Zeenat Niazi is the Vice President and Head - Communications Solutions Branch. She has over 26 years’ experience in the field of habitat processes and housing technology involving women construction workers, masons and Women’s Self Help Groups.
She has managed, coordinated and built capacities in numerous projects for the design of habitat processes in both social housing and post-disaster situations, including post-tsunami response initiatives in South India. Additional areas of Ms. Niazi’s professional engagement comprise the dissemination of large-scale environmentally friendly housing technologies in rural and urban areas, networking and policy development.
An instrumental leader in the development of the first National Rural Housing and Habitat Policy for India, Ms. Niazi has contributed as one of the founding members of the basin – South Asia Network, which worked on the policy effort alongside the Poorest Areas Civil Society Programme Network and the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India.
At the level of local governance, Ms. Niazi has taken part in the preparation of guidelines for city councillors and decision makers for local agenda programmes in Asian urban centres and partnership implementation programmes. She has likewise provided support to provincial and local governments for sustainable habitat development.
She has played a key role in the organisation of the LokAwaasYatra – a journey for the people’s habitat – an annual international event organised by DA to generate awareness and disseminate effective strategies for climate change mitigation and adaptation in the habitat sector. Her further engagement with climate change issues has included coordination of knowledge development and dissemination for low carbon rural construction in India and South Asia with the support of the Climate and Development Knowledge Network, as well as GHG reduction and climate change capacity building for the semi-arid Bundelkhand region in collaboration with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
Ms. Niazi is a trained moderator and facilitator who holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi and a Master’s in the same discipline from McGill University, Montreal.