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Civil Society
Ben Bradlow
Research and Documentation Officer: Shack/Slum Dwellers International
Urban poverty - it's not the first thing most 25-year-olds think about when they wake up. But that's where Ben Bradlow feels privileged. He gets to learn from "some of the most imaginative people in some of the most unlikely places".

As one of the largest global networks uniting the urban poor, Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI) helps the poor speak, organise and negotiate for themselves. As SDI's research and documentation officer, Bradlow negotiates with the powers that be, compiles strategic reports and manages the NGO's communications arm.

Most recently he supported a team of informal settlementbased writers to produce uTshani Buyakhuluma, a regular national newspaper with a current circulation of 4 000 copies. If only government and society could see what Bradlow sees every day - the specialised knowledge and experience within these communities that could help them to solve their own developmental challenges. "Nothing for us, without us" that's his creed. - Cat Pritchard