A new project is bringing to life the Department of Urban Planning at the Benadir Regional Administration after 22 years of conflict. The support was requested by the emerging authorities of Mogadishu Municipality and designed and developed jointly with the DFID Stabilization Unit for Somalia.
The project, which is funded by the British Office for Somalia, focuses on rehabilitating and equipping the department offices, recruiting and training qualified staff, and starting a geographic information system (GIS) urban survey across Mogadishu. The survey will focus on reconstruction activities and map them; these results will be presented in an urban forum with Somali and international stakeholders on Mogadishu’s development and reconstruction.
Through assisting in re-establishing a core department in a key institution, the project will establish the groundwork for a much larger urban management programme. It is anticipated that buy-in from a wide range of donors will be forthcoming, with the planning department as the focal point. UN-Habitat envisages that this will develop into a long-term project for Mogadishu’s urban development planning.
In January, UN-Habitat completed the rehabilitation of what is known as the Anagraph Office and the old Tax Collection Office, with a total of 24 offices, for use by the Benadir Regional Administration, including its Department of Urban Planning. The urban planning office is being upgraded with custom-made and improved electrical systems. Technical specifications for all office equipment (GIS equipment and software, computers, printers, furniture, and a vehicle) have been finalized and procurement has begun.
A staffing plan was developed and agreed on, followed by recruitment. All positions were posted on the website of the Benadir Regional Administration, which carried out candidate selection in systematic, transparent manner. The regional administration has committed to sustaining the office financially after the end of the project.
An international UN-Habitat GIS Specialist is working with the new team, providing on-the-job training and capacity building for the technical set-up of the office, for the establishment of a database using the baseline data already collected by UN-Habitat, and in the actual survey work. The survey results will be digitized and mapped for presentation at the stakeholder forum at the end of the project.