Department for International Development Drivers of Urban Change
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Urban development finance
Informal economy
Labour market
Innovative financial mechanisms
Globalisation & SAPs
Urban - rural interactions
Participatory budgeting
Transparency & Corruption
Community activitism & CBOs
Democracy & empowerment
Participatory processes & tools
Social inclusion
Urban livelihoods
Violence & Human rights
Health Children & Education
Culture & Identity
Shelter & Settlement
City planning
Land tenure
Basic infrastructure
Appropriate technology
Transport & Mobility
Environmental planning
Health hazards & Pollution
Local Agenda 21

Cities are the most advanced, and demanding, arenas of governance – their multi-level intensity of public, private and social organisation, of planning and management functions, and of specialist administrations, are a forcing ground of organisational innovations; and at the same time they provide the stimulation for new forms of participation, empowerment and accountability, arising out of the emergence of diverse social movements and non-governmental and community-based networks. Six clusters of innovative policies and practices contribute, together with their multiple interrelationships, to the ‘political dimension’ of urban development. They are:

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.

participatory budgeting

This section includes a variety of successful cases of citizens’ participation in political affairs, developing their political engagement in the redistribution of public resources and stimulating greater municipal accountability.


The promotion of accountability and transparency illustrated here include anti-bribery and corruption schemes, and innovative practices in ‘ethical’ governance, transparent procurement and contracting.

community/activism CBOs

Innovative practices in this field include self- provision and access to land, transport, infrastructure and basic services, the setup of community resource centres, neighbourhood action committees, the strengthening of asset management and the mobilisation by poor households and communities;

democracy & empowerment

This section includes the enhancing representation and participation at the local level, supporting community and neighbourhood self-government, the extension of local electoral registration, and innovative practices in deliberative democratic assemblies.

participatory processes/tools

The documents presented here discuss varieties of participatory learning, action research, planning, and policy dialogue; community consultation, community partnerships, social movements and civil society association involvement.

note: Click on any of the cluster headings to enter the individual clusters and access the pdf files

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