Johannes Wijnandus (Joop) de Wit


Johannes Wijnandus (Joop) de Wit

1952 –
social anthropology, public policy, development management, urban poverty, urban development
India (megacities), Vietnam

Curriculum vitae

1952born in Schalkwijk (Utrecht)
1973-1983studied social anthropology, Free University Amsterdam (and at University of Groningen and Amsterdam University; travels in Asia and Australia 1975-77)
1993PhD under the supervision of J.W. Schoorl and J.J. van der Linden, Free University Amsterdam
1993-1996team leader of the Bangalore Urban Poverty Project, Netherlands Ministry for Development Cooperation
1997-1998institutional development advisor, Netherlands Ministry for Development Cooperation
1999-2000expert urban management, Erasmus University Rotterdam
2000-presentsenior lecturer public policy and development management, ISS, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Special activities and positions

  • Advisor on development issues for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (1998) and the Ministry for Development Cooperation (2003)
  • Advisor on development issues for institutions like RAWOO (the Netherlands Development Assistance Research Council, 2003/4), NUFFIC (2002/3), CORDAID (2002) and the World Bank (2002-3)
  • Contributor to conferences and seminars in the Netherlands and abroad
  • From 2004 various projects in Vietnam; team leader Strengthening Local Governance project with the Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences (2006-8), and Capacity Building Project with Ho Chi Minh Political Academy (2009-12)


  • personal page on website of the International Institute of Social Studies
  • pdf for more details of CV

Selected publications

De Wit’s publications on regions other than South Asia are not included.
1985 Slum dwellers, slum leaders and the government apparatus: relations between actors in slum upgrading in Madras, Amsterdam: Free University, v, 70 p. (Urban research working papers 8).
1989 “Conflict of interests in slum upgrading in Madras.” In: M. Dewit and Hans Schenk (eds), Shelter for the poor in India, New Delhi: Manohar Publications, pp. 41-53.
“Clientelism, competition and poverty: the ineffectiveness of local organizations in a Madras slum.” In: F.J. Schuurman and Ton van Naerssen (eds), Urban social movements in the Third World, London-New York: Routledge, pp. 63-90.
1992 The socio-political impact of slum upgrading in Madras: the case of Anna Nagar 1982-1990, Amsterdam: Vrije Universiteit, xii, 112 p. (Urban research working papers 29).
“Stedelijk armoedebeleid in India.” Derde Wereld: tijdschrift over imperialisme, onderontwikkeling en verzet 11,4: 57.
1993 Poverty, policy and politics in Madras slums: dynamics of survival, gender and leadership, s.l., vii, 336 p. – PhD thesis Free University Amsterdam; revised ed. New Delhi-London: Sage 1996, 305 p.
1995 “Participatory approach to urban poverty alleviation in Bangalore.” In: K. Singh and F. Steinberg (eds), Urban India in crisis, New Age Publishers/HSMI.
1996 Report on a short mission to India in relation to the Bangalore Poverty Programme (BUPP). The Hague: ISSAS.
Urban management and urban poverty alleviation: towards realistic approaches, The Hague: ISS.
Exploring urban poverty alleviation approaches in Indian cities, The Hague: ISSAS.
1997 Decentralization, empowerment and poverty alleviation in urban India: roles and responses of government, NGOS and slum communities, The Hague: Institute of Social Studies, 45 p. (Working papers / Institute of Social Studies and General series 267).
2000 & A.N. Krishnamurthy, Learning lessons from the Bangalore urban poverty alleviation programme: participatory approaches to urban development, 53 p. (SINPA Papers 24).
Towards good governance at the local level: the role of grassroots institutions, The Hague: ISS (ISS Working Papers, General Series 325).
2001 Partnerships, participation and patronage realities of urban poverty alleviation in Bangalore slums, The Hague: Institute of Social Studies, 30 p. (Working papers / Institute of Social Studies $ General series 350).
“The rise and fall of an urban poverty unit in the Dutch ministry of development cooperation.” In: I. Baud et al. (eds), Re-aligning government, civil society and the market : new challenges in urban and regional development : essays in honour of G.A. de Bruijne, Amsterdam, pp. 443-466. Also published in 2002.
“The Bangalore urban poverty alleviation programme 1993-1999: development, impact and lessons.” Africanus (University of South Africa) 31,2: 17-41.
2002 “Dynamics of participation in Bangalore slums.” Development Outreach 4,1: 33-35.
“Urban poverty alleviation in Bangalore: institutional and community-level dilemmas.” EPW 37(38), 3935-3942.
“The rise and decline of an urban poverty unit in the Dutch Ministry of Development Cooperation.” In: I. Baud & J. Post (eds), Re-aligning actors in an urbanizing world, governance and institutions from a development perspective, Ashgate: Aldershot, pp. 403-423
“Institutionalised co-operation between governmental, non-governmental and community-based organisations: the Bangalore Urban Poverty Alleviation Programme.” In: E. Wegelin, M.P. van Dijk & M. Noordhoek (eds), New institutional forms for urban management: their application in developing and transitional countries, London: ITDG Publishing, pp. 129-153.
2003 & Brigitte M. Holzner, Supporting decentralised urban governance: training women municipal councillors in Mumbai, India, The Hague : Institute of Social Studies, 38 p. (Working paper series / Institute of Social Studies and General series 386).
“A realistic alternative vision for Mumbai.” In: R.N. Sharma, R.B. Bhagat & A. Rath (eds), The vision Mumbai: a concept plan for Mumbai City, Mumbai: Tata Institute of Social Sciences, pp. 49-52.
2004 & A.N. Krishnamurthy, “The Bangalore urban poverty alleviation programme.” In: A. Sabir and M.D. Asthana (eds), Urban poverty in India, issues and policies, New Delhi: Uppal Publishing House, pp. 400-450.
“Initial assessment of decentralisation in India: administrative and political dimensions.” In: D. Olowu & R. Mukwena (eds), Governance in Southern Africa and beyond, Windhoek, Gramberg: McMillan, pp. 265-281.
2005 “Panchayats and wards committees: assessing India’s decentralised institutions.” Local Government Dynamics 1,1: 7-17.
2006 & S. Nandigama, “India’s development: even or uneven (Reporting on two Symposia in Hyderabad and The Hague to conclude the IDPAD Research Programme).” IDPAD Newsletter 4,1: 43-47.
2008 & I.S.A. Baud (eds), New forms of urban governance in India: shifts, models, networks and contestations, New Delhi [etc.]: Sage, xiv, 402 p.
& I.S.A. Baud, “Shifts in urban governance: raising the questions.” In: Ibidem, pp. 1-36.
& N. Nainan and S. Palnitkar, “Urban decentralization in Indian cities: assessing the performance of neighbourhood level wards committees.” In: Ibidem, pp. 65-83.
2009 & E. Berner, “Progressive patronage? Municipalities, NGOs, community-based organizations, and the limits to slum dwellers’ empowerment.” Development and Change 40,5: 927-947.
“Decentralised urban governance and changing roles of municipal councillors in Chennai, India.” Paper presented at the International Development Planning Review (IDPR) Conference, Liverpool, 6-7 April.
“Municipal councillors in New Delhi: agents of integration or inclusion?” Paper presented to the N-AERUS conference at the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies, I.H.S., Rotterdam. October 1-3.
2010 “Prospects for India’s urban poor: livelihoods and mobility in conditions of informality and middle class competition.” The Urban World 3,4: 1-7.
“Changing arenas for defining urban India : middle-class associations, municipal councillors and the urban poor.” Trialog 102/103,3/4: 21-27.
“Decentralized management of solid waste in Mumbai slums: informal privatization through patronage.” International Journal of Public Administration 33,12/13: 767-777.
& T. van Dijk, “Political entrepreneurs and the urban poor: the role of municipal councillors in Mumbai’s decentralised wards committees.” Paper presented at the CERES Summer School on 24 June, The Hague: ISS.
2012 “Decentralised urban governance, local politics and development in Mumbai: municipal councillors, elections and the urban poor.” Paper presented at the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA) conference, Bangkok, 18 July 2012.
2017 Urban poverty, local governance and everyday politics in Mumbai. Abingdon, Oxon ; New York : Routledge (Cities and the Urban Imperative).