Practitioners who support the upgrading process must assume a number of different roles, all generally provided by the same practitioner or supporting agency. These roles are in addition to various technical inputs often required.
Practitioner as Catalyst: He acts as an outside intervener to bring together authorities and communities in articulating and defining needs. He starts things going. Sometimes the initiative must be taken when there is insufficient interest - or not yet expressed - to initiate an upgrading process.
Practitioner as Advisor: Technical and social support is offered to both authorities and communities. The support is not intended to usurp local skills but to augment their expertise when needed. Direct support is sometimes considered, as well as training programs for administrators, technical staff, and communities.
Practitioner as Moderator: Occasionally it may be necessary to moderate between the various parties in reaching consensus in particularly difficult issues. As an outsider - hopefully perceived as a neutral 'friend' to all parties - he may be able to broker discussions and set the stage for reaching agreement.
Practitioner as Liaison: The unique position of the outsider practitioner often offers direct access to all levels of the authorities, which facilitates the cutting of red-tape quickly and effectively. This role facilitates links among the varied interests: families and communities, communities and authorities, etc.
Practitioner as Innovator: Taking a broader perspective of the upgrading process allows identification of needed interventions. Improvements for the better functioning of the process, suggestions for change in regulations, and testing of new approaches are within the mandate of the practitioner.