Background and objectives
UN-Habitat technical support assisted the Government and related agencies to establish an Urban Agenda 21 national programme and through it to start addressing urban poverty. Specific input was to bring in the Sustainable Cities Programme approach with the aim of formalizing Sustainable City Programmes for the city assemblies of Lilongwe and Blantyre. The Malawi Urban Agenda 21 project will enhance the capacity of communities, the Lilongwe and Blantyre city councils and NGOs to plan and manage urban environments, facilitate the development of urban networks, strengthen capacity for policy analysis and formulation, establish an urban database to increase access to information about low-income urban areas and disseminate best practices. In addressing urban environmental problems, the concerns of women will be given particular attention, as the majority of the affected urban poor are women.
The project will concentrate on two communities in the cities of Lilongwe and Blantyre. Specific activities include identification of community-based organizations and important community leaders, organization of training in leadership, community organization skills and participatory planning methods, support to community action planning elaborated by the urban networks and implementation of specific interventions. Preparation of a database, the establishment of mechanisms for updating the database (including preparation of city environmental profiles), facilitation of a policy dialogue through the urban networks and communities, facilitation of the development of a national urban strategy and its implementation to support local authorities and communities are priorities.
Well-established community-based networks in each of the cities. A community-based planning approach for addressing local environmental development issues, city environmental profiles for Lilongwe and Blantyre, training of personnel in the local authorities to support community action planning and implementation of locally articulated projects and contribution to the preparation of a national urban strategy.