| Monograph on the inter-regional exchange and transfer of effective practices on urban management |
South-South cooperation on technical urban issues can take many forms. Examples of these are provided in Table 6 on page 44.
Many international, bilateral, and national organizations currently facilitate the transfer of technologies and effective practices from one country to another through a range of complementary approaches and activities. These initiatives include the setting up of regional and national networks of urban practitioners, documentation and dissemination of effective practices, the planning of international workshops, the initiation of dialogues between cities, training activities, the organization of study tours, cross-city consultation and technical assistance, and the initiation of the transfers and adaptation of effective practices between and within cities.
Some organizations that are implementing these activities include: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Center for Human Settlements (UNCHS), the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP), the World Health Organization (WHO), Housing International Coalition (HIC), and the International Council for 'Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). Some projects involved in implementing related activities include: the Local Initiative Facility for the Urban Environment of UNDP (LIFE), Citynet, the Municipal Environment Improvement Programme (MEIP), Asia Pacific 2000, and the Sustainable Cities Programme of UNCHS.
UNDP assists national efforts by facilitating public conversation, fostering necessary constituencies among diverse groups and promoting local-local dialogue. UNDP's urban targetted initiatives include its global Urban Management Programme which serves as a broad framework for its rural/urban country and regional activities, its Public-Private Partnership Programme, and its support to the LIFE Programme. The UNDP Special Unit for TCDC supports high priority activities which emphasize the exchange of ideas, experiences, policies and practices among developing countries in resolving their own development problems, in this case in human settlement development. These exchanges can take place through focussed technical workshops; the establishment of technical networks, including information sharing; twinning arrangements and triangular technical cooperation arrangements.
The exchange of information and experience among local urban organizations can only take place with accurate, current information. Just as the cities in the North rely on intricate networks of intellectual resources, such as universities, think tanks and research foundations, together with hundreds of technical journals and transnational computer grids, opening channels of contact and communication among cities in developing countries is an integral aspect of South - South cooperation. More and more organizations and institutions are realizing the importance of setting up national, regional or global networks through which they can disseminate documented innovative responses to urban problems.
There are many associations of individuals and institutions that share a common interest in urban management, and accept the need for mutual collaboration and a willingness to communicate with one another. These networks are created in order to tap into the wealth of existing expertise and resources within or across regions. Network members often co-sponsor and share information, expertise and other resources related to urban management. National networks are also being stimulated to mobilize human resources towards a common goal at the country level.
International workshops or regional dialogues promote the exchange of experiences and innovative ideas for addressing urban problems. "Local-local" dialogue among municipalities, NGOs and CBOs, on ways of improving the urban environment, lead to sustainable development. Study tours, or visits to cases of good practice are organized in an effort to mobilize stakeholders, such as municipal officials, community members and members of NGOs to exchange their experiences while acquiring practical knowledge of workable solutions in particular problems. Finally, direct assistance takes place in the form of technical cooperation or the deliberate transfer of effective practices between cities. Often, a sort of regional or international "marketplace" is set up so that transfers or technical assistance can be negotiated. In the case of technical assistance. consultants or trainees from one city assist their counterparts in another city in a particular issue area. Transferring a particular effective practice usually involves a group of stakeholders learning about the success from the 'exporting" city and adapting it to their own environment. The MegaCities Project methodology contained in Table 7 on page 45 offers one example of an approach for transferring innovative practices between cities.
Activities and approaches to Urban South - South Cooperation
• Establishing networks of urban practitioners
• Information sharing on urban issues
• Regional and inter-regional workshops involving local communities, local governments,
• NGOs and the private sector
• Dialogues between cities
• Developing training activities
• Peer to peer exchanges
• Study tours
• City twinning arrangements
• Consultation and technical assistance
• Transfers of effective urban practices
The transfer procedure not only depends on the "network of networks ' it is also a mechanism for strengthening the flexible, long term partnerships which comprise that network.