UCL News


DPU improving services for poor communities

5 March 2004

A research project by UCL's Development Planning Unit (DPU) is looking at ways of improving local service provision, such as water supplies and sanitation, to poor populations in large cities around the world.

Mrs Adriana Allen

The three-year study by Dr Julio Davila, Mrs Adriana Allen and Ms Pascale Hofmann (DPU) is comparing urban governance and management regimes in five metropolitan areas: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Chennai, India; Caracas, Venezuela; Mexico City, Mexico; and Cairo, Egypt.

With financial support from the UK government's Department for International Development and in collaboration with local teams of researchers, the project team is looking to improve services by implementing agencies in peri-urban interface (PUI) zones, where the population depends to some extent on natural resources for food, water and fuel. Since 1998 the DPU has been engaged in a number of activities in search for a more sustainable environment and better conditions for people living in these areas.

Mrs Allen explained: "Presently, the utility providers have a lack of information about the specific problems that arise in PUIs. Greater knowledge of the social, environmental and governance issues arising from changes in the management of water supply and sanitation - and more specifically of the impact on these of different and changing regulatory frameworks - is needed both by these agencies and other local agencies."

All of the areas in the study have different service management regimes, and the DPU team will bring together data from these areas for the first time. Mrs Allen said: "We aim to point out the impact on the living conditions and livelihoods of poor families and on the environment in these localities. Our findings will be used to create draft guidelines in improved service governance and management, to be piloted in these areas, and will facilitate regional and international dialogues on these issues."

To find out more about the project, use the link below.

Link: UCL's Development Planning Unit