The International Development Network grew out of a flourishing multi-profession network called the International Development Forum, IDF. From 1989 to 2004 this group convened regular meetings at the RTPI to discuss international issues including sanitation, transport, slum management and working in overseas consultancy, with eminent speakers speaking from wide and deep experience. The reports of these meetings are a snapshot of best practice in planning. When IDN came into being, it adopted the IDF reports and these have now been saved.
One important series of IDF meetings focused on Countries in Transition with a series of meetings addressed by RTPI members (and others) who have worked all over the world:
- Poland: central planning to self determination - six years' technical assistance on local government reform Download
- Uganda: Change for the better? Download
- Adjusting to the Market Economy and Development Issues in the Provinces of Hungary, Romania and Slovenia Download
- India, achievements and prospects Download
Another series looked at Participation for Development:
- How to win friends and influence people Download
Robert Home presented his research on the origins of Urban Planning in the Third World which led to a later meeting on What British Planner can offer to Overseas Development.
In response to perennial interest in what it takes to work as a planner overseas, IDF persuaded members to talk about the real impact that such work can have - and to be open about some of its more difficult aspects: the frustrations were apparent, for example, in Jim Amos's Eastern European experiences. Other presentations covered working in Japan , Environmental Planning in Australia, grass-roots activism in Portugal, working with slum-dwellers, the value (or otherwise) of building marinas in developing countries and planning in Caribbean islands.
The International Development Netowrk has progressed from physical meetings to being a social media presence where it is easier to connect planners and those interested in planning from around the world and help share best practice and raise the profile of the profession. To connect see: @internatRTPI and RTPI LinkedIn International Group