Department for International Development Drivers of Urban Change
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Local Agenda 21


Efforts to promote public-private-community partnerships for urban service delivery include appropriate operation and maintenance protocols, financial and service guidelines, subsidy and profitability sharing, and community capacity building in provision of basic water, sanitation, waste disposal, electricity and energy sectors.

quick links

local level city level
  international level websites

local level

Bhatt, Mihir R (1999) - Assessing the Performance of Municipal Services for the Poor in Ahmedabad: The Report Card Project - Working Paper N° 103 - DPU [pdf]

India - Though India has a strong tradition of urban planning and analysis, the assessment of the performance of urban plans and services has received less attention. Even plans and initiatives that are widely welcomed at the outset are frequently undermined when their performance is perceived to be limited. Even when performance is measured, assessments are often characterised by being isolated and limited, attracting attention to one-off problems such as a leaking sewer, low water pressure, or flickering street lights. City-wide, systematic and organised rating on a defined scale is generally not done either by municipalities, NGOs, or community groups.

Burra, Sundar & Liz Riley (1999) - Electricity to Pavement Dwellers in Mumbai - SPARC - Working Paper N° 97 - DPU [pdf]

India - Water has to be purchased from markets or collected and brought to the home, and thus pavement dwellers tend to spend more money and time getting water than either slum residents or their wealthier neighbours who are supplied by the municipal authorities. The situation with respect to sanitation is similar, with pavement dwellers only having access to pay-and-use toilets, if any at all. With regard to electricity, this situation was also true until recently, with pavement dwellers unable to obtain electricity from BEST. Instead those that did have electricity were dependent upon illegal supplies, often obtained through middlemen at great expense, though an estimated 80 per cent of pavement dwellers had no electricity at all. The BEST policy with respect to pavement dwellers was thus to fine them for the illegal theft of electricity and to cut their connections. Despite recognising that such a policy could never stop the illegal theft of electricity by pavement dwellers, BEST failed to change its approach. In contrast, the company began in the 1970s to allow the slum settlements of Mumbai to receive legal BEST supplies for the first time.

Burra, Sundar (n.d) - Slum Sanitation in Pune
A Case Study

India - This case study looks at a major experiment carried out in Pune city, the educational and cultural capital of the State of Maharashtra. Pune is 120 miles away from Mumbai and about 40%of its population live in slums. About two years ago, a new Municipal Commissioner, Ratnakar Gaikwad, was appointed and he began a massive programme of building toilets in slums through community participation by giving contracts to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The case study seeks to describe the way in which the programme was implemented and draw lessons for urban governance.

Patel, Sheela (1999) - The view from below: Access for the urban poor to basic amenities and services - SPARC [pdf]

India - This paper attempts to bring to the discussion a view from “below” . By that we mean to bring into a national and international dialogue about basic amenities and service delivery to cities …. views about these issues which come from communities of the poor themselves. It is our hope that over the years the space created for such a view will create fora where community representatives can come to such meetings and say what their constituencies believe in and want without having to posture as paperwriters and present academically oriented papers. Such “gates” exclude the poor and create conditions for consultants and NGOs and others who can write papers and present them to make a representation on their behalf. In the absence of that option we take the next best solution: to come to this discussion with a experience-based perspective, which neither exaggerates what we know nor modestly belittles what this movement of the urban poor represents as a critical stakeholder in this discussion.

Sharma, Kalpana (n.d) - Waiting for Water: The experience of poor communities in Bombay - SPARC [pdf]

India - Water is a scarce commodity, getting scarcer each year. The problem is not just the quantity of water available but the basis on which distribution networks are worked out. In most cities in
the Third World, distribution networks have been grossly outstripped by the growth in numbers. Neither the quantity of water available, nor the way in which it is supplied, is adequate for the residents of these cities. The people who bear the brunt of this, however, are the poor. Living in overcrowded shanty towns they are not supplied an assured or clean supply of water. They end up having to either buy water or steal it. The price they pay for this water, the daily struggle it entails and the cost of ill-health in such communities due to lack of clean water need to be factored into any planning for water supply and distribution in a large city in a poor country.

UN-Habitat (2002) - Best Practice - Pace Setter Organic Fertilizer Project, Ibadan - [pdf]

Nigeria - Pace Setter organic Fertilizer Project is conceptually a "Waste-to-Wealth" initiative of solid waste management, i.e. waste recycling and reuse. It was necessitated as a result of enormous solid wastes generated by the densely populated Bodija market in the heart of Ibadan, considered to be the second largest city in Africa. Various types of farm produce, stationery, hides and skins, cans and bottled foods, building materials, clothes and clothing materials etc are also sold in the market. As a result of the variety of items sold at the market and the population density, a mean value of 0.6kg of waste is generated per person per day at the market.

UN-Habitat (2002) - Best Practice -Relocation of Backyard Tenants, Walvis Bay [pdf]

Namibia - Overcrowding in the traditional black suburb of Kuisebmond (a legacy of apartheid) in Walvis Bay resulted in mounting pressure on urban and social infrastructures. The problems associated with this phenomenon reached an acute stage between the mid-90s and 2001. Some of the major problems included an overflowing sewer system, rapid spread of diseases such as Tuberculosis, and fire hazards. Of particular concern was the mushrooming of informal housing structures (shacks) made of nontraditional building materials in backyards.

UN-Habitat (2002) - Best Practice -Effective Solid Waste and Land management in Tangerang City [pdf]

Indonesia - Solid waste disposal in Final Disposal Site (FDS) Rawakucing area, Neglasari district, Tangerang city, had been done for eight years, with total accumulation amount of solid waste 2,049,600,000 kg. Heaps of solid waste and an insufficient sanitation system caused the environmental pollution and resulted in community suffering for the nearby 561 people living in Kedaung Baru area. Poverty, slums, poor human resource quality, poor health and economic level, scrapping the solid waste and drinking polluted water, are their daily life.

UN-Habitat (2002) - Best Practice -Subang Jaya Municipal Council Community Recycling Centre [pdf]

Malaysia - Subang Jaya Municipal Council was formed in January 1997. It covers an area of 161.8 sq. kilometers with a population of over 450,000 people. A few months after it was formed, a recycling program was launched with the objective of creating awareness among the people on the need to reduce waste and sustain the environment. With this in mind, Subang Jaya Municipal Council embarked on a plan that requires a new system of participation from the three sectors of the society namely the community, the government and the private sector. Amongst the participants in the program are included several schools within the municipality, Residents Associations, Neighbourhood Watch Group, waste collection companies, NGOs like TrEES (Treat Every Environment Special Sdn Bhd) and several government deparments.

Zaidi, Akbar (2001) - From the Lane to the City: The Impact of the Orangi Pilot Project’s Low Cost Sanitation Model - WaterAid [pdf]

Pakistan - In 1994, WaterAid started a relationship with one of Pakistan’s most influential non-governmental organisations (NGO) and perhaps the world’s best-known nongovernmental project in the largescale provision of sanitation for the urban poor – the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP). This relationship was primarily aimed at learning lessons from the ‘OPP experience,’ and in funding projects to replicate this process inside and outside Pakistan. Five years later, as WaterAid was to carry out some form of assessment of this funding, it received a proposal for a broader study on the impact of the OPP. Wishing to contribute to an independent critical assessment of the OPP, WaterAid funded the broader study, from which this abbreviated report is derived.

city level

Eaton, Derek & Thea Hilhors (2003) - "Opportunities for managing solid waste flows in the peri-urban interface of Bamako and Ouagadougou" - Environment & Urbanization, Vol 15 No 1 April 2003 - IIED [pdf]

This paper examines the links between solid urban waste management and peri-urban agriculture in Bamako and Ouagadougou. Staple crop farmers in the vicinity of both cities value urban waste as a source of organic matter and are prepared to pay for it. Cultivation on degraded soils has even been revived in some cases thanks to this readily available resource. However, uncertain land tenure means that farmers have little incentive to ensure the safe disposal of dangerous elements in solid waste. Current plans would eliminate this recycling practice and promote large scale composting, but the cost for farmers will be too high, leaving them with an incentive to make their own illicit arrangements for acquiring waste material. Furthermore, small enterprises and associations that have come to play a complementary and innovative role in waste management would be forced out. The key challenges for policy are to build on economic and institutional reality and to regard urban waste not as a dangerous nuisance but as a source of nutrients for agriculture. Opportunities exist to deliver waste that has been sorted, though not composted, to peri-urban farmers.

Parkinson, Jonathan & Kevin Tayler(2003) - "Decentralized wastewater management in peri-urban areas in low-income countries"- Environment & Urbanization, Vol 15 No 1, April 2003 - IIED [pdf]

In peri-urban areas in low-income countries, conventional
centralized approaches to wastewater management have generally failed to address the needs of communities for the collection and disposal of domestic wastewater and faecal sludges from on-site sanitation. There are opportunities for implementing wastewater management systems based on a decentralized approach that may offer opportunities for wastewater re-use and resource recovery as well as improvements in local environmental health conditions. Decentralized approaches may also offer increased opportunities for local stakeholder participation in planning and decision-making, and the paper emphasizes the importance of building the capacity of local organizations in all aspects of decentralized wastewater management. Using examples of functioning systems, the paper discusses the operational sustainability of decentralized technologies for wastewater management in peri-urban areas and their associated management requirements. The paper concludes that a concerted capacity-building effort is required to overcome the constraints that hinder the implementation and sustainability of decentralized wastewater systems, and proposes a framework for achieving this goal.

Viero, Odete Maria & Andre Passos Cordeiro (n.d) - Public Interest vs. Profits: The Case of Water Supply and Sewage in Porto Alegre, Brazil - WaterAid [pdf]

Brazil - Porto Alegre is a progressive southern Brazilian city with a reputation as a leftist centre that is substantially succeeding so far in charting that fine line between market reforms and socialism. In February 2002, around 40,000 activists from all over the world converged in the city for the week-long World Social Forum (WSF), the alternative conference to the annual World Economic Forum of executives of global firms and financial institutions. The choice of Porto Alegre as the site for this forum is symbolic. Porto Alegre’s ruling Partido dos Trabalhadores (Worker’s Party) came to power some 13 years ago when socialist governments around the world crumbled. They have so far managed to turn the city to be the exception to the rule – implementing certain levels of market reforms while keeping a new form of socialism alive. For instance, transport, power, water and sanitation services remain essentially publicly-run. What is remarkable is that the services are doing well.

Winarso, Haryo & Michael Mattingly (1999) - Local Participation in Indonesia's Urban Infrastructure Investment Programming: Sustainability through Local Government Involvement? - DPU / DFID [pdf]

Indonesia - A principal objective of Indonesia's Integrated Urban Infrastructure Development Programme (IUIDP) was to enhance local government capacity to manage urban infrastructure investment and construction. It is argued in the following that the IUIDP has achieved little towards this end because it has remained a programme of central government which is still alien to the local governments who should have adopted it. Local governments have not been motivated to find the funds for repaying the loans involved and they continue to treat the IUIDP process as separate from their traditional budgeting and infrastructure provision activities. Consequently, the programme has not become sustainable.

WaterAid (n.d) - Private sector participation in
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
- WaterAid [pdf]

Tanzania - For over the past 10 years, Dar es Salaam’s water supply and sanitation services have been in a perennial state of crisis. As a result, passions run high in this city of about 3 million (daytime population: 5 million) whenever the topic is discussed. In the second half of 2001, WaterAid conducted a research on how residents of low-income neighbourhoods felt about the problems and the impending changes being proposed to resolve these problems. Reactions were varied, but were marked with some extreme replies. Asked what she thought about the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewer Authority (DAWASA), one housewife retorted, "They should all be fired!" Another squinted her eyes, gave a muffled curse, and then said "I hate them." These are extreme reactions, and whether fair or not, are nevertheless reflective of sections of public sentiment over the city’s failure to decisively deal with the problems.

international level

Bennett, Elizabeth; Peter Grohmann & Brad Gentry (1999) - Public-Private Partnerships for the Urban Environment, Options and Issue - PPPUE Working Paper Series Volume I - UNDP / YALE [pdf]

The rapid concentration of hundreds of millions of people in urban areas has placed an extraordinary strain on governments – both national and local – to meet their citizens’ basic needs. Many governments are finding that their existing water, sanitation, and energy infrastructures are unable to service their rapidly expanding populations. In addition, governments realise that their limited financial resources are not sufficient to cover the needed expansion of these services. Even where governments do find the resources to subsidize public utilities, service is often still poor and sectors of the population largely unserved.

Bennett, Elizabeth , Seldon James and Peter Grohmann (2000) - Joint Venture Public - Private Partnerships for Urban Environmental Services Report on UNDP/PPPUE’s Project Development Facility (1995 – 1999) - PPPUE Working Paper Series Volume II - UNDP / YALE [pdf]

In developing countries today, the public sector provides most water, waste, sanitation, and energy services. Experience demonstrates, however, that municipalities alone cannot meet the continually growing demand for services. While traditional development assistance plays a vital role in enabling some governments to meet these challenges, it provides only a fraction of the needed investment. New partnerships for sustainable growth – sources of financing, technology, capacity building and management – are urgently needed. True partnerships between public and private sector organisations are one of the most promising emerging forms of cooperation. Through such joint ventures, cities and businesses pool their resources, expertise, and approaches to solving problems in order to tackle urban challenges in a sustainable manner.

Esguerra, Jude (2002) - The Corporate Muddle of Manila's Water Concessions: How the world's biggest and most successful privatisation turned into a failure - WaterAid [pdf]

Philippines - When the winning bids were announced on January 6, 1997, a sense of excitement and vindication swept through the public officials and consultants who made it happen. Particularly buoyant was Philippine President Fidel Ramos. Flushed by the success of a privatisation program that ended a crippling and economically devastating power crisis early in his term, Ramos placed his bet that a similar process would do the same wonders for Metro Manila's growing water crisis. Now, he had plenty of reasons to be happy.

Gutierrez, Eric (2001) - A survey of the theoretical issues on private sector participation in water and sanitation - Framework Document - WaterAid [pdf]

This “framework document” maps out the different arguments and positions on private sector participation (PSP) in water and sanitation. It examines the different theoretical issues that have emerged from the PSP debate, and has been prepared for collaborators and case study writers on the “Research, Learning and Advocacy Project on Private Sector Participation (PSP) in Water and Sanitation” (referred to from hereon as “PSP Research”). This paper compiles and arranges the issues that may be able to provide case investigators of the PSP research with leads to references. It starts with some key definitions and general comments on the nature of the debate on PSP, then provides a broad sketch of the history behind the debate. From thereon, it briefly examines the actual arguments that have been made, identifying in the process a number of key players in the
debate. It then ventures briefly into the area of rights and water. It concludes by showing where WaterAid stands at the moment in this debate – and the options and directions it is currently considering.





Documents highlighting DFID's published work in support of partnerships in infrastructure and service delivery in urban areas:

Ali, S. M. & Cotton, A.P. (2000) - Process of Change in Solid Waste Management: Field notes - WEDC / DFID [Intro] [Text]

These field notes present the findings of a focused research project in the 'actual processes of change in low-income countries' carried out as a part of the Knowledge and Research Programme (KAR) of the Department for International Development (DFID), UK. The project (R7143) aims to build capacities of government and non-government organisations in primary collection of solid waste. These field notes are written for organisations and individuals who in one way or another support the development of solid waste systems in low-income countries.

Ali, S. M. & Cotton, A.P. (2001) - The Sweeping Business-Developing entrepreneurial skills for the collection of solid waste - WEDC / DFID [Intro] [Text]

This book presents the findings of a Department for International Development (DFID) funded project (R6540). It has been written for practitioners, municipal staff, non-government organizations and students interested in promoting micro-enterprises for the collection of solid waste. The project has identified guidelines based on a thorough understanding of the existing processes. More than twenty cases were studied in four cities in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Alimuddin, Salim; Arif Hasan & Asiya Sadiq (n.d) - The work of the Anjuman Samaji Behbood and the larger Faisalabad context, Pakistan - IIED Working Paper 7 on Poverty Reduction in Urban Areas [pdf]

Pakistan - This case study describes the work of a local NGO, the Anjuman Samaji Behbood in Faisalabad, which demonstrated the capacity to support community-built and financed sewers and water supply distribution lines in the informal settlements in which most of Faisalabad's population lives. It also suggests a model whereby provision for water, sanitation and drainage could be much improved in the city despite deficiencies in the existing infrastructure and institutions and the limited availability of local resources.

Buttle M.A. & Smith M.D. (1999) - Out in the Cold: Emergency water supply and sanitation for cold regions - WEDC / DFID [Intro] [Text]

During the 1990s, events in the Balkans, countries of the former Soviet Union, Afghanistan and Northern Iraq have demonstrated that humanitarian disasters are not confined to 'the South' but may strike anywhere in the world. This handbook is designed for aid workers working in cool temperate or cold regions. It is designed to provide specific supplementary information that can be used together with the information given in more general emergency manuals, details of which are given inside.

Franceys, Richard (n.d.) - Private Sector Participation in the Water and Sanitation Sector - Private Waters? A Bias Towards the Poor - Occasional Paper N° 3 - DFID / WEDC / IHE [pdf]

Private Sector Participation is not a panacea to overcome the common problems of inappropriate technology demanding unsustainable institutional support for which consumers are not expected to pay realistic tariffs. To achieve the benefits of PSP, the different categories of the ‘private’ sector, from artisans, NGO’s and small contractors through leasing contracts to international concessions have to be effectively matched to the different target groups of the sector: low-income and middle-income rural water supply and rural sanitation, secondary towns, peri-urban and metropolitan water supply and sanitation.

Hemson, David & Herbert Batidzirai, (2002) - Public Private Partnerships and the Poor: Dolphin Coast Water Concession - WEDC / DFID Series Editor: M. Sohail [pdf]

South Africa - A variety of public-private partnerships has been proposed as a solution to the perceived incapacity of local government to service the needs of the rural and urban poor. In South Africa the best known is the BoTT (Build, operate, Train and Transfer) program, but there are also other forms including outright divestment, outsourcing, service contracts, and concessions. Recently two concessions (one in the Dolphin Coast and the other in Nelspruit) have received widespread publicity. To date there has been widespread official advocacy but no evaluation of these projects. This appear to be the first study of an operational concession in the context of post-apartheid South African policies.

Nickson, Andrew (2001) - The Córdoba Water Concession in Argentina - DFID / GHK / University of Birmingham / UNDP [pdf]

Argentina - In April 1997 the Provincial Government of Córdoba, Argentina signed a 30-year concession contract with Aguas Cordobesas for the delivery of water supply within the jurisdiction of the Municipality of Córdoba. Aguas Cordobesas, the concessionaire, is a private sector consortium, headed by the French utility multinational, Suez Lyonnaise
des Eaux, which also acts as manager of the concession on behalf of the consortium.

Plummer, Janelle & Richard Slater (2001) - Just Managing: the Solid Waste Management Partnership in Biratnagar, Nepal - GHK / DFID [pdf]

Nepal - The case of Biratnagar municipal solid waste management provides a multiplicity of lessons on the opportunities and constraints in negotiating and operating public private partnerships at the municipal level. The contract for municipal solid waste management in the city was initiated at the instigation of a private company soliciting for the work. No prior attempts had been made to study the problems and needs with respect to solid waste in the city. Without the necessary expertise and without consultancy support, the Biratnagar Sub-Municipal Corporation entered into a 10 year contractual agreement with an US-based company, Americorp Environmental Services Inc. in 1997.

Plummer, Janelle with Godfrey Nhemachena (2001) - Preparing a Concession: Working towards Private Sector Participation in Water and Sanitation Services in Gweru, Zimbabwe - GHK / DFID [pdf]

Zimbabwe - During the mid-nineties the national policy towards decentralisation in Zimbabwe opened the door for urban local authorities to re-examine the manner in which they were fulfilling core functions. Many municipalities, like Gweru, were still recovering from financial difficulties created in the post-independence period and sought mechanisms to ease the strain on municipal finances. At the same time, and in the light of the economic structural adjustment programme, a number of initiatives by the Central Government aimed to build awareness of the potential of commercialising municipal operations including private sector participation in the delivery of
municipal services.

Rouse, Jonathan & Mansoor Ali (2001) - Waste Pickers in Dhaka, Using the sustainable livelihoods approach - WEDC / DFID [Intro] [Text1] [Text2]

Bangladesh - Waste pickers in Dhaka make their living by selling recyclable items collected from dumped waste. Most are children living on the streets or in slums where they have little access to infrastructure, a low status in society and an uncertain future. This book is based on a period of fieldwork in Dhaka which explored their livelihoods using the DFID Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (SLA).

Schusterman, R. et. al. (2002) - Public Private Partnerships and the Poor: Experiences with water provision in four low-income barrios in Buenos Aires - WEDC / DFID - Series Editor: M. Sohail [pdf]

Argentina - Large private enterprises are playing a growing role in providing urban water services (and to a lesser extent sanitation). Many development assistance agencies, whose principal mandate is to reduce poverty, have supported this trend. The concession for water and sanitation services in Buenos Aires was one of the first of the recent wave of ‘public private partnerships’, and remains one of the largest. The experience in Buenos Aires provides numerous insights into the opportunities for, and obstacles to harnessing the private sector to provide better services.

Sohail, M & A. P. Cotton (2001) - Public Private Partnerships and the Poor: Interim findings - WEDC / DFID -
Part A (Summary and lessons learned)
Part B (Case studies)

The purpose of the project Public Private Partnerships and the Poor in Water and Sanitation is to determine workable processes whereby the needs of the poor are promoted in strategies which encourage public-private partnerships (PPP) in the provision of water supply and sanitation services. One of the key objectives is to fill some of the gaps which exist in evidence-based reporting of the facts and issues around the impacts of PPP on poor consumers.

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