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URBAN GOVERNANCE | capacity building

The documents gathered in this section illustrate innovative policies and projects in inclusive governance for neighbourhood renewal, central city regeneration, access to GIS and related technologies, and knowledge-sharing.

quick links

local level city level
  international level websites

local level

Patel, Sheela; Joel Bolnick & Diana Mitlin (n.d) - Sharing experiences and changing lives - SPARC/SDI [pdf]

India - Community exchange programmes are proving to be a powerful mechanism for supporting and strengthening the capacity of community organizations to participate in urban development. Groups in Asia and Southern Africa have developed an exchange methodology to strengthen the capacity of local grassroots organizations to devise new development alternatives.

SPARC (n.d) - Demolitions to Dialogue: Mahila Milan - learning to talk to its city and municipality - SPARC [pdf]

India - Most cities are in search of real solutions to address problems of poverty impacting increasing numbers of its citizens and balancing choices for economic growth of the city. Clearly no one set of actors has the answers. City authorities and government can no longer believe they can find solutions by themselves. And yet there are no ready recipes of how this dialogue and conversation between the various stakeholders in the city will get initiated or reach any fruition.

UN-Habitat (2002) - Best Practice - Citizen Attention System, Mendoza [pdf]

Argentina -Program objectivesare to strengthen community capabilities about environmental and juridical issues, to raise a further participation on decision-making processes at local and state government level. Actually, the most significantly successful are formation of more 180 "extensionistas juridico-vecinales y ambientales" (community animators on environmental and juridical subjects), which are working in 25 communities in Mendoza Province through so-called "Consultorios vecinales" (neighbourhood information bureau), whereby they get advice, guidance and derive cases to others institutions to people's community.

UN-Habitat (2002) - Best Practice - Incorporating Philanthropy as an Integral Part of Business, Mombasa [pdf]

Kenya-Club Sun N' Sand is a private, family owned beach resort located in Kikambala, a peri-urban area on Mombasa's North Coast where abject poverty prevails. The proprietors' conviction in institutionalizing philanthropy by incorporating it within their business is a challenge to other hoteliers to emulate this innovative practice toward achieving sustainable social and economic development through the creation of an enabling environment that responds to local needs, preserves local culture, empowers women to take leadership roles, and engages in sound conservation practices.

city level

Beall, Jo; Owen Crankshaw & Susan Parnell (2000) - "Local government, poverty reduction and inequality in Johannesburg" - Environment & Urbanization Vol 12 No 1, April 2000 - IIED [pdf]

South Africa - This paper discusses the difficulties facing the post-apartheid metropolitan government of Johannesburg as it reforms itself, seeking to better respond to the needs of all its citizens, while also attracting new investment. These difficulties include high levels of poverty, unemployment and inequality as well as the apartheid legacy of “separate development” with its large backlog of poor quality housing and inadequate basic services, much of it concentrated in former “black townships” and peripheral informal settlements.

Hindson, Doug & Bongani Ngqulung (2001) - Case Study: The Reconstruction of Local Government and the Evolution of Development Policy in Durban - ISES-University of Durban-Westville [pdf]

South Africa - The aim of this paper is to describe and evaluate Durban’s post-apartheid development strategy. The paper begins by posing the major development dilemmas and policy challenges faced by the city, some of which are the legacy of its apartheid past and others the consequence of the pressures placed on the city by its opening to the world economy. The core of the paper is devoted to a description of the institutional transformation of local government and the evolution of policy in the city since the early 1990s.

Payne, Geoffrey (2001) - Building partnerships for development - International Conference on Redevelopment in Southern Lebanon, Beirut [pdf]

Lebanon - South Lebanon has suffered massively from occupation and conflict. The wounds and visible symptoms will not be quick or easy to heal. The challenge facing all those in positions of responsibility, both locally and internationally, is therefore one of initiating a process of recovery which rebuilds local confidence, capability and community.

Solomon, Benjamin (2000) - "Governance, economic
settings and poverty in Bangalore" - Environment & Urbanization, Vol 12 No 1, April 2000 - IIED [pdf]

India - This paper suggests that an understanding of poverty in cities such as Bangalore (often referred to as India’s Silicon Valley) requires more attention to the governance processes in which different groups compete for public investments and support. It describes the differences between the “local” and the “corporate” economies within Bangalore and their links with government. The local economies provide most of the population (including virtually all poor groups) with their livelihoods. They mostly develop outside the “master plan” areas, with diverse and complex economies and land tenure forms within which poor groups find accommodation and work. Their links with government are through local government – the City Corporation and its councillors and lower level bureaucracy. The corporate economies include the information technology industries for which Bangalore is well-known. Most of their links with government are with state and national parastatal agencies that control most of Bangalore’s development functions and have access to most government funding. But there is little local representation in these agencies. This profoundly disadvantages poor groups and the local economies in the competition for land, infrastructure and services.

UN-Habitat (2002) - Best Practice - Strengthening the Municipal Association of Nepal (MuAN) [pdf]

Nepal - MuAN, a member-funded umbrella organization, was founded in the spirit of decentralization and good governance. It represents its member-municipalities' collective interests to the central government and international community. Today, working closely with the Ministry of Local Development, it is the key player in urban and local development.

UN-Habitat (2002) - Best Practice - Local Government Policy for Sustainable Urban Development, Sofia [pdf]

Bulgaria - The project Global Urban Observatory (GUO) of UNCHS aims at capacity building for application of urban Indicators, to monitor progress in implementing the Habitat Agenda (Istanbul 1996), to build an infrastructure of local and national urban observatories capable of collecting, managing, analysing and presenting urban indicators data for policy-making purposes.

international level

Sliuzas, Richard (1999) - Research issues for the adoption of Geographic Information Technology for Urban Planning and Management in developing countries - March 1999 N-AERUS/ESF Workshop [pdf]

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the formulation of a relevant research agenda on urban management in the South. Emphasis is given to identifying issues related to the adoption of information technology, and in particular Geographical Information Technology (GIT), to enhance urban planning and management capacity at a local level.

World Bank (2000) - Cities in Transition: World Bank urban and local government strategy - World Bank [pdf]

The motivation for this new strategy stems from the growing demand for World Bank assistance from newly-empowered local governments, as well as from the realization that urban development activities could and should have a greater impact on raising the living standards of the poor and promoting equity. The World Bank holds over three decades' worth of operational experience in urban lending and sector work that provides a strong basis for response.




Documents highlighting DFID's published work in the area of capacity building and enabling environments in urban areas:

DFID (2001) - Strategies for Achieving the International Development Targets: Meeting the Challenge of Urban Poverty [pdf]

This paper sets out the central role that well-governed and managed cities and towns can play in reducing poverty. The key message is that achievement of the International Development Targets will depend in part on the development of strategies which recognise the important role played by cities and towns in strengthening poor people's capacity to improve their socio-economic and political conditions.

Kanji Nazneen; Carla Braga & Winnie Mitullah (2002) - Promoting Land Rights in Africa: How do NGOs make a difference? - IIED / DFID [pdf]

This report is based on a study of seven NGOs promoting land reform and land rights in Mozambique and Kenya. Through collaborative research in both countries we explored a number of key questions:- Do NGOs influence policy or are structural, institutional and political constraints too great? - Should NGOs maximise their own advocacy roles or focus on building the advocacy capacity of less powerful groups? - Do NGOs have the skills for advocacy work or should they focus on innovation in development interventions at the community level - showing by doing?...

Cities Alliance (2000) - Making Cities Work for All, Global Action Plan for City Development Strategies [pdf]

The challenge for the cities is to improve equity, efficiency, productivity, and governance in order to provide sustainable livelihoods, safe and secure living environments, and a better quality of life for the urban poor. The City Development Strategy is one tool which, along with squatter upgrading, is being sponsored by members of the Cities Alliance to achieve sustainable urban development.

Max Lock Centre (2002) - Improving Knowledge Transfer, Guides no.1-8 - [pdf]

There is growing awareness that researchers in developed countries need to be more active and imaginative in the dissemination of the development knowledge they produce. Technological innovation in communication is giving knowledge producers and communicators an increasing array of media to get their message across to a variety of audiences within a shorter time scale.

"Building Institutions for sustainable Development in Rio Grande De Sul, Brazil" - Allen, Adriana; Nicholas You (2002) – Sustainable Urbanisation: Bridging the Green and Brown Agendas – DPU [pdf]

Brazil - Brazil has a National Environmental System (SISNAMA) made up of bodies at national, state and municipal levels, which is responsible for EPM. The main instrument applied by SISNAMA has been a system of environmental licensing: that is, the process of evaluation and authorisation of any activity (from policy to project) that has potential impact on the environment. However, this system has operated only at project level and SISNAMA's overall effectiveness in EPM has been limited by a lack of capacity and unclear roles and responsibilities.

2003 Development Planning Unit | Sikandar Hasan | Anna Soave | Khanh Tran-Thanh || Tina Simon