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close this bookVolunteer Participation in Working with the Urban Poor (UNDP - UNV, 64 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentNote on terminology and abbreviations
View the documentSummary
close this folderI. Urbanisation: recognition and response
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentUrbanisation and poverty
View the documentResponse to urbanisation
View the documentRecognition of ''Self-help'' initiatives
close this folderII. Insights derived from community-based programmes
View the document(introduction...)
close this folderUrban informal sector
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentMicro-enterprise promotion
View the documentWorking conditions in the informal sector
View the documentThe ILO experience
View the documentLow-income housing
View the documentInfrastructure and basic services
View the documentHealth and HIV/AIDS prevention
View the documentNon-formal education and functional literacy
View the documentWomen, gender and development
View the documentChildren of the street
View the documentImplications for VSAs
close this folderIII. Towards a community-based strategy for VSAs
View the documentParticipation: how and for whose benefit?
View the documentA sense of ''community''
View the documentGeneral characteristics of low-income urban communities
View the documentFactors determining support possibilities
View the documentGeneral characteristics of CBOs
View the documentSupport channels and intermediaries
close this folderIV. Programming concerns for VSAs and UNV
View the documentGuidelines for involvement
View the documentSuccess criteria for volunteer involvement
View the documentTaking the initiative
View the documentFlexibility
View the documentMeeting personnel and associated needs
View the documentChannels of operation
View the documentUnited Nations Agencies and their partners
View the documentFunding and other programme concerns
close this folderV. Principles and characteristics of volunteer use
View the documentFunctions and volunteers
View the documentQualities of VDWs
View the documentTeams
View the documentSkill requirements and experiences
View the documentSelection and placement process
View the documentAcculturation and language training process
View the documentEpilogue: follow-up, 1995
View the documentAnnotated reference list
close this folderAnnex: Excerpts from background papers
View the documentUrban development policy issues and the role of united nations volunteers
View the documentWorking with the urban poor: lessons from the experience of metropolitan Lagos, Nigeria
View the documentBrief account of my experience as a DDS field worker and a UNV in Sri Lanka and Jamaica
View the documentSpecial consultation on volunteer participation in working with the urban poor

Guidelines for involvement

Even though it is not possible to develop one strategy to guide VSA involvement in low-income urban areas, it is possible to identify some of the key conditions for such activity:

- Existence of a local CBO already engaged in some developmental initiative

- Mobilisation undertaken as a continuing process, both within the community to enlist participation, and externally to claim rights through negotiation or persistence. The acquisition and growth of a community's own awareness in its ability is fundamental to the process of development

- Favourable conditions in the public and parastatal institutions which can provide support to this process

- External agents who are prepared to commit themselves on a long-term basis

In the course of planning the intervention, it is important to acknowledge the diversity among groups found in low-income urban areas. To the greatest extent possible, interventions should be based on the initiatives taken by individuals, groups and communities themselves - supporting the principles of participation. In other words, interventions should be placed within a developmental framework, rather than be guided by a welfare outlook.

As detailed in the previous section, VSA involvement often places them in an intermediary role between community and state levels. Community-initiatives at the local level may be supported by CBOs and NGOs, but these initiatives tend to be scattered, isolated and rarely extend beyond the micro-level. To allow a more systematic response, links with the State through local and municipal authorities are required. It is here that VDWs can make their most effective contribution, operating at different, but inter-linked levels.

Interventions aimed at the state level should be tailored to meet particular needs, and focus on supporting the capacity of State agencies especially municipal government structures. Assistance would acknowledge government's frequent lack of adequate resources and relevant models for effective responses to the conditions of the low-income groups in the urban sector. Policies and enabling measures which support informal sector activities especially need encouragement. In working at the community-level, it is important that VDWs work through existing local leadership and organisational structures. VDWs, including UN Volunteers, do have significant contributions to make in strengthening this capacity and providing services, through a combination of intermediate level technical support channelled to government agencies, municipal authorities and NGOs, and animation and organisational work in support of NGOs and CBOs.