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close this book Monograph on the inter-regional exchange and transfer of effective practices on urban management
View the document Introduction
View the document Foreword
View the document List of 30 case studies on effective urban practices
View the document Background
View the document Introduction
View the document The challenges of urban growth
View the document A new vision for sustainable human development
View the document Obstacles to urban transformation
View the document Towards a sustainable future
View the document Importance of sharing approaches that work
View the document Effective urban practices
View the document Analysis and lessons learned from thc case studies
View the document South - south cooperation: a basis for transferring effective practices
View the document Conclusions
Open this folder and view contents Annex - 30 case studies on effective urban practices

Analysis and lessons learned from thc case studies

The case studies contained in the Annex to this document represent effective approaches to solving a diversity of urban problems within different socioeconomic, regulatory, institutional and policy frameworks. Underneath this multiplicity of approaches, however, lie common themes in the solutions origins, their methods of implementation, the obstacles they faced, and their actual and potential impact. Table 4 on pages 26 to 39 contains a matrix of the different factors relating to the 30 case studies evaluated. Table 5 on page 40 contains a summary of the lessons learned from the 30 case studies evaluated.

Origins of the Innovation

There are three important factors involved in an innovation's origin: the impetus for the initiative, the product champion, and the formulation of the approach. Effective urban practices are often born out of a crisis of deprivation or ongoing exploitation of a group of people. That situation, combined with a conducive political environment and readiness of the general public for a change to the better are crucial factors in ensuring success. A window of opportunity in the political process is often what drives product champions to formulate an appropriate methodology for dealing with the existing problem. Many of the solutions in the case studies follow approaches that result from critical analyses of the current situation, past failures or successful initiatives implemented elsewhere.

The Zabbaleen Environment and Development Program in Cairo and the Urban Basic Services Program in Guatemala City are two examples of innovations that grew out of deprivation or ongoing exploitation of a group of people and were able to take root because of a window of opportunity in the political process. The Zabbaleen was a marginalized community of garbage collectors and scavengers living in settlements with few basic services and suffering from the effects of environmental degradation. The integrated program of garbage recycling, community upgrading and micro-enterprise development was conceived when Cairo's trash collection needs began to overtake the Zabbaleen's capacity to provide services. The Urban Basic Services Program originated in 1984 when UNICEF supported a water supply system after the outbreak of typhoid fever. After two years of deprivation, a change in government provided the opportunity for a more broad-based approach.

So many successful initiatives can be traced back to a single 'product champion" who was the driving force behind the program, and without whose continuing participation, the program may have failed. Although the significance of that person's input is not always documented? the cases of Dr. Kahn of the Orangi Pilot Project in Karachi, Mr. Pathak of the Sulabh International in New Delhi, and Wangari Maathai of Kenya's Green Belt Movement are all well known. Not only did they conceive their respective programmes, but they also took personal responsibility to see those projects succeed.

Initiatives in Casablanca, Sri Lanka, and Mexico City follow approaches that resulted from critical analyses of the current situation, past failures or successful initiatives implemented elsewhere. The success of the Dar Lamane housing development program in Morocco is also largely due to the close attention designers paid to the needs of the community members. Their concern for open space and neighborhood security was incorporated into the housing plan and the result is a vibrant and safe environment for the citizens. The approach of the Urban Housing Sub-Program of the Million Houses Program in Sri Lanka developed out of lessons learned from several decades of ineffective housing policies. Although one government built 150,000 housing units, a critical analyses of the program revealed that for every house built by the government, people built six. In order to meet the growing needs of the low-income population, the government changed their approach to provide a supporting rather than a providing role. Finally, Mexico City's Community Kitchen and Integrated Services Units were inspired by an existing successful initiative. Modeled after the popular ad-hoc kitchens experience in Peru, the Mexican program was adapted to its unique context.

Implementation

The three main ingredients for the successful implementation of these initiatives are the use of partnerships, a participatory methodology, and an integrated and flexible approach. Although initiated by a variety of sectors, partnerships between at least two different sectors were usually formed early on in the project's implementation. Community participation is vital to the success of most initiatives, especially where the delivery of services is concerned. Since urban problems are linked in a complex way, it follows that their solution should deal with a variety of issues at once.

Although undertaken by a variety of sectors, the majority of documented experiences were implemented by partnerships, combining government agencies at various levels, NGOs, community groups, the private sector, international agencies, and individuals. The Citra Niaga Project in Indonesia, for example, was initiated by the private sector, but depended on supportive partnerships with different levels of government, NGOs, and community groups for its success. The project transformed a centrally located slum into a multi-use commercial complex, maintaining the legal rights of shop owners and former users of the land. With help from an NGO working in Samarinda, and the participation of the local inhabitants, the director of a private development firm, produced a plan to transform the city center. Government approval was given to the private developers to use the land subject to two main conditions: state finance could not be used, and thirty per cent of the space had to be allocated to street vendors. The project was self-financed, self-sustaining and, moreover, a profitable venture.

As in the Citra Niaga Project, where they were involved, NGOs often played a critical role as intermediaries between community groups and the local government or the private sector. In the Low Cost On-Site Sanitation Project in Ouagadougou, for example, the government recognized that it lacked the flexibility to manage the project team, and deliberately selected an NGO to fill that role.

If there is one common ingredient in these successful initiatives, it is that they all involve community participation. Not only does community participation cut down on project costs. but it also increases the chances of sustainability of a given activity or enterprise. Projects are generally more labor intensive than capital intensive, and they stress human and social factors more than purely material ones. Both the Urban Market Gardens project in Accra and the Reforestation Program in Rio de Janeiro innovatively combine the use of human and natural resources to achieve their goals. By transforming marginal or underdeveloped land and urban waste water into food production plots in Accra, the migrant population creates secondary or primary income while improving the urban environment. In Rio de Janeiro, residents earn income by planting fruit trees which reduces the risk of floods and erosion, while lowering the favelas' costly impact on city management.

Community participation also facilitates long-term sustainability. For example. in community upgrading or service delivery projects like the Kitui Pumwani Informal Settlement in Nairobi' the Orangi Pilot Project in Karachi, or the Sulabh international in New Delhi, installation of appropriate low-cost infrastructure, has a much better chance at succeeding when community members are involved. Often, a change in personal habits, such as keeping litter out of the sewage system, is necessary in order to maintain the infrastructure technology. Community participation in the planning or building of the system can create the motivation for that change.

Service delivery programs will succeed for similar reasons, as they rely on wide-spread knowledge for their success. Groups of community women are the service deliverers and educators in Combat VAW, a community-based approach to violence against women in Metro Manila. Local women are trained to promote the objectives of the project, either through creating awareness about the issues, or by sharing their knowledge of legal recourse for victims. The more people in the community being educated about or dealing with the effects of violence against women, the more successful the program. The same is true for initiatives dealing with public health, or environmental regeneration. The more people involved, the more likely the problems will be limited or eradicated.

The success of the approach taken by these initiatives lies not only in their participatory methodology, but also in their integrated nature. The Urban Basic Services Program in Guatemala City, for example, began with the assumption that a single issue approach is inadequate to addressing the complex reality faced by those living in low-income settlements. The program's components are complementary and integrated in such a way as to allow a broad attack on some of the most serious problems facing low-income urban communities: little or no health care, insufficient, expensive and often contaminated water, inadequate or no provision of sanitation and child care, very poor housing conditions and, often, illiteracy. Whether the primary issue is nutrition, health, sanitation or housing, every settlement upgrading program in this document integrates all the issues facing low-income communities into a holistic approach.

Workers in the Action for Securing Health for All (ASHA) program in New Delhi, realized early on, that curing diseases alone does not result in sustainable health improvement. Programs, therefore, incorporate the upgrading of conditions in people's homes, neighborhoods and social environments as well.

Finally, successful programs are flexible. They benefit from an ongoing self-reflexive learning process that continues to involve people in the planning of the project, and do not in any case follow bureaucratically marketed blue-print designs. The Sacalao are a set of cooperatively managed markets which purchase food directly from farmers and sell it at a price-per-kilo to residents of Sao Paulo. Lessons learned from early experiments with the purchasing groups indicated the need for fixed locations for selling food, a warehouse capable of holding large volume, professional project managers, and an advocacy function through which the Association could continually pressure the authorities through new initiatives and projects. The organization radically altered the program so that the Sacalao community markets could fulfill these needs.

Obstacles

Each of the documented case studies came up against a variety of obstacles. Resistance to change, opposition from government agencies, and lack of coordination between implementing organizations; are the most common themes. New initiatives always result in change to the status quo' and even when a new idea introduces an improvement to a current situation, old habits are hard to break. It is often the changing of old habits that is the core challenge of the innovation.

The Women's Construction Collective in Jamaica, and Police Stations in Defense of Women in Brazil both had to overcome obstacles associated with empowering women in patriarchal societies. Although the police stations in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are extremely well used, the major obstacle has been ensuring follow-up. Women commonly refuse to make formal accusations against their aggressors, as it is most often a husband or relative. By entering into a male-dominated work force, the women of the Construction Collective had to learn to deal with some tension both at the workplace and at the family level. Male construction workers were antagonistic to their women counterparts and husbands or boyfriends often felt threatened by their partner making more money than they and working along side other men. Through moral support, persistence and patience, and the inclusion of men into their discussions, both these initiatives are successfully challenging traditional gender roles.

Government resistance in the form of red-tape, turf wars, or fear of loss of control and power were common to several of the programs documented. In Buenos Aires' PAIS Plan, low income groups are encouraged to organize themselves to produce food from vacant plots of land, thereby improving the allocation of food resources and helping the city's low income population. The concept was considerably opposed by some local government officials on the basis that a direct transfer of funds from the federal level to beneficiaries threatened local control of the municipality. The Green Belt Movement in Kenya is another example where people in positions of power resisted change because it threatened their vested interest. The organization became an active voice in promoting environmentally sensitive planning for Nairobi. After the Movement successfully blocked the construction of a 60 story hotel, various politicians and business representatives tried to destabilize the Movement.

Finally, lack of coordination between implementing organizations can undermine a program's effectiveness. In large holistic upgrading programs, like the Zabbaleen Environment and Development Program, in Cairo, there was difficulty in coordinating the different activities and priorities within the community. Political and bureaucratic power struggles within the government can undermine the program's effectiveness, as in the Paid Self-Help Reforestation Program in Rio de Janeiro, where lack of inter-governmental coordination threatened the operation.

Impact

The case studies describe practices which have furthered the goal of making cities more ecologically sustainable, politically participatory, socially equitable, and economically viable. They each resulted in a range of direct and indirect positive impacts on their cities and citizens, including the enhancement of the physical environment, the reduction of poverty, the improvement of health and well being, and the empowerment of community groups and individuals.

Magic Eyes, for example, not only reduced litter in Bangkok's streets by 90%, it also educated the public on environmental awareness. A cleaner and greener community in Jakarta is not the only result of the Urban Greening Movement at Bidara Cina. The program also empowered the community members to be more politically participatory. Citra Niaga has revitalized the core of the city and increased social equity by providing legitimate income generating opportunities to street vendors. Finally, Curitiba's Surface Metro has reduced city pollution and transportation costs to commuters.

The majority of projects contributed to capacity building of community groups and increased self confidence in the individuals involved. Unlike most other land reform programs, where the government is the key actor, the primary actor in the Community Mortgage Program in the Philippines, is the community itself. The government is, therefore, providing the impetus for community organization, which is one of the long-term impacts of the program. Sulabh International dry latrines depended earlier on scavengers to clean them out when the pits were full. These scavengers tended to be cruelly mistreated. overworked and forced to clean unsanitary and overused facilities. Retraining them for new vocations helped this stigmatized group gain respect and build confidence.

Scaling Up the Impact

Perhaps the most important long term impacts of these successful initiatives are the building of multi-sectoral partnerships and the changes in problem-solving approaches. An established single partnership may be re-used to transfer and replicate an innovation, while continuing to impact on public policy. The new network of problem solvers develops the links between local innovation and wider-scale impact. While its members act as catalysts to implement the innovations in the original context, they also access decision makers and policy fore, thereby changing official mindsets and decentralizing problem solving.

This was clearly the case in the wide-spread success of the Child to Child program in Bombay. The partnership between school and health care personnel, and relevant city officials not only helped increase the effects of the program, but also facilitated other development efforts, such as improvements in the provision of sanitation and water facilities, and opportunities for income generation. The innovative partnership between a local community organization and the larger citywide government structure in the CAMACO infrastructure cooperative in Buenos Aires resulted in a decentralized approach to water and sanitation that is being spread to other communities.

Most of the initiatives in this document were expanded or replicated locally. Where experiences were widely disseminated, regional or international replication and adaptation is also taking place. Transfers may also be successfully facilitated across cities with diverse political systems, cultures and economic bases, but cross-cultural transfers tend to need brokering networks to facilitate the process. For example, through the Mega-Cities Project, the Zabbaleen Environment and Development Program is being transferred to Bombay, Metro Manila, and Los Angeles.


Table 4: Matrix of Factors Relating to the 30 Case Studies Part 1


Table 4: Matrix of Factors Relating to the 30 Case Studies Part 2


Table 4: Matrix of Factors Relating to the 30 Case Studies Part 3


Table 4: Matrix of Factors Relating to the 30 Case Studies Part 4


Table 4: Matrix of Factors Relating to the 30 Case Studies Part 5


Table 4: Matrix of Factors Relating to the 30 Case Studies Part 6


Table 4: Matrix of Factors Relating to the 30 Case Studies Part 7


Table 4: Matrix of Factors Relating to the 30 Case Studies Part 8


Table 4: Matrix of Factors Relating to the 30 Case Studies Part 9


Table 4: Matrix of Factors Relating to the 30 Case Studies Part 10


Table 4: Matrix of Factors Relating to the 30 Case Studies Part 11


Table 4: Matrix of Factors Relating to the 30 Case Studies Part 12


Table 4: Matrix of Factors Relating to the 30 Case Studies Part 13


Table 4: Matrix of Factors Relating to the 30 Case Studies Part 14

Table 5: Lessons Learned from the Sample Set of 30 Case Studies

Innovation Origins

Effective urban practices are often born out of a crises of deprivation or ongoing exploitation of a group of people. A conducive political environment and readiness of the general public are crucial factors in ensuring success. Product champions play an important role in a project's inception and implementation. Successful solutions result from critical analyses of the current situation, past failures or successful initiatives implemented elsewhere.

Implementation of Initiatives

Solutions to urban problems are more successfully implemented through partnerships, combining multi-level governments, NGOs, community groups, the private sector, international agencies, and individuals. NGOs play a critical role as intermediaries in the successful implementation and continuation of a project. Community participation is a vital ingredient to a project's economic viability and long term sustainability. There is often an evolution from single issue to holistic approach. Successful programs benefit from an ongoing self-reflective learning process.

Common Obstacles

Government often demonstrates resistance to change, fear of loss of control and power, fragmentation, and inexperience with partnerships. Community members often demonstrate resistance to change, face difficulties achieving consensus, and experience threats by criminals. Lack of coordination between implementing partners can undermine a program's effectiveness. Conflict often exists between the consultative process and the need to show rapid results. Scarcity of resources, including funds, land, technical assistance, and information.

Findings about Impact

Effective practices further the goal of making cities more ecologically sustainable, politically participatory, socially equitable, and economically viable. They increase self-confidence, awareness of problems, and skills of individuals. Stigmatized groups gain new respect and are able to make new contributions. Community organizations build capacity. Successful initiatives promote changes in problem-solving approaches.

Transferability and Policy Implications

Once established, partnerships may be re-utilized in the transfer and replication process, and the impacting of public policy. To promote replication and transfer, diffusion of information is critical. Local replication was prevalent but cross-cultural transfer should also be encouraged. Transfers may also be successfully facilitated across cities with diverse political systems, cultures and economic bases, but cross-cultural transfers tend to need brokering networks to facilitate the process.