|Volunteer Participation in Working with the Urban Poor (UNDP - UNV, 64 p.)|
|IV. Programming concerns for VSAs and UNV|
The mainstream channel of funding technical cooperation projects, through UNDP's Indicative Planning Figure (IPF) system, has tended to tie resources almost exclusively to Government channels. Regular UN Agency programme funds follow a similar pattern, but less often for their Trust Fund resources. Even though there are no major obstacles preventing these organisations from working with PVOs, local NGOs and CBOs, the activities themselves are undertaken generally with the explicit endorsement of the governments concerned.
The UNDP country offices, many of them now strengthened with UNV Programme Officers and DDS Country Specialists, as well as national officers who are explicitly responsible for women's programmes and NGO activities, are becoming increasingly capable of, and sensitive to, working at the community level. However, the resources available in many offices to "mainstream" this orientation have not kept pace with needs. Many UN Agency offices face the same dilemma. In addition, the community development approach has traditionally faced coordination difficulties in the national context. The main government contacts in the Ministries, with whom UNDP and UN system agencies negotiate, usually take a sectoral approach to development problems. This makes it difficult to address issues of specific concern to social groups.
In order to bring the major concerns of low-income urban groups into the regular programming mechanisms of the UN system, including those of UNV and UNDP, it may be necessary to promote greater joint programming initiatives among the international agencies (such as bilateral aid agencies, international development banks, PVOs and VSAs) working in a given country. This could include collaboration on situation analyses of selected low-income urban settlements in the country; and joint evaluation on methodology of participant and project implementation. Pooling resources would allow for a more efficient use of time, reduce costs, and allow for a wider and more comprehensive extension of support to communities. UNV, in cooperation with ILO and HABITAT, has recently embarked on such a joint-programming effort in Tanzania. The aim of the project is to assist low-income communities in Dar-es-Salaam to build upon their self-help initiatives. In addition, city authority capacity to address infrastructure and service-related needs would be strengthened.