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close this bookHabitat Debate - Vol. 5 - No. 3 - 1999 - Security of Tenure (HABITAT, 1999, 63 p.)
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Open this folder and view contentsCASE STUDY
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View the documentPARTNERS UPDATE
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View the documentCOUNTDOWN TO ISTANBUL+5
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Urban Poverty in Africa: Selected Countries’ Experiences
Published by UNCHS (Habitat), Nairobi, 1999, (HS/575/99E)

Urban poverty in Africa is growing as a result of declining economic performance, political instability and growing marginalization of the region in the global economy. Until the beginning of the 1980s, poverty was largely associated with rural economics, where the majority of the poor lived and worked. This trend is rapidly changing with the demographic shift of the population to urban areas. Yesterday’s rural poor are today’s urban poor in search of employment and opportunities.

This volume represents a selection of papers presented at the Africa Regional Workshop on Urban Poverty, held in Nairobi, Kenya, in September 1998. The papers are the outputs of the regional programme supported by UNCHS (Habitat) and the Ford Foundation since 1992. The papers published in this volume analyse urban poverty trends in East and Southern Africa, and review different strategies that countries and cities have pursued to address urban poverty.

Background Paper on Mainstreaming Poverty Reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa
Published by UNCHS (Habitat), Nairobi, 1999 (HS/526/98E)

The Habitat Agenda adopted at the Habitat II Conference (1996) calls for a concerted effort towards the eradication of poverty, an overriding objective of the international community and the United Nations. The Habitat Agenda also calls on municipal and city governments to create a democratic and inclusive space which involves the poor in addressing comprehensively the challenge of urban poverty. This background paper, prepared for the Africa Forum on Urban Poverty (Nairobi) in September 1998, reviews and examines policies and strategies that are needed to mainstream poverty reduction approaches in sub-Saharan Africa. It was the basis on which 24 country papers were prepared and has remained a key reference for the Africa Forum on Urban Poverty Network.

Human Development Report 1999
Published for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) by Oxford University Press, New York and Oxford, 1999

Global markets, global technology, global ideas and global solidarity can enrich the lives of people everywhere. The challenge is to ensure that the benefits are shared equitably and that this increasing interdependence works for people - not just for profits. Human Development Report 1999 argues that globalization is not new, but that the present era of globalization, driven by competitive global markets, is outpacing the governance of markets and the repercussions on people.

Characterized by “shrinking space, shrinking time and disappearing borders”, globalization has swung open the door to opportunities. Breakthroughs in communications technologies and biotechnology, if directed for the needs of people, can bring advances for all of humankind. But markets can go too far and squeeze the non-market activities so vital for human development. Fiscal squeezes are constraining the provision of social services. A time squeeze is reducing the supply and quality of caring labour. And an incentive squeeze is harming the environment. Globalization is also increasing human insecurity as the spread of global crime, disease and financial volatility outpaces actions to tackle them.

The Report recommends an agenda for action: reforms of global governance to ensure greater equity, new regional approaches to collective action and negotiation and national and local policies to capture opportunities in the global marketplace and translate them more equitably into human advance.

In addition to the ranking of 174 countries on the human development index (HDI), this year’s Report presents a new table on trends in human development from 1975 to 1997 for 79 countries. This new table reveals that, overall, countries have made substantial progress in human development, but that the speed and extent of progress have been uneven.

The Report also includes special contributions. Nobel laureate Amartya Sen describes the success of the human development index in bringing a human face to the assessment of development processes. Professor Paul Streeten gives a 10-year perspective on the Human Development Reports. And media magnate Ted Turner appeals for partnerships with the United Nations to face the new global challenges of our times.

To order, contact your local UNDP country office or write to:

Human Development Report Office
336 East 45th Street
New York, NY 10017, U.S.A.

City for Sale - Liberalization of the housing sector in Chennai, India (Ville endre - Voie lible et privatisation du secteur de l’habitat hennai - Inde)
by Christine Auclair
Published by French Institute of Pondicherry, India, December 1998.

This book (available in French only) analyses the liberalization of the housing sector, in particular, the prospects of the “enabling” approach, by reviewing and analysing the shift from the past State “interventionist” framework towards privatization and its socio-economic impacts in the Indian context, using Chennai (Madras) as a case study. The author shows the major limitations and constraints faced by liberalization and highlights the potential segregations produced by the reinforcement of the private initiative. The Indian context of the early nineties is particularly meaningful given the major privatization process it has gone through after more than thirty years of a “welfarist” approach. A very well-documented book on housing policies in India.

Housing Provision and Bottom-Up Approaches: Family Case Studies from Africa, Asia and South America
Edited by Adenrele Awotona
Published by Ashgate Publishing Ltd., Aldershot (U.K.) and Brookfield (Vermont, U.S.A.), 1999, ISBN: 184014 3037

This book is aimed primarily at all those who are concerned with housing provision for the majority in a way that responds to their social, cultural and economic circumstances. In general, the book is based on the premise that family and kinship arrangements have a direct influence on housing and that housing forms can also influence and change family life. The purpose of the book is to provide a clear understanding of the physical and non-physical structures in bottom-up housing approaches. Physical structures include design aspects, materials, infrastructure and construction methods. Non-physical structures include finance sources, participation and decision-making processes. The contributors, comprising academics, architects, policy analysts and social anthropologists, provide in-depth case studies from Africa, Asia and South America.

To order, write to:

Gower House, Croft Road
Hempshire GU11 3HR, U.K.

Reassessment of Urban Planning and Development Regulations in African Cities (HS/559/99E)
Reassessment of Urban Planning and Development Regulations in Asian Cities (HS/558/99E)
Published by UNCHS (Habitat), Nairobi, 1999

These two publications attempt to review existing urban development planning regulations in Africa and Asia and to identify some key factors that hinder the realization of sustainable urban development. The reviews identify prevailing and pervasive mass poverty as one of the underlying causes of the ineffectiveness of urban development planning regulations and offers suggestions on how some of these regulations could be more realistically modified. The publications provide policy-makers in the urban development arena with the information necessary to make informed changes in the regulatory instruments for urban development management.

Development and Social Action
Edited by Deborah Eade
Published by Oxfam, GB, Oxford, 1999
Price: US$15

Throughout the world, civil society organizations (including NGOs) are playing an increasingly prominent role in promoting pro-poor policy change - both in their own countries and internationally - through advocacy or through direct action and popular mobilization. In the global re-alignment following the end of the Cold War, the challenge is that of moving from mere protest and opposition to constructive forms of engagement both with the State and with the private sector. This thematic collection of papers from the journal Development in Practice draws on social action experiences from as far afield as Belgium and Brazil in areas such as new social movements, governance and the state of law, North-South NGO relations, and the use of development theatre in working for social and political change. Authors include Alex Mavro, Ignacio de Senillosa, Warren Nyamugasira, Smitu Kothari, Pramod Unia, and Koenraad van Brabant.

The journal is introduced by Miloon Kothari, a human rights activist and representative of Habitat International Coalition at the UN in Geneva.

Oxfam Publications are available from all good bookshops or direct from Oxfam:

c/o BEBC, P.O. Box 1496
Parkstone BH12 3YD, UK
or in the USA from Oxfam
c/o Stylus Publishing
P.O. Box 605
Herndon VA 20172-0605, USA

Gender and the Habitat Agenda: Engendering Our Human Settlements
Published by the Habitat International Coalition Women and Shelter Network (HIC-WAS), Dar es Salaam, in collaboration with UNCHS (Habitat), Misereor and Rooftops Canada, 1999

This booklet is an effort to highlight the commitments made by Governments at the Habitat II Conference in the area of women and shelter development. It compiles paragraphs of the Habitat Agenda that touch directly on women and gender issues, which are accompanied by unofficial summaries in simpler language. The booklet will help readers navigate through the Habitat Agenda to find specific paragraphs bearing gender and women’s concerns and directives for action.

To order, write to:

HIC Women and Shelter Network (HIC-WAS)
Women Advancement Trust
P.O. Box 5914
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Fighting Corruption to Improve Governance
Published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), New York, 1999.

Fighting Corruption to Improve Governance is an attempt to provide a cohesive UNDP corporate position on corruption for use of UNDP staff in programme countries. It approaches the problem of corruption as a problem of poor governance and suggests a framework to address the issue, which has been approved by the Executive Committee of UNDP in July 1998.

Part 1 provides a brief overview to the issue of corruption and how it relates with UNDP’s overall mandate of creating an enabling environment for good governance and sustainable human development. This paper only presents the most commonly accepted definition of corruption, its general consequences, and its linkages to governance. It does not attempt to provide an in-depth study of corruption, nor a discussion on the various theories and perspectives currently prevailing about the issue. Recent UNDP publications, Corruption and Good Governance (July 1997) and Corruption and Integrity Improvement Initiatives (June 1998), already address these dimensions and contribute to the policy discussion and debate on corruption.

Part 2 explains the rationale for tackling corruption under the broad framework of creating an enabling environment for good governance, then proceeds to identify concrete ways to combat corruption, and finally highlights UNDP’s value-added contribution to the fight against corruption.

Finally, Part 3 proposes UNDP interventions to fight corruption. It focuses on six main areas, including partnership building and policy dialogue, capacity building, tailoring country interventions, dividing responsibilities among relevant stakeholders within UNDP, creating a focal point within the UNDP through the Programme of Accountability and Transparency and describing the internal mechanisms within the organization to prevent and control corruption in UNDP’s operations.

To order, please contact your local UNDP country office or write to:

Mr. G. Shabbir Cheema, Director
Management Development and Governance Division
Bureau for Policy Planning and Support
One, United Nations Plaza
New York, Ny 10017, U.S.A.
Tel: (1-212) 906 5000
Fax: (1-212) 826 2057

or contact:

The Urban Governance Initiative (TUGI)
P.O. Box 12544
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Fax: (603) 253 2361

Making Common Ground
Public-private partnerships in land for housing
Edited by Geoffrey Payne
Published by Intermediate Technology Publications Ltd., London, October 1999

This book provides a comprehensive review of experience in designing and implementing a wide range of partnerships for the efficient and equitable use of urban land. Using examples from countries throughout the world and at all levels of economic development, the book reviews the achievements and limitations of formal partnerships. Evidence is presented to show that a range of informal partnerships, or relationships, has evolved, especially in developing countries. These are shown to have made a far greater impact on urban land development and to have been of greater benefit to lower income groups. The book therefore adopts a broad and inclusive definition of partnerships and shows that they exist within a continuum of public/private relationships.

All examples are assessed according to four criteria - the extent to which partnerships have: increased the supply of urban land; improved the efficiency of urban land markets; improved access for low-income groups; and provided the basis for a more productive relationship between public and private sectors. Recommendations are given for improving and expanding the contribution of partnerships according to varied local conditions. The book will be essential reading for urban and town planners, academics and their students.

To order, write to:

Intermediate Technology Publications Ltd.
103-105 Southampton Row
London WC1B 4HH, UK

Planning for Metropolitan Cities: A Suggestive Approach
by Pratap Rao
Published by Concept Publishing Company, New Delhi

The author of this book does not dwell on landuse planning alone but prefers to adopt broad planning directions. In the first chapter he stresses the need to raise awareness in a changing environment and to meet the challenge of urbanization boldly. He suggests the integration of surrounding district plans in the metropolitan region plan. Using secondary data from census reports, the author examines the justification of the proposal made in the Hyderabad (India) Development Plan with reference to Ramachandrapuram as a ring town.

Major problems of metropolitan cities are summed up in the 2nd chapter which briefly discusses early new town attempts and the garden city movement. Chapter three discusses the delineation of Hyderabad metropolitan region, while chapter four gives a comparative picture of the ring town strategy of Delhi Master Plan and Hyderabad Development Plan. Chapter 5 identifies important proposals which stimulated the growth of Ramachandrapuram while in chapter 6 an influence region is delineated based on the criteria of nearest town to the village and identified villages are analysed under changes in occupation structure and spatial distribution of ecnomic activities based on spatial lorenz curve. Chapter 7 analyses demographic characteristics while in Chapter 8, two planning techniques are used to find out the functional centrality and classification of villages under census industrial categories.

In the 9th and 10th chapters, the author gives his views on planning the new township. He identifies five aspects (function, commercial core, growth axis, self-containment and regional employment centre) which should be taken into consideration while planning and based on these aspects he works out broad development policies. The book has a refreshingly new approach to tackling the problems of urban expansion.

Submitted by: E. Jayasree, Chikkadpally, Hyderabad, India

To order UNCHS (Habitat) publications, write to:

UNCHS Information Offices
Publications Section
UNCHS (Habitat)
P.O. Box 30030
Nairobi, Kenya