• Skye Dobson: Urban Development

  • Skye Dobson
    "My peers and professors inspired me to focus on urban issues. Critically, they exposed me to research and experience that helped me understand that community organizing and social movements would be central to the social transformation required to address the scale and depth of urban poverty and inequality.”

    Skye Dobson (MA International Affairs ’11) has spent the past decade working on community-driven slum upgrading and urban development in African cities. After completing a Bachelor's Degree in African Studies at Hunter College, Dobson knew she wanted to work in Africa’s developmental sector, so she applied to the The New School’s Julien J. Studley Graduate Programs in International Affairs.

    “At the International Affairs program at The New School, my peers and professors inspired me to focus on urban issues,” Dobson says. “Critically, they exposed me to research and experience that helped me understand that community organizing and social movements would be central to the social transformation required to address the scale and depth of urban poverty and inequality.” 

    While at The New School, Dobson was able to test the practical application of her knowledge as part of the International Fieldwork Program (IFP). She traveled with IFP to Uganda in 2010, and had the opportunity to work as an intern with Slum Dwellers International (SDI), a network that brings together slum dweller social movements in over 30 countries. Dobson’s experience in Uganda influenced her thesis which focused on slum dweller driven housing projects in the East Africa region. 

    Dobson’s research and volunteer work with SDI during her time with the International Affairs Program led to a job offer upon graduation, and she’s been with them ever since. Based out of Cape Town, South Africa, Dobson currently serves as SDI’s Director of Learning, Monitoring and Evaluation where she coordinates data and knowledge management systems for the network and manages program and strategy development, as well as donor and partner engagement. Dobson specializes in M&E for social movements and the use of community-gathered data for inclusive and collaborative urban planning.

    Given the tremendous impact the IFP experience had on her career, for the past six years Dobson has also coordinated IFP for International Affairs students to intern with SDI in Uganda and South Africa.

     

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