Partners - DeCID


DeCID is a partnership between the Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU) at University College London and CatalyticAction.

This project is led by Principal Investigator Dr Andrea Rigon who is an Associate Professor at the DPU with more than 15 years of experience in citizen participation in the international development and urban development sectors, working for international NGOs, academia, and consulting for the United Nations, international donors and governments.

The DeCID project is funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), a UK Government fund to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries. DeCID builds on the experience of CatalyticAction in Lebanon and previous collaborative work between them and the DPU.


UNICEF works in the world’s toughest places to reach the most disadvantaged children and adolescents – and to protect the rights of every child, everywhere. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we do whatever it takes to help children survive, thrive and fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines, we support child health and nutrition, safe water and sanitation, quality education and skill building, HIV prevention and treatment for mothers and babies, and the protection of children and adolescents from violence and exploitation.

Before, during and after humanitarian emergencies, UNICEF is on the ground, bringing lifesaving help and hope to children and families. Non-political and impartial, we are never neutral when it comes to defending children’s rights and safeguarding their lives and futures.


UN-Habitat’s vision of “a better quality of life for all in an urbanizing world” is bold and ambitious. UN-Habitat works with partners to build inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and communities. UN-Habitat promotes urbanization as a positive transformative force for people and communities, reducing inequality, discrimination and poverty. UN-Habitat works in over 90 countries to promote transformative change in cities and human settlements through knowledge, policy advice, technical assistance and collaborative action.

The Bartlett Development Planning Unit

The Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU) conducts world-leading research and postgraduate teaching that helps to build the capacity of national governments, local authorities, NGOs, aid agencies and businesses working towards socially just and sustainable development in the global south. We are part of The Bartlett faculty, ranked the world’s top institution for built environment subjects in the renowned QS World Ranking. The DPU has over 65 years of experience in academic teaching, research, policy advice and capacity building in the field of international development.

As part of its mission to build the capacity of professionals and institutions, the DPU undertakes a range of action-oriented work with partners in different parts of the world. Regular contact with policy and planning practice through capacity building and advisory work is viewed as an important part of challenging and developing the theoretical and methodological debates pursued in our teaching and research.

University College London

University College London (UCL) is London’s leading multidisciplinary university, with more than 13,000 staff and 42,000 students from 150 different countries. Founded in 1826 in the heart of London, UCL was founded to open up education to those who had previously been excluded from it. UCL’s founding principles of academic excellence and research aimed at addressing real-world problems continue to inform our ethos to this day. UCL is consistently ranked amongst the top 10 universities in the world.


CatalyticAction is a UK based charity that works to empower vulnerable children and their communities through participatory built interventions.
They champion the co-production of dignified built environments where everyone can take part in the creation of equitable, inclusive and sustainable communities. Through this process of co-design, CatalyticAction builds local human capacity that ensures their work has a lasting impact. CatalyticAction’s work has a direct positive impact on: children’s wellbeing, social cohesion, local economy, local capacity and the built environment. CatalyticAction was shortlisted for the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2017-2019, and bronze winner of the Regional LafargeHolcim Awards 2017 Middle East Africa.


UKRI UK Research and Innovation works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. We aim to maximise the contribution of each of our component parts, working individually and collectively. We work with our many partners to benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas.

Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £7 billion, UK Research and Innovation brings together the seven research councils, Innovate UK and Research England

Global Challenges Research Fund

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5 billion fund announced by the UK Government in late 2015 to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries. Alongside the other GCRF delivery partners we are creating complementary programmes that:

  • promote challenge-led disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, including the participation of researchers who may not previously have considered the applicability of their work to development issues
  • strengthen capacity for research, innovation and knowledge exchange in the UK and developing countries through partnership with excellent UK research and researchers
  • provide an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research need.

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