The Campaign is producing a series of policy papers on key issues related
to urban governance. Wherever possible, these papers will be produced
jointly with Campaign partners. A description of current and forthcoming
policy papers is provided below.
Current policy papers include the following:
- Local Democracy and Decentralization in East and Southern Africa - Experiences from Uganda, Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania and Ethiopia
The links between good governance and development are inextricable. Multi-party elections, effective institutions and constitutions that protect human rights and promote the rule of law are all recognized as essential for creating the conditions necessary for growth, justice, investment and peace. What is particularly encouraging about recent developments in Africa is that the pressure for good governance is no longer coming from one side or the other, but from peoples and leaders alike. A spirit of democratic empowerment is challenging all leaders to live up to the ideals of independence and to deliver the freedoms, rights and opportunities that their peoples deserve.
In view of the global trend towards democracy and decentralization, UN-HABITAT has been working on decentralization issues, reviewing current literature, and studying the varied regional and country experience with decentralization. This publication is part of the contribution to our work in this field. The country papers presented in this volume are designed to highlight the broad range of issues that need to be considered with regard to local democracy and decentralization in East and Southern Africa. They are intended to provide brief overviews of decentralization processes in five selected countries in the East and Southern Africa region and to provide a summary of the many different aspects of decentralization summarizing key issues that need to be considered by practitioners. To download the publication, please click here.
- Principles and Realities of Urban Governance in Africa
Poverty in Africa is characterized by lack of access to income, employment opportunities, freely determined consumption of goods and services, shelter and other basic needs of life. The majority of the people suffer from weak purchasing power, homelessness, and insufficient access to basic social services and necessities such as education, health, food and clean water.
Increasingly, the impact of governance is acknowledged as critical for unleashing national energies for poverty reduction. Good governance in all its dimensions i.e. functioning democratic institutions, rule of law, transparency and accountability, effective service delivery and participatory decision making can significantly increase the impact of poverty-reduction policies. Effective relationships between institutions at national and sub-national levels undoubtedly will improve responsiveness of the public sector. Conversely, bad governance is an additional burden borne by the poor in society.
This paper addresses the applicability of principles of good governance to the realities of African cities, and should be seen as an invitation for further localized debate on principles and realities of urban governance in Africa. It is hoped that the paper inspires all urban actors – policy-makers, practitioners and researchers - to creatively develop home-grown governance mechanisms that help to fight poverty. To download the publication, please click here.
- Innovations in Local Governance and Decentralization in East Africa - An Inventory
There has been a growing awareness of the need for decentralization of authority to the local level. Yet in the East Africa region, emerging initiatives related to local governance have not had a significant impact on improving governance. Addressing this would mean harmonizing, supporting and linking the efforts of local authorities with those of non-traditional groups, such as the private sector and civil society. This poses enormous challenges, as it requires a transformation in the attitudes of the elected local leaders, most of whom do not embrace a community participatory approach to development and leadership.
As a part of a Ford Foundation supported pilot project towards developing an “Innovations in Local Governance Award Programme” in the East Africa region, this publication is a compilation of innovations in local governance and decentralization. After regional workshops in each country, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda have each gone through a process of defining innovations within their local context, refining criteria for the identification of innovations and designing modalities for an Awards Programme. They have identified a number of approaches to local governance that illustrate key elements of innovation. These represent creative and effective examples of social service delivery at the local level, with particular focus on poverty reduction and improving the quality of life of the poor. To download the publication, please click here.
- UN-HABITAT Policy Paper on Women and Urban Governance
Women are often recognized as important levers for positive change
in cities. The status of urban women, however, is principally one
characterized by inequality. The Policy Paper on Women and Urban
Governance (2001) promotes the policy goal of gender equality, that is,
the equal involvement of women and men in decision-making and equal attention
to issues of concern to both women and men.
The paper presents seven
policy issues affecting women, describing current efforts to address them,
constraints encountered and options for implementation: women's representation
in local government; recognition and support for the activities of urban
poor women; participatory urban policy; eliminating urban violence against
women; capacity-building for women and community-based organisations; capacity-building
for local governments; and gender budgeting. For more information,
please go to the Policy Paper on Women and Urban Governance.
Forthcoming Policy Papers
Local Government Working for Gender Equality
In 2001, The International Union of Local Authorities, with support
from the Urban Governance Campaign, developed this collection of case-studies
highlighting the experience of women in local decision making. The
aims of the publication are to: illustrate the importance of equal representation
of and by women in local government; to highlight the key role that women
can and must play in local government policy development, service provision
and deicsion-making; to supply information about concrete initiatives taken
by local governments and the associations to these ends; and to emphasise
the effective role being played by local government in the implementation
of the UN commitments at the grassroots level, especially the Beijing "Platform
of Action" and the Habitat Agenda. For more information, please see
"Local Government Working for Gender Equality."
- Policy Paper on Children, Youth and Urban Governance
In our rapidly urbanizing world, children and young people often form a majority of urban populations, living in increasingly over-crowded and dangerous environments, without access to the basic human rights to which there is overwhelming agreement they are entitled, and largely excluded from participation in the decision-making which affects their present and future prospects. They are a fast growing population, who will shape the future for cities around the world, yet they have almost no voice in urban governance.
The purpose of this paper is to stimulate and promote action by outlining the arguments for giving children and young people a far greater role in urban governance. It sets out the background to the growing problems besetting children and young people in urban environments, the urgency of the need for action, and the arguments for supporting their participation in urban governance, including those based on their human rights. It reviews existing commitments and action globally, and some of the emerging models of participation which have proved to be viable ways of increasing the participation of children and young people, both nationally and locally. The Policy Paper on Children, Youth and Urban Governance will be available by February 2004.
Policy Paper on Urban Governance, Secure Tenure and Urban Poverty Reduction
In response to the United Nations Millennium Declaration, UN-HABITAT
is producing a policy paper articulating the policy and operational linkages
between urban governance, secure tenure and urban poverty reduction.
For more information, please contact:
Global Campaign on Urban Governance
P.O. Box 30030, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: (254-2) 623216, Fax: (254-2) 624264