|Community Approach to Integrated Basic Services Promoting Health and Livelihood for the Urban Poor - UNCHS Pilot Project: Lucknow, Rajkot, Visakhapatnam (Government of India - HABITAT, 1999, 90 p.)|
Partnership is the essence of this new framework of cooperation between the Government of India and the UN Human Settlements Agency, Habitat. The joint initiative, which is intended to throw more weight in India's fight against poverty, started off in early 1998.
It was intended to be piloted in three Indian cities - Lucknow in the northern State of Uttar Pradesh, Rajkot in the western State of Gujarat, and Visakhapatnam in the southern State of Andhra Pradesh.
The cooperation is designed to provide assistance to develop integrated, participatory and gender-sensitive approaches in the provision and management of basic services in informal settlements. Ultimately, improvements in health, education, employment opportunities and the local-living environments should be accomplished.
The project budget was originally planned at US $240,000. The Indian Government was expected to contribute US $50,000 and other operational necessities such as offices and personnel, while Habitat was to put in the rest of the financing in the form of technical assistance, particularly for capacity-building. The financial contribution of UNCHS got substantially reduced due to constraints which is being compensated through enhanced contribution by Government of India.
The Project Objectives
This project is expected to enhance the health and the environmental awareness at the grassroot levels of the slum communities in order to promote health oriented and environmentally sensitive infrastructure developments in the low-income and informal settlements.
The project is also expected to build the capacities of communities and city managers in order to ensure effective participation of all stakeholders in the provision and management of basic services.
One of the objectives of the project is to promote an integrated approach to the delivery and management of basic services through broad-based partnerships among local governments, other service providers, private sector, and community organisations, especially women's groups.
The project shall conclude its tasks by December 1999. At the end of this collaborative project, it is envisaged that proposals for the capital investments required for the improvement of basic services and infrastructure in each of the three cities would be concretized. These proposals are also expected to detail potential investors, external and local, public and private.
It is expected that all the three cities will come up with effective local need-based plans for the provision of their basic needs and the targetted investments in infrastructure development. Both of these shall be prioritized by the communities themselves.
The plans and proposals yielded are further expected to serve as practicable and replicable strategies for integrated, community-based interventions for the provision and management of basic services in other Indian urban centres.
Ideally and ultimately, they should promote health, environmental integration and opportunities for livelihood, growth and development. In addition, they must be self-sustaining, not requiring continuous or repeated Government or donor grants to keep afloat.