What is the Urban Management Programme?
Introduction and Strategy
UMP is one of the largest global technical assistance programmes in the urban
sector. It is a joint undertaking of UNDP, UN-HABITAT and the World Bank. The
programme develops and applies urban management knowledge in the fields of participatory
urban governance, alleviation of urban poverty and urban environmental management,
and facilitates the dissemination of this knowledge at the city, country, regional
and global levels. The development objective of the UMP is to strengthen the
contribution that cities and towns in developing countries make towards human
development, including poverty reduction, improvement of local participatory
governance, improvement of environmental conditions and the management of economic
The main strategies of the Urban Management Programme in Phase
3 were the City Consultation Methodology and the Institutional Anchoring Process.
It is through the city consultation that participatory decision-making and governance
is achieved, and through institutional anchoring that sustainability is ensured.
The global Urban Management Programme Office is located within
UN-HABITAT in Nairobi, Kenya. There are four Regional Office and two sub-regional
offices as follows: The Regional Office for Africa in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and
the East and Southern Africa Sub-Regional Office in Johannesburg, South Africa;
The Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand, and the South
Asia Sub-Regional Office in New Delhi, India, the Regional Office for Arab States
in Cairo, Egypt, and the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean
in Quito, Ecuador. City Consultation and Institutional Anchoring activities
are undertaken by these Regional and Sub-Regional Offices.
Initiated in 1986 with Phase 1 (1986 - 1991),
the UMP took a global perspective and focused on the development of urban management
frameworks and tools on the issues of land management, municipal finance and
administration, infrastructure and urban environment. Lessons were synthesized
and key information concerning support to national and regional capacity-building
was widely disseminated.
Phase 2 (1992 - 1996) used the frameworks and
lessons learned to build capacity at the regional level, using mechanisms such
as regional panels of experts and workshops and consultations to introduce new
policies and tools. During Phase 2, the Programme was decentralised and Regional
UMP Offices were established to carry out programme activities.
Following the Habitat II Conference in Istanbul in 1996, Phase
3 (1997 - 2001) was initiated. It built on and re-focused the work
of the first two phases to the local level, emphasizing city consultations and
institutional anchoring. Phase 3 had three themes: urban poverty alleviation,
urban environmental sustainability and participatory urban governance, with
gender as a cross-cutting issue. During this Phase, 120 city consultations have
been carried out through 19 regional anchor institutions and 40 national and
Phase 4 (2002 - 2006) is currently underway.
It continues with the themes from Phase 3 and a new focus area has been added:
HIV/AIDS. This is a critical area and an urgent priority, especially in terms
of urban management to address the spread and treatment of the disease. Phase
4 brings a stronger focus on pro-poor governance and knowledge management activities
that have direct impacts on the living conditions of the urban poor. It is focused
on synthesizing the experiences of the first three Phases and further institutionalizing
the participatory process. Greater emphasis will be placed on the consolidation
of experiences, the integration of UMP activities with other initiatives and
a stronger knowledge base on urban management.
From January 2004, the Urban Management Programme has just successfully
managed the transition from UMP Regional Offices to UMP
Regional Networks, comprised and led by UMPs regional networks of
Anchor Institutions. This exciting new development, one that has been planned
and prepared for over the past two years, sees UMP goals and activities firmly
in the hands of regional and local partners, which continued support from UNDP
These networks are expected to intensify the further development, transfer
and exchange of the substantive knowledge on various aspects of urban management.
They will provide technical and advisory services to local authorities and civil
society partners advocate and influence policy changes at local and national