city

Resource Persons

Resource persons will be drawn from academia, policy advocacy, and grass roots activism, and are leaders in their fields. Some of the resource persons are (in alphabetical order):

  • Aromar Revi, Indian Institute of Human Settlements
  • D Raghunandan: Delhi Science Forum 
  • Debabrat Roy Laifungbam: Centre for Organizational Research and Education
  • Rishi Aggarwal : Mumbai Sustainability Centre
  • Sandeep Chachra : ActionAid India
  • Shrawan Acharya : Jawaharlal Nehru University  
  • Sucharita Sen : SaciWATERs
  • Prasad Shetty : School of Environment and Architecture

We will share a detailed course plan along with other names of all the resource persons soon.

How will it be useful

The Urban Action School will bring together activists/ practitioners working on a range of issues relating to urban poverty, exclusion, livelihood, and urbanization from a wide range of disciplines.  The UAS hopes to establish, over time, communities of practice and activist knowledge in various disciplines by creating a forum for cross-sectoral learning. The UAS also facilitate cross-pollination of ideas and experiences between different activists/ practitioners. It will provide an opportunity for a critical take-aways based on this year’s focus area i.e. Urbanization and the planet.

Methodology adopted

The course will employ multiple methods of teaching over and above the regular classroom pedagogy. Methods such as field visits, group discussions, multimedia, theater, video conferencing etc. will be used. There will be simultaneous translation facility to bridge the language gap, depending on the number of people opting for it.

Please let us know if you want the content of this note to be understood by a potential candidate in another language in order to apply, along with her/his contract details.

Research grants

Participants in the UAS course will have the opportunity of submitting project proposals during the course period in collaboration with other participants or on their own, for 3 sub-grants to carry out dream projects they wish to work on for a year. The amounts will be announced at the beginning of each course.

Host organizations

Main organizers: Citizens Rights Collective (CiRiC), i.e., ActionAid India’s Urban Poverty Knowledge Activist Hub, and South Institute for Public Policy and Action (SIPPA), in collaboration with Institute of Public Enterprise (IPE), an autonomous institution based in the Osmania University campus, Hyderabad.

Selection process

The host organizations will constitute a group of panelists to go through the applications and choose 30 participants. Selection will be broadly based on representation from different regions and sectors of practice. Care will be taken to see that there is adequate diversity, based on caste, gender and minorities. The decision of the selection committee will be final.

A “Certificate of Participation” will be awarded to all participants upon completion of the course


Boarding and lodging as well as course materials will be taken care of by the host organizations. Overhead costs pertaining to the course related activities such as field visits, stationery, reading materials etc. will be borne by the hosts. This is made possible with a grant from the European commission.

All that the participants have to spend on is their travel from their respective locations to and from the venue. A few travel scholarships are available for this course. If you wish to avail of it, please state your reasons clearly the reasons in the application form or let us know. However, we cannot guarantee this scholarship for all applicants.

PLEASE NOTE: The course is strictly residential. Participants are expected to stay at the venue even if they are from Hyderabad or nearby. All participants are expected to stay through the entire course and not leave halfway unless there are compelling reasons like a sudden family emergency. Applicants must remember that leaving midway without sufficiently valid reason is likely to affect the prospects of others from their organization who might apply for other courses at UAS in the future. These restrictions are designed to ensure equity and inclusiveness.

How to apply

Fill this APPLICATION FORM and email it to the following email id: urbanactionschool@gmail.com such that it reaches us before 8th December 2017 (midnight IST).  You can also print the application form and send it by post or courier to the address below.

You can also send us a simple email with your contact details and introduction if you have difficulty in filling the form for any reason. If you know people who would like to come and they have difficulty with email please help them to contact us. We will get back to you to help with the application.

Mail and contact:
Pritha Chatterjee, Course Coordinator, Urban Action School;
Or Sushant Agrawal, Alumni Coordinator
R 7, Hauz Khas Enclave, New Delhi - 110016
Ph: +91-11-40640506/ +91-11-40640515

Closing date for applications is 8th December 2017 (midnight IST)

For organizers

K T Suresh, Urban Action School; R K Mishra, Institute of Public Enterprise; Ramchandra Murthy, South Institute for Public Policy and Action


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