Cover Image
close this bookTraining for Elected Leadership - The Councillor as Enabler (HABITAT, 1994, 18 p.)
close this folderPart I - Essay on the councillor as enabler
View the documentDefinition
View the documentSummary
View the documentReflection
View the documentConcepts and ideas
View the documentThe art of enabling
View the documentEnabling strategies
View the documentReflection
View the documentNetworking
View the documentCollabouration
View the documentCreativity
View the documentFacilitating/enabling/empowering
View the documentEnabling and community development
View the documentKey points
View the documentAnnex - Service delivery options for local government
View the documentReferences

The art of enabling

In others words, create the kind of environment where citizens, to the extent Series possible, can meet their own needs through their own efforts. These actions fall short of the local government, or any other level of government, building housing directly for the economically disadvantaged. On the other hand, everything possible is done that will assist these people to build their own shelter.

More and more local governments are discovering the potential in enabling others within their jurisdictions to assume more and more of the duties and responsibilities for public service and infrastructure development that have long been seen as the sole domain of public institutions. Here are just a few examples of how local governments are shifting and sharing the "public" mandate.

Sri Lanka Million Houses Programme: (At the time this was written, the programme was up to 1.5 million and still growing.) The administration of t National Housing Development Programme was decentralized and a cadre of officers trained to administer minimal loans and technical assistance to rural people to help them build new dwellings and upgrade existing ones. The public effort shifted from the construction of shelter to the development of community-management systems, enabling the rural citizens of this island state to build and improve their own housing.

Orangi Pilot Project, Karachi, Pakistan: This project, to enable low-income people to finance and install sewers to serve 20,000 households in a self-built settlement, was initially organized and implemented by a local nongovernmental organization. The project, which resulted in infrastructure being constructed at about 20 per cent of the cost of working through the Metropolitan Council, used a variety of enabling strategies to put the service into operation. It organized neighbourhood groups to collect individual contributions toward the cost of construction; teamed students with a handful of professionals to carry out the technical tasks; borrowed equipment to do the survey and design work; tapped foundations for grant aid; and mobilized local volunteer labour to assist in the construction of the sewers.

Uganda Water Development Programme: Uganda has set a target of reaching 75 per cent of the rural population with access to potable water from improve sources by the year 2000. This ambitious goal is based on the "Premise that by local community take as much responsibility as possible for rural water supply development." To accomplish this goal, Uganda is launching a vigorous community management programme. This programme will provide training, technical assistance, access to loans that neighbourhood groups will be responsible for repaying, and support in getting organized to plan, build, operate, and maintain community-based water supply systems.

The first two of these examples have been taken from the UNCHS (Habitat) publication, Roles, Responsibilities and Capabilities for the Management of human Settlements, 1990.2