The ninth European Development Fund, through the Intra-ACP Funds has provided EUR 4 million for UN-HABITAT’s Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme in the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of countries. The programme is divided into two phases. The first is an urban profile of 58 ACP cities in which everyone from decision-makers to ordinary people are surveyed to find out what they consider the top priorities in reducing urban poverty and improving living conditions. Each profile covers various sectors such as urban governance, land, slums, shelter, gender, local economic development, basic urban services. The second phase, still to be tested, uses the information provided in the profiles to put the programme into operation.
Rapid Urban Profiling starts with a training programme for those conducting the assessments so that they can produce the best and most accurate picture possible of what needs to be done in a city. The training programme gives participants in-depth guidance on the latest thinking about good local governance, environmental planning and management, human resources and local economic development approaches. Once back home, the trainees conduct similar training seminars to share this new thinking with central government officers and city managers alike. The ideas are then taken to slum residents to incorporate their views into the profile.
Feasibility Studies, Action Plans and Capacity Building
The second phase implements the ideas gleaned from the profile as slum upgrading projects that have been agreed upon at the national, local and community level. It also helps a establish a regional network for slum upgrading work and helps authorities identify funding sources.
In this new urban era, more than half of humanity now lives in towns and cities, and in little over a generation it is projected that two-thirds of us will be urbanised. There are approximately 1 billion people living in slums and squatter settlements in the world. Slum prevalence is highest in sub-Saharan Africa (62 percent), followed by south Asia (43 percent), east Asia (37 percent), and Latin America and the Caribbean (27 percent). One out of every three people living in cities of the developing world lives in a slum. Projections indicate that the number of slum dwellers in the world will rise to 1.4 billion by 2020 if no remedial action is taken. Asia and Africa will be home to the largest urban populations, and all the world’s biggest cities will be located in developing countries. This implies that developing countries will face ever greater urban poverty problems. Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme seeks to redress this. Through the profiles and their implementation, and through dialogue and consultation at every step, and with the participation of those set to benefit, it provides adequate and flexible mechanisms that support institutional development and capacity building in a democratic way. UN-HABITAT has prepared guidelines on urban profiling. These include new methods of gathering information. It is a fast-track approach that ensures urban profiles capture key common concerns on urban problems. The guidelines also help identify legislative, structural and funding problem areas that choke urban institutions.
Phase 1 - countries
Eleven African countries: Burundi, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Nigeria, Republic of Congo,
Four Caribbean small island countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago.
Three Pacific small-island countries: Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
Phase 2 - countries
Twelve African countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal,