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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

The ILO experience

Increasingly, UN-system projects are focusing on micro-enterprises which lend themselves to a combination of entrepreneurial training and a package of business advisory and credit services. These types of micro-enterprises, rather than those involved in trading and service activities, are seen as clearly amenable to growth and thus capable of transforming themselves into formal sector profit-oriented enterprises through productivity augmentation, technological transfer/adaptation, capital accumulation and skill development.

Within the framework provided by the World Employment Programme, the ILO since 1982 has actively sought to encourage the self-help initiatives of artisans and other workers in the informal sector to improve their income levels and living standards. ILO has also directed greater attention to encouraging the development of micro-enterprises undertaken by women and unemployed youth, even those with no formal education.

One such programme, notable for its participatory approach, is the "Programme to Support Urban Informal Sector Enterprises in French-speaking Africa" in Mali, Togo and Rwanda. This programme took two years (1982-83) to develop a suitable approach to issues of collective concern to individual artisans, which was to become the mainspring of further organised action. Three more years (1984-86) were devoted to strengthening nascent organisations encouraging self-management and providing technical assistance relevant to production needs. The final phase of the project involved the consolidation of CBOs so that they could develop a credible partnership with local authorities and institutions. At the same time, the central associations of these CBOs in capital cities were strengthened in financial and operational autonomy.

A major lesson from this and similar experiences shows that bottom-up participatory work requires time to take root so that it will become sustainable: flexibility is of utmost importance. This type of approach cannot be rushed to suit bureaucratic requirements such as project deadlines or tightly-defined expenditure schedules. Many institutions which initially embark on community-based organisational work find their that their endeavours fail, largely due to institutional impatience.